2006 Water News

  • For Immediate Release

    Date: August 22, 2006
    Contact: Gene Forbes, 802-860-1331, or Jessica Hill, 802-229-9111

    GMWEA seeks Wastewater Operator for Exchange Program

    Each year the New England Water Environment Association's Operator Exchange Program provides an opportunity for an operator from the State of Vermont to exchange positions with an operator from another State, to visit and tour different wastewater treatment plants for several days for skill enhancement and to gain experience in the workings of different plants. This year a Vermont operator will be exchanging with the State of Massachusetts. The exchange is expected to take place the last week of September and will coincide with the Massachusetts Water Pollution Control Association's fall conference and trade show that will be held on September 27th in Westford, MA.

    Here is your chance to volunteer for this excellent opportunity to improve your technical knowledge and learn how others manage their facilities. Travel costs, including lodging, meals, gas, tolls and other related expenses will be paid by GMWEA/MWPCA/NEWEA. Training credit hours will be available.

    If you are interested in participating in this year's exchange please contact Gene Forbes at 802-860-1331, ejforbes@hta-vt.com, or Jessica Hill at 802-229-9111, jhill@vlct.org.

    Also, please contact Gene Forbes or Jessica Hill if you are interested in hosting a visiting operator from Massachusetts. GMWEA will be looking to show off several Vermont facilities during a visit this coming November.

  • For Immediate Release

    Date: August 2, 2006
    Contact: Sarah MacMillan, VRWA

    Fielder Named Executive Director of VRWA

    ESSEX JUNCTION, VT - The Vermont Rural Water Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Shaun Fielder of Middlesex has been named Executive Director of the association. Mr. Fielder has held a number of positions within VRWA during the past eight years and most recently served as the Program Coordinator.

    Mr. Fielder, a Vermont native, received his MA in physical geography from the University of Minnesota in 1993 and his BA in physical geography from the University of Vermont in 1988. He is a certified operator of both water and wastewater systems and has been heavily involved in coordinating operator training in Vermont for many years. In 2001, EPA New England presented him with an Environmental Educator Award for his outstanding contributions to Vermont's training programs for drinking water system operators.

    Mr. Fielder also sits on the Vermont Operator Certification Advisory Committee and the Green Mountain Water Environment Association Training Committee. VRWA's Directors are confident that Mr. Fielder will move the organization forward as it strives to promote public health and a clean environment by supporting Vermont's water and wastewater systems.

    Since 1982, the Vermont Rural Water Association has provided expert onsite technical assistance at no direct cost to water and wastewater systems. Services also include training for operators, source water protection planning, and assistance with the managerial and financial aspects of running a system. For more information, visit www.vtruralwater.org.

  • Vermont's Intended Use Plan for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

    The Vermont Water Supply Division is inviting you to help us determine how to spend the fiscal year 2006 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund of approximately $9.9 million on drinking water infrastructure, public water system supervision, and water system capacity assistance. The Draft Intended Use Plan (IUP) includes the FY 2006 Priority List for construction projects proposed for funding. One public meeting will be held to discuss the IUP. The location and date for this meeting is:

    Thursday, June 22, 2006, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, Pavilion Building Auditorium, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602, 1-802-828-3314

    Please attend this informational meeting to discuss the IUP. If you would prefer to provide written comments, please send them to: Water Supply Division, DWSRF Program, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0403. Written comments are due by Friday, June 30, 2006.

    If you have questions or would like to see a copy of the Draft IUP, please contact the Water Supply Division, DWSRF program, toll-free in Vermont at 1-800-823-6500, or 1-802-241-3408. A copy of the Draft IUP may be viewed on our website at www.vermontdrinkingwater.org after June 1, 2006.

  • For Immediate Release

    Date: May 9, 2006
    Contact: Sarah MacMillan, VRWA

    VRWA Celebrates Vermont Drinking Water Week

    BURLINGTON, VT - May 7-13 is Vermont Drinking Water Week, a week-long celebration of water and the local water operators who work so tirelessly behind the scenes to provide safe drinking water to their communities. The culmination of the festivities in Vermont is the annual Drinking Water Fair, which will be held on Friday, May 12 on the State House Lawn in Montpelier.

    Children from across the state will gather to play water-related games, learn about water resources, attend performances by the National Theatre for Children, and watch the presentation of prizes for the poster contest. This year's theme is: "Who's Behind the Faucet?" and honors operators, lab technicians, and others whose fine work allows the rest of us to simply turn on our faucets. More information about Drinking Water Week is available on Vermont Rural Water Association's website, www.vtruralwater.org.

  • For Immediate Release

    Date: February 9, 2006
    Contact: Liz Royer, Source Protection Specialist, Vermont Rural Water Association
    800-556-3792 ext 336; 802-734-3832

    Initiative to Protect St. Albans Drinking Water Supplies

    ST. ALBANS, VT - The St. Albans Water Department has been working with the Vermont Rural Water Association to complete projects that will aid in the protection of local drinking water sources. Water drawn from Lake Champlain and Fairfax Reservoir is used by over 9,000 people and multiple businesses in the St. Albans area. The source protection areas for these drinking water supplies include land in the towns of St. Albans, Fairfax, Fairfield, and Georgia.

    These projects include multiple stages, beginning with drafting a source protection plan for each water supply - such as Lake Champlain, Fairfax Reservoir, and Silver Lake. Potential threats to water quality and quantity are reviewed and a level of risk is determined for each threat such as failing septic tanks and erosion of dirt roads. Based on the top threats, management activities are planned to address water quality priorities.

    So far this year, the St. Albans Water Department has worked to:

    • Prevent thousands of migratory geese from landing near water intakes with assistance from the US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services program
    • Replace an undersized culvert that is causing sediment to erode and accumulate in the reservoir with funding assistance from the Town of Fairfax and the Vermont Better Backroads Program
    • Provide funding for farmers to take measures to prevent runoff on fields near water supply intakes with assistance from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency
    • Support proper design on wastewater systems for new development in source protection areas
    These activities and others will help to ensure drinking water is safe for the community while keeping water treatment costs to a minimum.

    If you would like to learn more about St Albans source protection efforts and local drinking water supplies, a community workshop will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd at St Albans City Hall, 100 North Main Street, from 7:00-9:00 PM. The workshop will follow a public hearing for landowners in the proposed source protection area for the Lake Champlain intake near Maquam Shore.

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