2008 Water News

  • Traditional Public Funding Not Work for You?

    If you are a homeowner association, condo association or other non-profit entity that owns and operates a water or wastewater system, you are likely not eligible for public loan/grant programs. If you find yourself visiting a local bank to finance your project, USDA Rural Development may be able to help you. Their WEP Loan Guarantee program guarantees up to 90% of a bank loan to build or improve your system. This can mean better rates and terms for you. If interested, contact Rhonda Shippee, Community Programs Director at 802-828-6033 or rhonda.shippee@vt.usda.gov.

  • Federal Trade Commission Extends the Red Flag Rule Compliance Date to May 1, 2009

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has extended the compliance date for the Red Flag Rule to May 1, 2009. The commission recently released the following statement; "Given the confusion and uncertainty within major industries under the FTC's jurisdiction about the applicability of the rule, and the fact that there is no longer sufficient time for members of those industries to develop their programs and meet the November 1 compliance date, the Commission believes that immediate enforcement of the rule on November 1 would be neither equitable for the covered entities nor beneficial to the public. Delaying Commission enforcement of the rule as to the entities under its jurisdiction by six months, until May 1, 2009, will allow these entities to take the appropriate care and consideration in developing and implementing their programs. It also will give the Commission time to conduct additional education and outreach regarding the rule."

  • Federal Trade Commission Red Flag Rule Effective November 1, 2008

    All utilities are required to comply with the FTC's "Identity Theft Red Flag Rule" even if only nominal information such as name, phone number and address are collected. However, the true risk established through the risk assessment activity may not require any changes to existing policies or procedures.

    The primary purpose of the rule is to protect against the establishment of false accounts and ensure existing accounts are not being manipulated. This regulation does not address or require utilities to adopt measures that will protect consumer information and prevent unauthorized access. However, implementation of good management practices to protect personal consumer data can prevent identity theft.

    Rural water has produced a template for given utilities to use to conduct an internal assessment and insure sound procedures to meet the goals of this regulation, click here for the download (word format).

  • National Rural Water Association (NRWA) Seeks Your Input for the 2009 H2O-XPO

    NRWA is seeking your input on the agenda for the 2009 industry expo, October 6-8 in Louisville, Kentucky. The first 1,000 to complete the survey will receive a t-shirt. This survey is to gain input into your 2009 H2O-XPO educational sessions. The H2O-XPO is sponsored by Vermont Rural Water Association and the National Rural Water Association. This is the largest product and equipment show of its kind in the industry with 30 acres of equipment, 1,000 exhibits, and 80 educational sessions. Mark your calendar now for the H2O-XPO.

  • "10 Responsibilities of a Board Member" Presentation Available

    National Rural Water Association now has available a web based training for download. "10 Responsibilities of a Board Member" is available as a PowerPoint Web Presentation here.

  • Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) Released

    EPA recently released the CUPSS software program to be used for asset management by drinking water and wastewater systems. CUPSS provides a simple, comprehensive approach to help your system develop, a record of assets, schedule of required task, an understanding of your financial condition, and tailored asset management plan. In the future VRWA will be offering trainings on asset management and the use of this tool. To download a copy and get additional info visit, http://www.epa.gov/safewater/cupss. In addition the software can be ordered from EPA by calling 1-800-490-9198 (request user's kit EPA 816-K-08-002).

  • Doctors Without Borders Recruitment Information Session

    Put Your Ideals Into Practice.

    Location: ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Community Room, One College Street, Burlington, VT
    Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - 6:30 PM

    All prospective medical and nonmedical aid workers: join us to learn more about Doctors Without Borders and how you can put YOUR ideals into practice.

    For more information or to register, visit www.doctorswithoutborders.org.

    Doctors Without Borders Recruits:
    Physicians - Nurses - Surgeons - Anesthesiologists - Midwives - Epidemiologists - Mental Health Specialists - Laboratory Scientists, Technicians and Technologists - Pharmacists - Administrative Professionals - Water and Sanitation Experts - Construction Experts - Logistical Professional - Finance Professionals

  • Vermont Senate Releases Bill Relating to Public Water Systems

    Following testimony on March 13 before the Vermont Senate Health and Welfare Committee by a number of industry representatives, including public water system operators, Senate Bill S. 368 has been introduced in the Vermont Legislature. While the initial draft of the bill included a permit application process for replacement of disinfection equipment and a proposed ban on chloramines as a secondary disinfectant for public water systems, these provisions have been struck from the bill.

    The changes proposed in the bill include:

    • A requirement for the Secretary of ANR to consult with the VT Department of Health to consider the likely health effects from the use of a new type of disinfection chemical by a given system
    • The Secretary shall give public notice of such change to allow for public comment and public hearing if requested
    • The Secretary may require additional information prior to issuance of the permit and may also consult with the commissioner of health in making decisions regarding health issues raised by the application

    It is VRWA's understanding this change is only intended for public community systems, but as written this is not completely clear. A summary of the bill can be found on VRWA's site. The complete text of S. 368 can be found here: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/legdoc.cfm?URL=/docs/2008/bills/intro/S-368.htm

    Please contact your Vermont state representatives on this issue and express your opinion.

  • 2008 Drinking Water Tasting Contest

    The Drinking Water Fair Committee welcomes all public water systems to enter the 2008 Water Tasting Contest. As in years past, the Water Tasting Contest will be held on the State House lawn during the Drinking Water Fair. This year's Fair is Friday, May 9th. Your water will be tested and judged by our discerning panel of judges. Past judges have included Governor Jim Douglas, Jeff Wennberg (former DEC Commissioner) and Kira Jacobs, Vermont's EPA representative. Water systems will remain anonymous to the judges and all fair attendees with the exception of the tasting coordinator and the winners, who will be announced during the fair festivities.

    Applications should be submitted on or before May 1st to allow time for processing. All participating systems must be in compliance with both State and Federal rules and regulations (including water quality standards in Subchapter 21-6 of the Vermont Water Supply Rule). There are three categories for this contest-surface water, groundwater and Non-transient Non-Community systems. An overall winner will be chosen from the top finishers. A minimum of two (2) gallons of your water are requested, clearly marked with public water system name, type of system (groundwater, surface water or NTNC), and contact person on each container supplied by you. The water system may use a container of their choosing, but glass is strongly recommended. Samples should be drawn the day before the contest and will be served at room temperature.

    We will have a designated area for samples to be delivered to on the State House lawn. Each sample will be categorized and marked with a letter for identification at the time of delivery. All samples must be in no later than 9AM on May 9th (the day of the fair). For those public water systems who will be unable to send a representative to the fair but want to enter the water tasting contest, I will be attending the Vermont Rural Water Annual Trade Show and Conference at Lake Morey on Thursday May 8th. You may bring your samples to the Trade Show and I will ensure they arrive at the Drinking Water Fair. Please contact me, Ashley Lucht, by email (ashley.lucht@state.vt.us) or phone (802 241 3424) with any questions or if you need additional information.

    Ashley Lucht
    Water Tasting Coordinator, Vermont Drinking Water Week

    Download the Water Tasting Application here!

  • VRWA to Testify at Hearing on Public Water Supply Rule

    On Thursday, March 13, the Vermont Senate Health and Welfare Committee will host a hearing to take testimony on draft changes to existing state statutes relating to public water system operations. VRWA's Executive Director Shaun Fielder is scheduled to testify. The summary of the proposed changes are as follows:

    Subject: Conservation; public water supply; water treatment

    Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require a public water system to obtain a permit from the agency of natural resources prior to adding a new chemical to a public water system, altering a point-of-distribution chemical application to a public water system, or replacing public water system equipment necessary for the application of a disinfection chemical. The bill would ban for two years the use of chloramine as a disinfectant chemical in public water systems. The bill would also require the agency of natural resources to hold a public hearing before issuing such a permit.

    VRWA is not in support of these proposed changes. The existing Water Supply Rule provides adequate and comprehensive guidance on the permit and associated chemical addition processes. In addition, VRWA does not support a ban on the use of chloramines as a disinfectant chemical.

    We will post follow up information on this issue as applicable. As with any legislative issue, please be sure to express your opinion by contacting your local state representative. A listing of your Vermont Senate and House representatives can be found at www.leg.state.vt.us.

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