2012 Water News

  • Vermont DEC Facilities Engineering Division requests those interested in seeking funding for future pollution control projects complete preliminary application by January 31, 2013.

    Municipalities interested in having a project considered for funding should complete the Funding Ranking Application. Projects are ranked by the Department to allocate available State and Federal funds. Later, municipalities with a funded project will need to fill out a loan or grant application to receive funds. Qualifying projects will be listed on the new State Fiscal Year 2014 Pollution Control Projects Priority List and Planning List for 2015 to 2018.

    Funding is available for planning (preliminary engineering and final design engineering) and construction (construction engineering and construction contracts). Loans for planning have terms of zero interest and zero administrative fee, repayment begins five years after completion of services, and repayment is over five to fifteen years depending on loan amount. Planning loans must be combined with construction loans if a project is constructed. Construction loans have terms of two percent administrative fee, repayment begins one year after completion of the project and repayment is over a period up to twenty years. State grants may be available, when funding is approved by Vermont legislature.

    Please visit the FED website to download a copy of the pollution control application at http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/fed/fed.htm

    The priority application is listed on the top right side in the what's new section as an excel download, please note it is due January 31, 2013.

  • Vermont Drinking Water Week Committee - 2012 Drinking Water Tasting Contest

    Application Deadline Friday October 26 with tasting at GMWEA Fall Conference on Friday November 2.

    Do you have the best tasting drinking water in Vermont? Well, here's your opportunity to prove it.

    Vermont's Drinking Water Week Committee welcomes most public water systems to enter the 2012 Water Tasting Contest. The Water Tasting Contest will be held at the GMWEA Fall Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in South Burlington on November 2, 2012. Your water will be tasted and judged by a panel of your peers. Water systems will remain anonymous to the judges and all conference attendees with the exception of the tasting coordinator and the winners, who will be announced during conference festivities.

    Applications should be submitted on or before Friday October 26th to allow time for processing. Winners will be transported and entered into the Great American Water Taste Content, sponsored by National Rural Water Association, locally by Vermont Rural Water Association. That event will be February 11-13, 2013 in Washington, DC.

    Click here for application form.

  • Good News from Vermont Rural Water Association

    We are pleased to announce that Vermont Rural Water has received official notice that we have been awarded a portion of funding via an EPA national competitive bid to provide support to rural water systems. Recall VRWA conducted a call to action campaign earlier this year seeking water system support for this program funding. To all of you who spoke up on our behalf, thank you. We received over 200 letters of support on this issue.

    For VRWA, this leads to the good news; we have been fortunate enough to get Liz Royer, former employee, back on our team as a Water Systems Specialist. Liz will be providing onsite technical assistance for water systems and additionally will be involved with some training activities as well. Her involvement with future training will complement courses led by Phil Acebo and Shaun Fielder. Liz's primary focus will be providing assistance to public water systems classified as "private" aka not eligible for rural development (RD) funding. Bear in mind those eligible for RD funding are receiving ongoing assistance from our circuit riders; Brent Desranleau, Aaron Perez, and Wayne Graham.

    Please be advised we are continuing to investigate and expand our support services and are maintaining our fee for service approach for selected specialized assistance. At this time Shaun Fielder and Tim Russo are involved with this work.

    Contact information for all VRWA team members including Liz Royer can be viewed at the following link; http://vtruralwater.org/about/contact.php

    All of us are aware the funding cuts of recent years have been very challenging and it is nice to relay some positive news. Please know VRWA continues to meet our mission to promote public health and a clean environment by providing support to water and wastewater systems.

    Sincerely,

    Shaun Fielder
    Executive Director

  • One Day Collection System Workshop

    Vermont Rural Water Association has partnered with Green Mountain Water Environment Association and Vermont Technical College to bring you a one day Collection System Workshop at the VTC Training Center on September 21, 2012. During this workshop attendees will be able to see first-hand the tools available to them to identify, evaluate and repair their collection systems; and how they work.

    Click here for more information.

  • VRWA Celebrates Vermont Drinking Water Week -
    May 6 to 12, 2012

    VRWA passes along our thanks to all the public water system professionals as we celebrate Vermont Drinking Water Week. Many activities are taking place throughout the state to promote the importance of public drinking water including; tours of drinking water facilities, public service announcements promoting public drinking water, and The Water Fair taking place Friday May 11, 2012 at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science Center (VINS) in Quechee. As many as 300 school age children will be taking part in the fair with games and activities focused on the importance of water in our day to day lives. Winners of the poster and photo contest will be recognized for submissions focused on the 2012 theme, "Got Water?"

    For more information on Vermont Drinking Water Week activities please visit http://vtruralwater.org/industry/DrinkingWaterWeek/index.php

  • VRWA Updates and Gearing Up for Another Great Annual Conference!

    Good news on VRWA training programs -

    I am pleased to announce some good news in regards to funding support to continue our water operator training activities. The major portion will be through support from VT DEC Drinking Water and Groundwater Water Protection Division. Phil Acebo (Training Specialist) will continue to manage this program and looks forward to offering, coordinating and insuring varied training opportunities for all operators of the state. The other portion of support will come from the Vermont Department of Labor. I will be in charge of the VT DOL program and look forward to leading training sessions on various topics over this next one year time frame. The combination of these two water operator training programs, supplemented with wastewater training led by Wayne Graham (Wastewater Specialist) will insure the continuation of many training opportunities at low costs for the water sector.

    The timing on VRWA securing this training program support is of course very good and the VT DOL program in particular will allow us to 'bridge the gap' as we await decisions on rural water appropriations as part of the FY2013 national budget. Recall training activities, onsite assistance, and source protection planning had been conducted by VRWA through EPA sourced funds directed through our parent group National Rural Water Association up until this past fall. Given this was the program I started on when I joined rural water back in 1998 you can imagine my disappointment of the program loss. We are hopeful it will be reinstated. Toward that end, all of you that provided a letter of support in regards to this reinstatement when our call to action went out recently, thank you. Those commendation items were heartfelt and definitely illustrated the value of our services to your given systems and communities. We have shared this information with our elected officials and the National Rural Water Association is compiling all the letters received from across the country to submit them to EPA Headquarters.

    Team member and services information -

    One more recent staffing change to update you on, Paula Jackson is no longer employed with VRWA as of early April. In regards to all other team members, water circuit riders Aaron Perez, Brent Desranleau and wastewater circuit rider Wayne Graham continue their fulltime support assistance to all rural development eligible communities. Their assistance process hasn't changed, that is, they continue to work with various systems offering onsite assistance and other support at no direct cost to the system. To get into some program details, if your system is not eligible for rural development funding then VRWA will be in a position where onsite assistance will need to be fee based service. The question coming next is, how do I know if I am rural development eligible? The quick answer, if your system is located in a town or city with population of 10,000 or less, your system is organized as a public body i.e. municipal or fire district as examples, or is a non-profit corporation you are eligible. Bear with us on assistance requests since staffing reductions may impact response times.

    Annual Conference -

    While we have faced some significant program changes of late some positive news indicates we are turning the corner and we will keep on adapting and adjusting to the challenges presented and therefore continue to meet our mission. We appreciate your continued support and hope to see you at our upcoming annual conference on May 2 and 3 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT. We have a great golf event lined up for Wednesday afternoon May 2. On Thursday May 3 we will have our vendor exhibition area, training opportunities, and our annual business meeting and lunch time entertainment by Rusty Dewees, aka The Logger, (see this link for more information including online registration page http://vtruralwater.org/industry/conference.php ).

    If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to be in contact with me and all of us at VRWA look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming conference.

    Sincerely,
    Shaun Fielder
    Executive Director

  • Message from Executive Director Shaun Fielder Regarding Source Protection Program Changes

    To VRWA Partner,

    Unfortunately relaying information on another program reduction here at VRWA. We have announced previously that funding support for our sole remaining source protection program, as managed by Liz Royer, ended 1/31. Due to the noted program end and combined with the uncertainty of future program funding, Liz has decided to take a position with another company. Liz is leaving on good terms and all of us at VRWA wish her the best on her future endeavors. Her last day of employment will be Friday February 24, 2012.

    We are hopeful national funding for this source protection program and for the EPA training and technical assistance programs will be reinstated in the National FY2013 appropriations as determined by Congress.

    Over the past 10 years our association has assisted 160 systems with source protection plans, updates and offered related services to many others. VRWA has made a decision to provide copies of any plans we assisted a system with as a courtesy and to show our appreciation to them. At this time the plans are being provided in electronic format to insure systems have direct access and a copy of the record for their use. We hope some of the systems will consider hiring VRWA for any updates they will be required to complete.

    It is our goal to be back in a position to offer this assistance at no direct cost, but this will depend on the decision for program funding at the national level. Even with all the recent programs losses our association has faced our existing eight full-time team members continue to assist both water and wastewater systems across Vermont and our association continues to meet our mission to promote public health and a clean environment by providing support to water and wastewater systems. Please let me know if you have any questions and thanks for your continued support of VRWA.

    Sincerely,

    Shaun Fielder
    Executive Director


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