2014 Water News

  • Ebola Information Update October 15, 2014

    Data provided by National Rural Water Association and relayed to all State Rural Water Associations (10-15-14):

    Update to State Rural Water Associations on ability and how Ebola spreads: In response to inquires about the ability of Ebola to be spread in drinking water supplies, the National Rural Water Association <http://www.nrwa.org/> is distributing the following resources and information that conclude Ebola cannot spread through the drinking water supply.

    Information on disposal of Ebola related waste:

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends disposal of Ebola related waste to public wastewater systems (see below). The CDC does not have guidance for wastewater operations specialists and employees related specifically to Ebola. The CDC and the World Health Organization conclude that Ebola is not a foodborne, waterborne or airborne illness, it is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids and Ebola infected cells don't live long in water because it does not have the same salt concentration as bodily fluids. On October 13, 2014, the CDC indicated it is reconsidering its approach to decontamination and equipment procedures for all health workers (see article below). NRWA is in contact with the CDC and the U.S. EPA regarding any additional guidance for wastewater or drinking water employees, and will be distributing all related guidance.

    CDC Guidance on Safety of Ebola and Sanitation Systems:

  • VRWA Program Update - Announcing New Training Specialist, Matt Guerino

    VRWA is pleased to announce Matt Guerino joined our team on September 2, 2014 as a full-time Training Specialist. Matt has a bachelor's degree in Geology with a minor in Physical Geography from the University of Vermont. Over the past eight years Matt has worked for the State of Vermont as the Water System OperatorCertification Officer and Compliance Rule manager of multiple State and Federal Regulations, and as a System Operations Specialist. Prior to working with the State of Vermont Matt worked for a private consultant firm on PetroleumClean up sites, Mold Abatement, Phase I Site Assessments, and as a Water System Operator. Matt looks forward to coordinating training opportunities and leading various public water system operator training in all corners of Vermont. Matt can be reached at 802-660-4988 extension 337 or via email. For information on all of VRWA's upcoming training opportunities see our training schedule.

  • Newly created VRWA Board Liaison Position Assigned

    Vermont Rural Water Association is pleased to announce the Board of Directors have assigned Eric Blatt, P.E., Director of the Facilities Engineering Division (Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation) to the newly created VRWA Board Liaison position. The position was created through a VRWA by-law change as approved by the membership this past spring. Eric began his career with the State of Vermont in 1978 working for ANR as an assistant regional engineer in the Essex Office. He focused primarily on regulatory revue and permitting of wastewater applications for residential subdivisions. After 14+ years in that program, he moved on to the Public Facilities Division (now known as the Facilities Engineering Division) administering the grant and loan funding programs for municipal drinking water and pollution control improvements. In 2003, he joined the Water Supply Division, heading up the DWSRF Program and the Division's engineering unit. In early 2013, Eric returned to the Facilities Engineering Division as its Director. The board liaison position is a one year non voting assignment for a water sector representative other than a system appointee. It was created to further involve various water sector contacts with VRWA planning processes. We welcome Eric to the role and appreciate his acceptance of the assignment.

  • A Program Update from VRWA

    VRWA is pleased to announce effective June 2, 2014 we have added a full-time program supported by an EPA national contract with National Rural Water Association. This is effectively a reinstatement of a program that closed out last fall. The primary focus will be on offering onsite assistance to public water systems of all types. Given we have several team members targeting community and fire districts now, this new program will hone in on privately managed community, ntnc, and tnc systems. Some examples include mobile home parks, schools, private businesses and other types of systems. Another component of this program will be conducting sustainability training for wastewater systems. These classroom trainings will be conducted later this year and into 2015. These additional efforts will be a great complement to our existing onsite and training offerings. Please be aware certain services VRWA currently offers on a fee basis will remain unchanged, these include items such as operation and maintenance manuals and source protection plans depending on our scheduling and program workload.

    For this new program we are happy to announce Paul Sestito joined our team on June 2 on a full-time basis. Paul most recently assisted with operations of a surface water facility in Northeastern Vermont and also with wastewater operations at another facility in the kingdom. He holds a bachelor of science degree in marine engineering from Massachusetts Maritime Academy, is a certified Class 4 Public Water System Operator and also holds a Vermont Class 3 Water Pollution Abatement Facility Operator Certification. Prior to entering the water sector industry Paul taught science at the high school level. He is looking forward to jumping right into action as a VRWA team member.

    With this new program, as was the case before, VRWA will continue to meet our mission to promote public health and a clean environment by providing support to water and wastewater systems.

  • VRWA is pleased to promote, "Water Quality Day 2014"

    May 23, 2014 has been announced as Water Quality Day. A proclamation will be offered on May 23 by Governor Shumlin and a number of facilities around Vermont will offer tours. Our good friends at Green Mountain Water Environment Association have more information listed on their website detailing the related special events and those facilities hosting an open house, please visit www.gmwea.org for more information. VRWA thanks all of those working at the grassroots level to insure our environment is protected 365/24/7.

  • EPA Region 1 - Response To Vermont on Lake Champlain TMDL Plan

    The much anticipated response from EPA Region 1 on Lake Champlain TMDL plan was released on May 8, see this link (pdf).

    In the response EPA is urging Vermont to better explain how the state will secure funding to implement its novel cleanup effort to cut Lake Champlain's phosphorous levels that are expected to increase due to climate change.

    Additionally in the response EPA calls on the state to clarify whether and how it plans to use rare authority to regulate stormwater at existing developments will occur. In addition the agency said it is "highly unlikely" that a revised total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the lake will not include further phosphorus load reductions for wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

    EPA notes in the response it hopes Vermont will submit a revised version of the plan, along with a commitment letter from Governor Shumlin, by May 30.

  • VT DEC CWSRF To Host Public Hearing Rescheduled for Thursday April 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm Final Comments Due April 11

    The division will host a public hearing Thursday April 3, 2014 at 2:00pm for the 2015 Pollution Control Projects Priority List. The meeting will be held in the Winooski Conference Room, National Life Main Building, Montpelier. The division will also transmit the DRAFT State Fiscal Year 2015 Pollution Control Projects Priority List and Planning List for 2016 to 2019 and Clean Water Intended Use Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2014. Comments are due by April 11, 2014.
    See this link for more information - http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/fed/fms.htm

  • VT DEC CWSRF To Host Public Hearing March 13, 2014, Final Comments Due March 27

    The division will host a public hearing Thursday March 13, 2014 at 2:00pm for the 2015 Pollution Control Projects Priority List. The meeting will be held in the Winooski Conference Room, National Life Main Building, Montpelier. The division will also transmit the DRAFT State Fiscal Year 2015 Pollution Control Projects Priority List and Planning List for 2016 to 2019 and Clean Water Intended Use Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2014. Comments are due by March 27, 2014.

    See this link for more information - http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/fed/fms.htm.

  • Introduction to the Incident Command System - ICS100

    Date: April 10 & 11, 2014 ~ Participants must attend both sessions of the course ~
    Time: 9:00AM - 1:30 PM
    Location: Marlboro Graduate Center, 28 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT


    Date: May 29 & 30, 2014 ~ Participants must attend both sessions of the course ~
    Time: 9:00AM - 1:30 PM
    Location: St. Leo's Hall, 109 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT

    Credit: 8 TCH (water) / 7 TCH (wastewater)
    Cost: FREE

    This course provides training on and resources for personnel who require a basic understanding of the Incident Command System (ICS). This course introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

    Target Audience:
    Entry-level first responders (firefighters, police officers, emergency medical services providers, public works, public health personnel, others) and other personnel that require introductory ICS.

    Lodging and travel are the responsibility of the participant. Light lunch will be provided.

    Participants who attend all hours required of this course and successfully pass a final exam will receive a Certificate of Completion.
    This course meets NIMS Baseline Training requirements for ICS100.
    Late registrations may be accepted on a case-by case basis.

    Funding for the ICS training is through a grant from Homeland Security.

    To register for this course, please use the following link:



  • Back to Top