Newsletter - Spring 2005

This is the text version. Download a pdf of our printed newsletter.

Tips & More for Your CCR

Lynda Laine

If you are a community public water system, it's time to prepare your 2005 Consumer Confidence Report. You may have completed a few CCRs, but with ever changing drinking water regulations, you will have to evaluate and determine if you will have to incorporate additional information. For instance, the arsenic MCL has been reduced from .050 to .010 mg/l. Perchlorate testing is required for Massachusetts community and NTNC systems. Look closely at the CCR information you received from the state to be sure that you don't miss any new requirements. Call them if you're not sure.

CCRs are an annual water quality report in which all detects of contaminants sampled for must be listed along with health related information and various other required elements. Don't forget, however, that the CCR is an opportunity to let people know about all the good things you're doing to provide them with good drinking water.

If you have not updated your CCR since its inception, you may have deficiencies that need to be corrected because the template used doesn't address a change or addition. For example, definitions for MRDL (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level) and MRDLG (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal) need to be included, if your system adds a chemical to disinfect the water. Even if it was only used as an emergency procedure, it may be necessary to report it. Clarify if your system should include emergency chlorination information in your CCR with your state's primacy agency.

Remember you are required to report the results for any contaminant sampled for that was detected, even if you did not exceed the MCL. Any such detects are not violations and are reported as non-violations.

All data relating to reportable contaminants must be displayed in one or more tables that display the required data regarding detects. If you were scheduled to take copper and lead samples in 2004, then report the results in the appropriate table. Regulated and non-regulated contaminants and special monitoring data may have to be addressed if detected or exceeded levels requiring inclusion in the 2004 CCR.

Additionally, your system may have been eligible for a waiver for VOC, IOC and SOC. If you applied and received an approval letter indicate which of the waivers you were granted and include a statement indicating which one or all that you received. The statement should include the date the sample was taken, that no contaminants were detected in accordance with EPA and state regulations and how long the waiver will be in effect.

A good resource for CCR guidance in preparation is the MA DEP webpage: from that page click on CCR tips document:

You will find helpful explanations and language requirements for your CCR, including the definitions.

The CCR certification form is listed in Word version and can be saved to the PWS's computer or a PDF version can be printed out and filled out manually.

Technical Appendices include the certification form plus a template, all the contaminant tables with MCLs, units of measure by group, sources and health effects language (Appendix C). There are additional sections that may help you determine the numbers that need to be reported for particular contaminants. Click here to view the Five Golden Rules CCRs.

Please review all information your PWS may have received from the state's primacy agency during the year. If you have received the final SWAP report for your system, SWAP information will have to be included in the CCR.

If the PWS's 2003 CCR was audited in 2004, you will have to address the deficiencies that were found in this report. The deficiencies are clearly outlined in the CCR compliance checklist that you would have received. Failure to correctly address and report them in the 2004 CCR issue may result in future enforcement action. Approximately, 10% of the CCRs are audited on an annual basis. EPA may also conduct audits on their own.

A summary of system's activities definitely needs to be included. This is your opportunity to educate and inform your customers about your water system activities to protect and deliver safe drinking water. Showcase your hard work and other successes that have occurred over the past year. Include tips on water conservation, household hazardous waste collection days and other topics that enhance protection of the drinking water sources throughout the year.

When you include an explanation pertaining to your system, use your own words. You definitely want your report to be reader friendly. Perhaps using larger print for summaries, office and contact information would allow easier reading. Incorporating a second color to bring attention to different items within the report would encourage the consumer's interest.

Completing a useful CCR and delivering it your customers is no small task, but it is an important one. The CCR is an educational opportunity to spotlight your hard work during the course of the year. It is a regulatory requirement, nonetheless. So don't forget to complete the CCR certification form and send it to the required local and state agencies with copies of your CCR by July 1, 2005.

Make the most of the CCR's opportunity to communicate with your customers!

A Personal Water Conservation Experience

Jay Matuszewski

Here is the situation: six people in a home, two adults, two teenagers, and two young ones. I have one rock well about 420 feet deep which produces about 1/4 gpm, maybe less. That is about 360 gallons per day. The pump is set at 400 feet (I know for a fact, had to pull it twice); the static level in November was at 270 feet. That leaves me 130 feet of water in storage in a 6-inch bore hole or about 195 gallons (1.5 gallons per foot in a 6-inch pipe).

Now if any of you have a teenage female in your home, you know for a fact that it takes at least 20 minutes to take a shower. With 6 people in a house, it is not uncommon to see a full laundry hamper every day; this equates to at least one load of laundry per day. My old top load super capacity washer took about 60 gallons of water per load.

We could just squeak by if we did one load a day with showers, dishes, cooking etc. (forget washing the car or watering the lawn or garden; it just does not happen here).

My better half had a hard time with doing laundry once a day and would try to save it up until the pile was about the size of a pickup. She would then attempt to do three to four loads in one day. Of course the well couldn't handle that, so I would get to put my sap tank in the truck and start hauling water.

The solution: Water Conservation! I already had a low (1.5 gallon) flush toilet, water saver shower head, and a handy ball valve on the shower to help prod a teenage female out of the shower. Partly out of need to replace a 20 year old washing machine and other factors, I went shopping.

Most of the new front load washers use 20 to 30 gallons per load, but I found one that uses a maximum of 10.75 gallons per load. I was skeptical to say the least but decided to fork over the cash.

This machine is impressive. The first trial was two loads of laundry back to back, and everyone got to take showers later. This was a first! But the big test came a few days later when I was away on the road. My better half did six loads of laundry in one day and every one took showers (even the teenager). Amazing! Now I am impressed: no more trucking water; no more "navy" showers for me; we can run the dishwasher and the list goes on.

The conservation part: this washing machine saves me about 20,000 gallons of water per year and about half of that is hot water. It takes less than a cup of detergent per load and will save me about $200 per year in electricity. This machine will pay for itself in about three years.

So I guess if you have people in your system or on private wells that want to save money or are forced to conserve because of available water quantity, this may be one possible solution. These machines are a bit pricey, but did I mention I also got rebates and energy incentives of $200? Till next time...

Brennan Receives Achievement Award

Dave Brennan recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Water Works Association.

In addition to his role as Vice-President of the New Hampshire Rural Water Association, Dave is the President of NHWWA.

In 2003, Dave joined the Board of Directors of the National Rural Water Association as the New Hampshire representative. He is also a past president of the New Hampshire Water Pollution Control Association.

Dave is currently the superintendent for the Sunapee Water and Sewer Department, where he has worked for the past eight years.

Dave lives with his family in the town of Hill, where he is a former selectman. He has volunteered many hours to the Hill Water Department and is constantly looking for ways to help water systems improve their drinking water and protect their sources.

Congratulations to Dave from our members, directors, and staff!

Source Water Planning on the Move

Rebekah McDermott

New Rural Water source water protection programs in Massachusetts and Vermont are up and running! Along with Jen Palmiotto in New Hampshire, Liz Royer and Rebekah McDermott are helping Vermont and Massachusetts communities and water systems to protect their drinking water from potential contamination sources.

Building on 14 years of groundwater protection planning, our Source Water Protection Specialists expand drinking water protection from the well to the watershed by:

  • Helping communities and water systems identify threats to their drinking water supplies.
  • Aiding in the planning process and encouraging the implementation of land use policies and sanitation bylaws that best protect drinking water.
  • Conducting outreach on behalf of our communities to educate the public on the importance of protecting our precious and often vulnerable drinking water resources.
  • Providing a completed Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP) to systems and communities.
Source Water Protection Plans are becoming very important tools to secure state and federal funding for water system protection and infrastructure improvements. As funding becomes increasingly competitive for community water supply maintenance and development, your community could gain an important fiscal edge by completing a SWPP.

Some of the projects our Source Water Protection Specialists are working on include the following:

New Hampshire

In Gorham, Jen Palmiotto is working with a committee of ten town officials and residents. They have identified water protection priorities including an education and outreach campaign to raise awareness, an ordinance to protect the town wells, a water quality monitoring program associated with the Town Forest watershed, and a bi-annual inspection program for hangars at the Town Airport.

In Warren, a six person committee has identified risks to two drinking water supplies and proposed 11 management activities to address these concerns. According to Town Selectmen and SWP Committee Chair Chuck Sackett, "These systems have good water. We want to make sure it stays that way."

At the recommendation of NHDES and by request from the Town of Meredith, Jen assisted in the development of a watershed protection plan for Lake Waukewan. A sixteen member volunteer Watershed Advisory Committee (WAC) was established with participation from all five communities comprising the Lake Waukewan Watershed: Ashland, Center Harbor, Holderness, Meredith and New Hampton. The group identified and assessed threats to water quality throughout the watershed. Their recommended actions include both non-regulatory and regulatory approaches dealing with prevention, restoration, and data collection and monitoring.


Liz Royer, the Source Water Protection Specialist for Vermont, is collaborating with water systems in Cabot and Mendon. Cabot's Source Protection Plan will be updated to include recent events such as development within the Source Protection Area (SPA) and the construction of a village sewer system. In addition, the community is pursuing methods to protect the areas immediately surrounding the wells and to educate town residents through mailings, workshops, and programs at the town school.

In Mendon, Liz is working with the systems of the Eastridge Acres Association and East Mountain Water Corporation. Planned activities include a homeowner survey and neighborhood meetings to discuss threats from septic systems, heating oil tanks, fertilizers and pesticides, and household hazardous waste. The town administrator has agreed to work on this plan along with the system operators and neighborhood representatives.


Rebekah McDermott, the Massachusetts Source Water Protection Specialist, is working with the communities of Worthington and Ware. The Worthington Fire District is interested in implementing a Zone II overlay district for its well field. The Worthington Source Water Protection Committee is also addressing private residential well maintenance, since more than two thirds of the town's residents have private wells.

The Town of Ware's Water Department is also working on a SWPP. Ware's entire Zone II is located in a densely populated residential area. Much of the Zone II recharge area is not sewered and septic systems near the well field are a big concern. Since extending the public sewer to much of this area is desirable, the SWPP will aid the community in securing future funding for that costly project.

Other immediate threats to the water quality in the Zone II are an active gravel operation, an expansion plan for a landfill in the neighboring Town of Hardwick and housekeeping issues on a farm within the recharge area. The source protection plan will recommend stricter land use practices and bylaws for businesses within the Zone II, installing monitoring wells near gravel operations, enforcing abandoned vehicle bylaws, and monitoring septic systems near the well field.

If your water system or community could use help on Source Protection issues, don't hesitate to contact Rural Water.

How to Disinfect a Small Water System

Jack Shields

In order to properly disinfect a water system you must follow these directions exactly, no shortcuts! The method described below is called batch chlorinating and is very effective when followed to the letter.

Begin by opening the well. If you see insects or their nests, remove them by hand. Add all of the calculated dose of chlorine to the top of the well. Do not use more than the calculated dose. It will only take longer for stronger concentrations to leave the system. If you are using large tablets, break them into half inch pieces and drop them down the well.

Run a garden hose from the nearest outside faucet back to the well and let the water run from the hose until you smell chlorine. Stop the water and attach a spray nozzle to the hose. Now start the water again and direct the spray against the inside wall of the well. Let the chlorinated water spray against the wall for at least an hour, you can fashion some sort of a holder for the hose out of some wire and a board to hold the sprayer in place, that way you don't have to stand there for an hour. What you are trying to do is to rinse down the inside of the well to rid it of bacteria. You may experience rusty or dirty water, this is only temporary and will eventually stop.

Do not use this water for drinking, cooking, body washing or laundry!

After you have rinsed the well, replace the cover making sure that the top of the well has no spaces or holes which will allow insects or surface water to enter the well. Now go to the faucet which is the farthest away from the well and turn it on. Let the water run until you smell chlorine and then shut it off.

Proceed to turn on the next furthest faucet from the well, letting it run till you smell chlorine and then shutting it off. Keep doing this to every faucet in turn until you have chlorinated water in every cold water pipe on your premises. Make sure not to miss any cold water taps, tubs, toilets, urinals, or anything which has cold water running to it. Everything must be disinfected in order for the treatment to be effective.

Let the water stand, undisturbed as much as possible, in the pipes for 24 hours; keep toilet flushing to an absolute minimum. After 24 hours, again go to the farthest faucet from the well and let it run until the chlorine smell is not present. Be aware that continued running of a faucet may exceed the flow of water from your well and you may run yourself out of water. So you may want to run the faucet slowly or for short periods until the chlorine clears itself from the system. Usually the system will be clear in a day but it sometimes may take longer than that.

Two weeks after treatment, have the water tested for bacteria. If bacteria are still present, then repeat the above procedure completely. Retest again in two weeks and if you still have a problem call our office. Our experienced field staff will be able to help you further using a different technique.

Rural Water Associations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont are Stepping Up!

Click here to read article.

Vermont's First Stormwater Utility in the Works

The City of South Burlington is developing a stormwater utility to better handle this challenging issue. While hundreds of such entities have been created in recent years across the country, none have taken hold in Vermont yet. South Burlington wants to be the first.

The initial plan calls on homeowners to pay $4.50 per month with pro-rated fees charged to commercial enterprises and other properties. Fees will range depending on the amount of surface area that is impermeable to rain and snow run-off... so the more pavement and buildings, the higher the fee.

The city currently maintains about 4,000 stormwater drains via the Public Works Department. The budget to handle this work comes from many sources.

Under the new utility, five staff dedicated to stormwater will undertake about $300,000 of infrastructure upgrades in the first year. According to Juli Beth Hinds, South Burlington's Director of Planning and Zoning, "We expect to have a stormwater superintendent on board and an ordinance adopted by April 1st, with full utility operations starting July 1st. That will include enhanced maintenance, capital improvements, and technical assistance to property owners."

Other Vermont communities are watching South Burlington closely since stormwater management is at the heart of key development and transportation debates in the state. Stay tuned!

Save on Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep Vehicles

Save up to $5,500 on Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles through Rural Water's new fleet purchase program. You must be a member of MRWA, NHRWA or VRWA to participate. See NRWA or call 800-556-3792 for details about the program and Rural Water Membership.

Take Time to Smell the Coffee

submitted by Dick Kilhart

The original author of this is unknown, but the advice is excellent for handling the stress water and wastewater operators can experience in their jobs.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things: your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your passions - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first,"he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised his hand and asked what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

MA Update

Lynda Laine

Small water systems that are not town departments often have difficulty getting connected to emergency communications that may impact their water supplies. To help, the state has created the Massachusetts Alert Network, which includes bio-terrorism communications such as emergency response plans, educational services and other core public health functions.

A small system should contact the local emergency response committee; usually the point of contact would be the Fire Chief. The system owner/manager should establish or provide the emergency contact list for his/her system. Include fax, phone and contacts to alert you to a situation that may impact your ability to provide safe drinking water.

The municipality water departments are automatically in this loop. But as an independent water supplier, the local town members may not be aware of your system. Each city and town will have at least one person trained in the Alert Network protocols. The web site for questions on this system is:

The new water quality sampling schedule should have been received by your system by now. This is for the 2005-2007. Please review for accuracy and, if you have any questions, call your regional DEP office. If you believe a test is erroneously listed or missing from your schedule, the responsibility lies with you to request a review and address the issue.

U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Malden, original co-sponsor of the Lead-Free Drinking Water Act, has renewed his call to remove the lead from the nation's drinking water supply.

"Current law allows unsafe drinking water in up to 10 percent of a community's homes," said Markey. "That is intolerable...People should not have to accept even the slightest fear for the safety of their family when they drink, cook, or brush their teeth with their tap water."

NH Update

John Lukin

The Water Supply Engineering Bureau of NH DES has a new Administrator, Sarah Pillsbury. Sarah managed the Source Protection activities at DES for the past 15 years. Sarah is well known to NHRWA and is an excellent choice for the important leadership role at WSEB.

Methane Discovered

In December the NH State Geologist announced the discovery of dissolved methane gas in a deep water well in southern Hillsborough County. The New Hampshire Geological Survey has determined that the methane is of ancient, geological origin (termed thermo-genic), and does not come from leaking gas lines or from swamps, landfills or wetlands. Methane is not something you'd expect to find in the hard, crystalline rocks of New Hampshire.

The methane detected contained potentially explosive amounts of the dissolved gas. Methane in excess of five to fifteen percent in air is considered explosive, and water with high concentrations of dissolved methane can cause the gas to accumulate in poorly ventilated areas. State scientists discovered that the dissolved gases found in one well sample consisted of forty-nine percent methane.

Although comprehensive analyses have only been conducted on one well, anecdotal evidence from drillers and residents in the region suggests that the methane is present in other wells. The NH Geological Survey plans to conduct further research into the cause and occurrence of methane in well water in the region.

Water District Receives Source Protection Grant

The South Main Street Water District in Warren recently received a Drinking Water Source Protection Grant from the NH Department of Environmental Services. The grant will pay for the relocation of the District's salt pile and for construction of a new salt shed in an improved location. The current site is less than 200 feet from the District's shallow wells.

Source Protection Specialist Jennifer Palmiotto prepared the grant application as part of her work in Warren, where the community has formed a committee to address source water protection needs within the watershed.

For more information about Rural Water's community-wide source protection planning services, give us a call at 800-556-3792.

VT Update

Elizabeth Walker

The Vermont Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) low interest loan program is accepting applications for projects for the FY 2005 project priority list for funding during the period of October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006.

The deadline to submit your priority list application is end of business Friday, April 8, 2005. It is that time of year when consideration for water system projects and the costs should be addressed. Even if you are unsure about the status or scope of a project you have nothing to lose by signing up for the priority list. Assistance or questions should be directed to the contacts listed below.

This year's DWSRF Intended Use Plan (IUP) public meeting will be held at 1:00 PM on Thursday June 16, 2005 at the Pavilion Auditorium in Montpelier. This is your opportunity to have input on how the DWSRF program funds are used, how the loan program is administered and make comments to the priority list. Copies of the draft IUP will be available prior to the meeting for your consideration.

Applications for the DWSRF FY 2005 priority list can be found on line at or contact Water Supply Division at 800-823-6500.

Vermont Drinking Water Week - How You Can Participate

Vermont Drinking Water Week (DWW) is May 1-7, 2005. This year's theme is "Water, Protect Your Source, Protect Your Health." The Water Fair is scheduled for Friday, May 6th on the state house lawn.

The event will feature performances by the National Theatre for Children, lawn games, educational displays, water tasting contest, award presentations to poster winners, and more.

The DWW Committee is busy working on the programs and plans on having their website updated with current information on the 2005 activities. If you can spare the time and want to participate as a committee member, we meet the 2nd Wednesday of the month. If you do not have the time and wish to be a sponsor, we welcome financial support and recognition is given.

Another way you can help us with the DWW celebration is to contact your local school about participating in the poster contest and/or attending the Water Fair. Maybe you want to have the National Theatre for Children do a performance at your school during the week? We are very interested in any presentations you may do locally, such as open houses and school presentations. We are currently looking to tape a special program for Across the Fence; share any ideas you may have.

Legislative Update

For an update on pending legislation that affects the water/wastewater industry, visit our Federal Bills page and our Vermont Bills page.

Rural Water News

Register for Our Annual Trade Show!

Register for our 2005 Annual Rural Water Trade Show & Training Event! This year's show is on Tuesday, May 3 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT (about 20 miles north of the Lebanon/White River Junction area on the New Hampshire border).

Come ask questions, catch up on industry changes and new products, attend trainings, and network with other operators, managers and industry players from across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Our Annual Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, May 2, the day before the main event. Come early and join about 70 players for some beautiful scenery and good times!

Annual Meetings held in Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Vermont

In mid-January, the state Rural Water Associations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont held annual meetings in their respective states. Each state passed bylaw changes that included separating the elections so that each state elects its own Board of Directors. Member systems now vote only for their own state directors instead of voting for directors in all three states.

These three meetings replaced NeRWA's previous vote-by-mail system, so there will be no mail-in ballots for the board elections this year.

Paul Cook, Belchertown, was re-elected to MRWA's board; Ed Betz Peterborough, was re-elected to NHRWA's board; and Dick Desautels, Colchester, was re-elected to VRWA's board. The revised bylaws for each state association are available at,, and

Rural Water in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to all of our members who traveled to attend these meetings on short notice and helped make them such a success.

Welcome New Staff

We extend a big welcome to Melissa Green, our new Association Specialist. Melissa is a former Watershed Coordinator for the Middlebury River Watershed Partnership and has worked for the U.S. Forest Service in several states.

Melissa will be assisting with many ongoing projects and we are excited to add her skills and enthusiasm to the staff.

We are also happy to welcome Ed Mekus as a Water Systems Specialist in New Hampshire. Ed has more than 25 years of experience in water plant operation and was most recently the chief operator in Newmarket, NH. Ed will be filling in for Water Systems Specialist Scott Clang during Scott's extended leave.

Welcome Melissa and Ed!

Executive Director Recognized as Vermont "Father of the Year"

Our own Michael Wood-Lewis was recently honored for his role as a father by the Lund Family Center. Michael was chosen for the 2005 Everyday Dad Award. Past winners include former Governor Howard Dean and other leaders in Vermont's business, medical, and political arenas.

Michael, who with his wife Valerie has three children under the age of five, expressed surprise and delight by the honor and said that he plans to accept the award in recognition of all dedicated fathers in the state.

Congratulations Michael!

News Leaks Evolution

With this edition, "Northeast" has been dropped from the News Leaks newsletter name. The content remains the same, however: chock full of valuable technical articles, legislative updates, training schedules, news, advertising and more.

Executive Notes

Michael Wood-Lewis

Over the past couple of years, our members have witnessed the emergence and growth of new Rural Water organizations in our three-state territory. Along with the new entities came additional federal resources to put more circuit riders, trainers and source protection specialists in the field.

Now we move on to the next step... the phasing out of the Northeast Rural Water brand. In its place you'l find Massachusetts Rural Water Association (MRWA), New Hampshire Rural Water Association (NHRWA), and Vermont Rural Water Association (VRWA). This is a necessary step in our growth and evolution. Directors for all three states, representing hundreds of member water and wastewater systems, have labored long to bring this additional funding to New England, and all of our communities are the better for it.

So, if a circuit rider from Massachusetts Rural Water knocks on your door, please know that he or she is coming to you from the same dependable Rural Water that you've known for 23 years.

P.S. Hope to see everyone at our tri-state expo in Fairlee, Vermont on May 2-3, 2005.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank you and especially Mike Leach for his leak detection efforts in the Shattuckville section of Colrain in late November.

With Mike's help we were able to locate seven separate pinhole leaks on an 80 ft. section of 3/4" copper water pipe. The District was losing approximately 7000 gallons per day through this section of pipe.

Thanks again, Truly yours,
Guy Wheeler, Shelburne Falls Fire District WDS, Massachusetts


As we end 2004 and look forward to 2005, we would like to thank NeRWA for all the assistance your staff and organization have given the Town of Peterborough. Jay Matuszewski and Vinnie Melendez's, interaction with our young staff has been invaluable in finding how other utilities are reacting to and solving everyday problems. Just letting our operators know that other people have an interest in their everyday professional lives is very important.

While cleaning out catch basins, our crew detected a strong sewer odor coming from a catch basin along the Nubanusit River. Vinnie placed a TV camera into the storm drain and we were able to determine which house had been connected to the Town's sewer collection system and fix the problem.

Jay, using NeRWA's sophisticated leak detection equipment, located a large leak behind the Grove Street Bridge abutment in downtown Peterborough. The leaking water had never surfaced, but ran directly into the River. With the traffic and rushing water noises, we were unable to hear the leak with our equipment. The leak was repaired and we found that we were able to save 200 gallons per minute in pumping and about $18,000 per year in annual electric expenses.

I don't know what the future holds, with shrinking Federal and State budgets, ever increasing expectations of our customers, and new regulations, however, by all of us working together, we have had many successes.

Edwin O. Betz, PE, Public Works Director, Town of Peterborough, New Hampshire


There must be a very intense interviewing process at Rural Water. I have yet to meet an employee that was not helpful and very knowledgeable in both water and wastewater issues.

When I first got my line tracing equipment, I could only make it work sometimes. I met Brent Desranleau and his trunk was full of line tracing equipment. At the time, I had several lines that were giving me problems, so Brent and I hit the field. In no time, I was confident with my equipment and was taught additional techniques. Brent taught me how to tell a good signal from a false signal - thank you, Brent!

I met Erik Peterson during the very beginning of his employment with Rural Water. He came down to our wastewater treatment facility when I had a broken water line with this old, weird looking thing. To make a long story short, Erik did as well with that thing as I did with my 810 Metortec.

Vinnie Melendez is a very busy man and is booked at least two months in advance. I had three sink holes in town and called Vinnie for line videoing. Within a day, he had pin-pointed leaks and problem areas.

Bottom line - I can't say enough about Rural Water and staff. Your organization has definitely helped improve operations in the water and wastewater departments in our town.

Todd Blow, Superintendent of Public Works, Town of Proctor, Vermont

Quiz Corner

Vinnie Melendez

True or False

  1. TDH is the sum of static head, velocity head, and friction losses in both the suction and discharge lines.
  2. A centrifical pump works on the principle of changing velocity head to friction head.
  3. If the head of a centrifical pump remains the same and the speed is increased, the flow will increase.

Multiple Choice

  1. Which part of a centrifical pump is installed to increase efficiency and prevent internal liquid leakage?
    a. Wear rings
    b. Stuffing box bushings
    c. Mechanical seals
    d. Sleeves
  2. Which type of pump is a positive-displacement pump and should never be operated with a closed discharge or suction valve?
    a. Centrifical pump
    b. Reciprocating pump
    c. Turbine pump
    d. Axial flow pump
  3. A tank is 30 ft long x 20 ft wide x 10 ft deep. Calculate the pumping rate if the pump fills the tank in 4 hours.
    a. 255 gal/min
    b. 318 gal/min
    c. 127 gal/min
    d. 187 gal/min
  4. A primary sludge pump is pumping 7% solids at 150 gal/min. If the pump operates for 65 minutes in a 24-hour period, how many pounds of solids are pumped?
    a. 6,786 lb/day
    b. 4,774 lb/day
    c. 5,692 lb/day
    d. 3,792 lb/day

Fill in the Blank

  1. Name the three basic components of the atom. _____,_____,_____.
  2. The _____ and _____ are found in the nucleus.
  3. The movement of electrons from one atom to another is called _____ and is measured as _____.
  4. When current flows in one direction, it is called _____.
  5. When AC changes direction 60 times per second, the frequency is expressed in _____ units.
  6. R is the symbol for _____, which is expressed in _____.
  7. E is the symbol for _____, which is expressed in _____.
  8. I is the symbol for _____, which is expressed in _____.

References: Water Environment Federation Operators Forum
Electrical Fundamentals for Water & Wastewater


  1. True.
  2. False.
  3. True.
  4. a. Wear rings
  5. b. Reciprocating pump
  6. d. 187 gal/min, 30ft x 20ft x10ft= 6,000 cu/ft x 7.48 ft3/gal=44,880 gals divided by (4 hours x 60 min/hour) = 187 gal/min
  7. c. 5,692 lb/day, 150 gal/min x .07= 10.5 x 65 min/day = 682.5 gal/day x 8.34 lb/gal = 5,692mlb/day
  8. proton, neutron, electron
  9. proton, neutron
  10. current, amperage
  11. direct current
  12. hertz
  13. resistance, Ohms
  14. voltage, volts
  15. current, amps

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