Friday, October 11, 2013

ADH furloughs professional staff due to shutdown

Robert Hart, Chief Technical Officer, Central Arkansas Water, reports:

I received a call from Jeff Stone last evening advising that he and ten others in the Engineering Section were furloughed effective today due to the state of Arkansas’ unwillingness to cover EPA’s delay in processing the federal Public Water System Supervision Grant for FY2014 for the Engineering Section.  From my time with the ADH, this federal grant was seldom received on time, that is on or before the beginning of the federal fiscal year on October 1, and the ADH and AR Dept of Finance & Administration were always willing to cover the period until the federal grant money was received.  That period was usually months long.   Jeff stated that EPA in Dallas has assured him that there is no question that the federal grant for 2014 will eventually be received. 

I asked Jeff if his and the other positions could not be temporarily funded by the PWSS Fees, which is state money, and he replied that he was told by ADH finance officials that that was not possible based on directives from Governor Beebe.   Jeff did not give a list of the Engineering Section staff affected, but did say it includes Lyle Godfrey, Chief of Technical Support in the Engineering Section.   Lance Jones, Chief Engineer & Chief of Field Surveillance is currently directing the Engineering Section.  

Jeff said that services by the Engineering Section immediately affecting public water systems, such as the collection of chemical samples and the analysis of both chemical and bacteriological samples in the ADH Lab, were not affected but that he could make no predictions for the longer term.  In my opinion, other services, such as plan review, will likely be immediately slowed. 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Government shutdown impacts Corps and ADEQ

Here's a blog post outlining some of the impacts and potential impacts of the federal government shutdown on Corps of Engineers operations in Arkansas, as well as the Arkansas Department of Envionmenta Quality.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

LA Water Supply Possible Amoeba Source

St. Bernard Parish water supply is a suspect as the source of an amoebic infection - species Naegleria fowleri.  This is the first known time the amoeba has been identified in tap water.

See this NBC News  article for more information.

Monday, July 22, 2013

AWWA on C-SPAN - Water Infrastructure Issues

AWWA Deputy Executive Director of Government Affairs Tom Curtis appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” this morning (7/22/13) for approximately 40 minutes to discuss the state of U.S. water infrastructure. The in-depth interview presents an opportunity for utilities to reach out to media and decision makers to discuss local water infrastructure investment needs.

The interview was prompted by last week’s events in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission narrowly averted a major water service shutdown to repair a large water main. 

In addition to speaking with media and others about infrastructure needs, water utility managers are again encouraged to contact their U.S. representatives in Congress and urge them to support the inclusion of a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority in the Water Resources Development Act. AWWA has prepared talking points and a WIFIA summary to assist in communicating with your elected leaders.

If you have any questions, contact Greg Kail, AWWA director of communications, at 303-734-3410.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Message to Oklahoma tornado victims

A message from the Southwest Section Chair:  

The officers and members of the Southwest Section of AWWA would like to express our condolences to victims of the tornadoes this week.  We want to let you know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers now and during the recovery and restoration of the devastated areas.  Please let us know there is anything that we can do or if your water system is in need of help to return to service, if service was interrupted.  We are prepared to assist in any way possible to help ensure that our citizens most basic need of water for health and safety is maintained during this disaster.

For more information, contact Harold Seifert, Executive Director

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April Update


  • Invitation to Exhibit   Registration for booths for the 2013 Southwest Section Annual Conference is now open. Already, 15 16 booths have been assigned.  We still have 47 46 remaining, with overflow room for more booths, if needed.
  • Welcome to Exhibitors to Thornton, Musso and Bellemin, IncRP PowerPreload, Inc; and Kemira, who last week joined our 2013 Annual Conference & Exposition as Exhibitors.  The Conference will be held at the Little Rock Marriott (now known as the Peabody Little Rock - the name change will be made in a few months.) from October 13 - 15, 2013.
  •  Invitation to Sponsor  We also have Event Sponsorships available, for those who can’t exhibit.  
  • Technical Demonstrations  And, finally, we still have 5 slots open for Technical Demonstrations in the Exhibit Hall.   
  • Job Posting  Central Arkansas Water is currently posting their Customer Services Manager position.  The posting closes on 4/12/13.
  • Spring Southwest Water Works Journal  You should have received your copy of the Spring Journal.  This is our annual Buyers Guide Issue.  In you haven't seen it yet you can view it by clicking on the link.  Please note the updated and improved listing of our Journal advertisers, who allow us to bring you the Journal at no cost to you or the Section.  We encourage you to consider these companies as you search for products and services.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Evnironmental Working Group calls for lower THM levels

The Environmental Working Group released a report today on a study of 2011 Trihalomethane levels in drinking water from 203 water systems in the US, serving over 100 million people.  The report calls for EPA to re-evaluate the current THM limit of 80 ppm, based on multiple studies that apparently show a correlation between lower levels of THMs and a variety of health effects.  To read the EWG web article, click here.  To download the report from the EWG web site, click here.