It can be hard to go it alone, especially when times get tough. Many utilities are seeking support, as they deal with failing infrastructure, escalating contamination threats, extreme weather, and a retiring, difficult-to-replace workforce. These challenges could be overcome with a full set of resources — money, people, equipment, expertise — but many utilities, especially small-community systems, are not so complete.
No utility wants to issue a Boil Water Notice, but if it does happen, it’s important to get it right. Even if your utility has had a long, unblemished record of delivering high-quality water, a mishandled contamination event will leave a bad taste in your customers’ mouths (so to speak).
Texas is sizable enough to be a large country on its own, with an economy to match, and is also proudly unique. But when it comes to water issues, the Lone Star State shares a lot in common with the rest of America: overwhelmed and vulnerable infrastructure, threats to water quality and security, and competition for resources.
I have a confession to make. Although I’m an empathetic person in general, I have found it hard to worry very much about the state of the world once I’m no longer part of it.
If I were asked to describe the makeup of the Water Online and Water Innovations audience, I could say it’s a mix of engineers and operators focusing on clean and/or wastewater processes within municipal or industrial settings. But that wouldn’t tell the whole story, because you are much more than that — you are caretakers of our planet’s most valuable resource.
Observations from a conversation with Water Environment Federation (WEF) President Jenny Hartfelder
The National Municipal Stormwater Alliance recently released the 2018 State of Stormwater Report on municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits under the NPDES permitting program — the first-ever in a series that will publish annually. The Alliance also explained the somewhat distressing reason why the report is necessary: Stormwater is being largely ignored.
Recently, I had the opportunity to tour a unique and innovative facility, the Bureau of Lab Services (BLS), the “water quality heartbeat of the Philadelphia Water Department” (PWD), as described by BLS director Gary Burlingame.
The 7th Annual Smart Water Systems Conference, presented by SMi Group, brought smart water experts from around the world to London for two days in April. As an event partner, Water Online had interview access to event speakers — including those from some of Europe’s largest water providers — who were surveyed on trends and challenges in smart water. Read on to hear the thoughts of four smart water experts on four key questions.
AWWA’s 2018-19 president, David Rager, talks about personal priorities for his tenure and the long-range challenges the industry and his organization must strive to overcome.
A Q&A with Gary Wong, chairman of the SWAN North American Alliance
There is a lot of talk in the water sector about the "value of water". We want the public to understand it — and pay for water's full cost, including collection, treatment, and delivery — but how many utilities really know the value of their own product? Would you ever think about branding it? Louisville Water Company did.
How does one observe World Water Day? The occasion certainly sounds important, but ask your typical treatment plant operator if he or she knows the World Water Day date (March 22nd), or even that it exists, and a shrug of the shoulders might be a common response. Perhaps the busy job of providing us the precious resource prohibits them from celebration — so let's celebrate them instead.
There are many positive changes on the horizon for the water and wastewater industry — new ideas and technologies that should enable more efficient and reliable operations, better water quality, and cost savings — but the forecast for the future is not all sunshine. There are some storm clouds brewing, literally, and water system managers need to prepare for the impact of severe rains.