Archive | March, 2020

Accommodating Essential Water Services

March 31, 2020

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State and federal regulators recognize that water resource recovery facility (WRRF) operators are among a select few critical personnel categories. During the coronavirus pandemic, regulators at multiple levels are exercising reasonable enforcement discretion and enabling more people to help keep WRRFs in operation. Image courtesy of U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

In recent days, state and federal regulatory groups have made several temporary policy changes that recognize the water sector’s critical role in protecting public health during the coronavirus pandemic. These changes relax certain restrictions, such as temporarily honoring expired operator certification credentials or forgiving missed consent decree deadlines, that could otherwise impede a water resource […]

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Experts Share Advice on Continuity of Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic

March 27, 2020

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Many water resource recovery facility operators are essential personnel who cannot work remotely. Utilities can keep employees safe and motivated by communicating frequently with their staff, minimizing infection risks, and being flexible with their scheduling, webcast speakers advised. Image courtesy of Preston Keres/U.S. Department of Agriculture

Even during the coronavirus pandemic, water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) cannot cease operations even for a moment. It remains critical, then, for WRRF managers to develop actionable plans to ensure continuity of operations despite potential staffing shortages and supply chain disruptions. For utility managers, effectively responding to coronavirus requires additional attention to employee safety and […]

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WEF Webcast Discusses Regulatory Concerns During Coronavirus Crisis

March 27, 2020

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The coronavirus pandemic is presenting unprecedented challenges for WRRFs, who may face critical staffing shortages, supply chain disruptions, and workflow restrictions. Recognizing these obstacles, regulators are attempting to strike a balance between crucial public health and environmental services and operator safety. Image courtesy of Pixabay

During the coronavirus pandemic, directives focused on avoiding social contact create unprecedented questions for the relationship between water and wastewater utilities and environmental regulators. For example, should regulators continue to enforce minor failures to meet permit obligations because of unavoidable staffing shortages at water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs)? Does the language in regulatory permits, agreements, […]

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Celebrating Women in the Water Workforce

March 17, 2020

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The recipients of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Water awards stand with the masters of ceremonies at the Women of Water Summit. Pictured are (left to right): Tifphani White-King, Jon Freedman, Eleanor Allen, Nadine Leslie, Karen Sands, Christine Boyle, Karen Pallansch, Sarah Stevenson, Diane VanDe Hei, Adrienne Esposito, Bernadette Sohler, and Debra Coy. Mariah Walters Orose/WEF

Women of Water Summit recognizes female water-sector changemakers Mazars USA (New York City, N.Y.), a financial consultancy active in the water sector, kicked off 2020 by hosting its inaugural Women of Water Summit in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 9. The daylong summit featured industry leaders speaking in nine segments that celebrated outstanding achievements of female […]

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Interactive Outreach Tool Illustrates How Wastewater Travels Through Pittsburgh

March 13, 2020

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A new map developed by a partnership between a utility, a nonprofit, and a private company enables Pittsburgh residents to track the route wastewater takes from individual buildings to the region’s largest water resource recovery facility. Click here to access the tool. Image courtesy of ALCOSAN/3 Rivers Wet Weather/CivicMapper

The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN; Pittsburgh, Pa.) has partnered with environmental nonprofit 3 Rivers Wet Weather (Pittsburgh) and geospatial technology company CivicMapper (Pittsburgh) to map the wastewater collection systems in their service area. An interactive map, called “Flush-It!,” enables citizens to follow wastewater flow from any Pittsburgh address — including their homes and businesses […]

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YH2O Youth Mentorship Program Provides Fresh Talent to Baltimore’s Water Workforce

March 6, 2020

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The YH2O Youth Mentorship Program recently won the 2019 City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge hosted by Amazon Web Services (Seattle, Wash.). Winning the challenge, which recognizes new ideas that capitalize on cloud computing to improve lives, will enable the program to add new training courses teaching information technology applications for the water sector. Image courtesy of Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development

Since launching in 2015, an innovative apprenticeship program developed by the Chesapeake Water Environment Association (CWEA) and the Baltimore Department of Public Works (DPW) has equipped nearly 100 young adults with the skills they need to become successful water professionals. Baltimore’s YH2O Youth Mentorship Program is an intensive, 6-month course for high-school educated Baltimore residents […]

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