NESC Media Room
News Releases - 2010
A Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) is a network of utilities helping other utilities to respond to and recover from emergencies. The purpose of a WARN is to provide a method whereby water/wastewater utilities that have sustained or anticipate damages from natural or human-caused incidents can provide and receive emergency aid and assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials, and other associated services as necessary from other water/wastewater utilities.
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) WARN resource website can be used to view information on preparing for emergencies, it is not designed for responding to or assisting in the event of an emergency. The information contained on the website does not provide a guarantee of response or offer the ability to lessen the impact of a disaster to your utility.
AWWA endeavor to maintain the accuracy of the material and information on the WARN website, but cannot guarantee that the information is complete, accurate, effective, or current. View it at http://apps.awwa.org/ebusmain/WARN.aspx.
Posted June 20, 2010
It sounds like a late-night infomercial pitch: a plant that grows at a monstrous pace in polluted water, soaks up CO2, and cleans up manure runoff.
United States Department of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) microbiologist Walter Mulbry has been finding out there's more to algae than just stringy masses that muck up streams and ponds.
Though some scientists believe algae might be the next best thing in biofuel production, Mulbry thinks it can be used right now to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus in livestock manure—and then dried and sold as a slow-release fertilizer.
Livestock manure is used as a cheap and abundant field-crop fertilizer because it contains large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus, which are both essential plant nutrients. But some of the nitrogen and phosphorus that isn‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√ë‚àö¬•t used by the crops can be washed into nearby streams and rivers and end up in the Chesapeake Bay.
"Other researchers have looked at using algae-based systems to clean up municipal wastewater and other types of polluted water," says Mulbry, who is with the ARS Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.
Read the full article about this research in the May/June 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online at: www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/may10/algae0510.htm.
Posted June 20, 2010
The 12th State Onsite Regulators Alliance and Captains of Industry (SORA/COI©) wrapped up on June 9, 2010. Sixty-four regulators from 28 states traveled to Albuquerque, as well as representatives from two Canadian provinces and two Indian Tribes. Joining these regulators were 42 Captains of Industry from 25 companies and 12 staff members from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as host organizations the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).
Thank you to all who attended for making the conference a tremendous success. A sincere thanks to all of the 2010 sponsors who made it possible: NSF International, Infiltrator Systems Inc., Presby Environmental Inc., Percolation Technologies, Jet Inc., Salcor Ultraviolet Disinfection, Orenco Systems, and Bord na Móna Environmental Products U.S. Inc.
Additional support was provided by the National Research Center for Coal & Energy at West Virginia University. Check the SORA website later this summer for conference highlights and proceedings.
Save the Date! For next year's conference, SORA/COI© will once again partner with NESC and NEHA. Slated for June 15 through 18, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio, this conference will also feature the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association in what's being dubbed a "super conference." Mark the dates in your calendar because this is one event you won't want to miss!
Posted June 16, 2010
A research seminar on West Virginia University (WVU) Resilience Research Initiatives and participation opportunities is being held on June 16.
The seminar will address mission areas in the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; their research approach; and R&D participation opportunities. The initiatives are:
- * The Energy Systems Resilience Program
- * The Resilient Communities Research Consortium
- * The Resilient Communities Initiative
The Resilient Communities Initiative (RCI) is an element of the Energy and Community Resilience Programs and Initiatives at West Virginia University within the broader resiliency programs of the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) is helping to develop RCI, aiding in the areas of drinking water and wastewater. For more information about RCI please visit www.nesc.wvu.edu/rci/.
For more information about WVU's Resilience Research Initiatives go to researchoffice.wvu.edu/special_notices/2010/5/25/energy-and-community-resilience-programs.
Posted June 15, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released to the public a guidance document, "Implementation Guidance on CAFO Regulations—CAFOs That Discharge or Are Proposing to Discharge," that the Agency has developed to assist in implementing the 2008 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) rule.
In 2008, EPA promulgated revised regulations for CAFOs to require that CAFOs that discharge or propose to discharge must seek coverage under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The rule also clarifies that a CAFO proposes to discharge if it is designed, constructed, operated, or maintained such that a discharge will occur.
Developing guidance that provides additional explanation for how to implement regulations is a routine part of how EPA fulfills its responsibilities to carry out Clean Water Act programs. This guidance will assist EPA and States with program implementation and assist CAFOs in evaluating whether they discharge or propose to discharge.
The guidance document is available at www.epa.gov/npdes/caforule.
EPA has also approved 12 new, alternative (and optional) testing methods for use in measuring the levels of contaminants in drinking water and determining compliance with national primary drinking water regulations. The Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes EPA to streamline approval of the use of alternative testing methods through publication in the Federal Register. This expedited approach provides public water systems, laboratories, and primacy agencies with more timely access to new measurement techniques and greater flexibility in the selection of analytical methods, thereby reducing monitoring costs while maintaining public health protection.
These 12 alternative methods test for Dalapon; Radium-226; Uranium; Radioactive Cesium, Iodine and Gamma emitters; Tritium; and E. coli in drinking water. The web site also describes the Expedited Method Approval Process for drinking water and provides a complete listing of the alternative testing methods approved under the program.
You can view or download the complete text of the Federal Register final action and fact sheet at:
Posted June 15, 2010
The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), the professional Association serving state drinking water programs, are now accepting abstracts for their 2010 Annual Conference. The confernece will be held October 19-21, 2010 at the Pittsburgh Hilton in Pennsylvania.
This year's presentation themes may include, but are not limited to the following:
- . SDWA implementation approaches and strategies
- . Drinking water security strategies, tools, or techniques for states and utilities
- . Small systems: TMF, sustainability strategies, technologies, and compliance
- . Workforce, operator certification, and/or technical assistance initiatives
- . Source water protection and sustainability of water supplies
- . Climate change, water and energy efficiency, and conservation
- . Clean Water Act/SDWA connections
- . Data management
- . Distribution system issues
- . Emerging contaminants in drinking water
- . Drinking water research, training, and innovative technologies
- . Risk communication and consumer outreach
When reviewing proposals, ASDWA will give priority to those received from state drinking water program administrators and their staff. If you would like to make a presentation submit a one-page abstract with the proposed presentation title, the name, and contact information for the speaker to Deirdre Mason, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or download the pdf flyer for more information. The due date is June 25, 2010.
Posted June 2, 2010
A new video, "Water You Waiting For," is now available for viewing on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) website. Produced by EPA as part of the Agency's efforts to promote water sector careers as green jobs, the video is designed for high school and vocational students.
It shows vocational students with internships at drinking water systems located in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and highlights the many different types of jobs available at water utilities.
Published reports indicate that approximately 30 percent of the water sector workforce is eligible to retire in the next 10 years. EPA, American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Water Environment Federation (WEF) are partnering in various efforts to highlight the need for qualified professionals to enter this important field.The video can be accessed at www.epa.gov/safewater/operatorcertification/wateryouwaitingfor/index.html and is expected to be available for viewing on AWWA and WEF websites early this summer.
Posted May 25, 2010
Information about infrastructure protection strategies is vital to the security of drinking water and wastewater utilities. To help drinking water and wastewater systems improve their security, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and WaterISAC are offering free access to WaterISAC's Pro service for one year.
This opportunity is available to staff of drinking water and wastewater utilities of all sizes, water association employees, state environment and homeland security agencies, and circuit riders.
"The offer of free access is one that every utility should take advantage of," said Patty Cleveland, Trinity River Authority of Texas's Northern Region Operations Manager. "The information is integral to risk management and planning."
WaterISAC was established in 2002 as a nonprofit water-sector organization in support of infrastructure protection. WaterISAC Pro's secure online library contains more than 2,000 white papers, best practices, three different contaminant databases, vulnerability assessment tools, research reports, and more. WaterISAC Pro also hosts free webinars on current topics such as lessons learned from natural disasters, emergency response planning and insider threats.
"The resources on WaterISAC Pro help utilities prepare for all hazards and develop response and recovery plans," said Robert Walters, Assistant Manager at Davidson Water in North Carolina.
To sign up for 12 months of free access to WaterISAC Pro, go to www.waterisac.org.
Posted May 18, 2010
Wastewater Database Call for Information:
10 Minutes for More Effective Wastewater Treatment
The Canaan Valley Institute (CVI), a nonprofit organization serving the Mid-Atlantic Highlands, is gathering information about operation and maintenance costs for non-traditional (sometimes called alternative or decentralized) wastewater treatment systems servicing small communities with less than 5,000 residents.
It their goal to provide accurate information to managers, decision makers, and residents about the performance and costs of operation for wastewater treatment options in small communities. With the information CVI is gathering, they will develop a database that will be a tool for communities considering alternative wastewater treatment systems to meet their infrastructure needs as well as a resource for those who have wastewater systems currently in place.
When the database is complete, CVI will post results on their website (www.canaanvi.org) as well as provide executive summaries. Their goal is to create a database which will be searchable and also allow those maintaining the systems to enter information directly into the database.
Enter your project data into the database by accessing the online form at
If you would prefer to speak with CVI over the phone or if you have any other questions about this project, e-mail Tracy Coon at email@example.com or call (304) 345-4550. Please forward this link to others who might provide valuable information.
Posted May 12, 2010
This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Water will launch an updated and reorganized website. The new site will be organized by topic and will feature a consistent navigation menu. If you regularly use certain content, it may be in a different place after the launch. Please take a moment to bookmark any frequently used pages, and use these bookmarks to locate your pages after this week. After the launch, take note of the new page addresses and update your bookmarks.
EPA is excited about this new look. They hope that you enjoy your experience with the new website which can be accessed at www.epa.gov/ow.
Posted May 12, 2010
Web Tools Inform Public About Clean Water Enforcement
Interactive Web tool allows the public to check water violations in their communities.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new set of web tools, data, and interactive maps to inform the public about serious Clean Water Act violations in their communities. Improving water quality is one of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√ë‚àö¬•s priorities and in 2009, Administrator Jackson directed the agency to develop concrete steps to improve water quality to better enforce the Clean Water Act and to use 21st Century technology to transform the collection, use and availability of EPA data. The web tools announced are part of EPA's Clean Water Act Action Plan to work with states in ensuring that facilities comply with standards that keep our water clean.
The new web page provides interactive information from EPA's 2008 Annual Noncompliance Report, which pertains to about 40,000 permitted Clean Water Act dischargers across the country. The report lists state-by-state summary data of violations and enforcement responses taken by the states for smaller facilities. The new web page also makes it easy to compare states by compliance rates and enforcement actions taken and provides access to updated State Review Framework reports.
- * Interactive Map for Clean Water Act Annual Noncompliance Report: www.epa-echo.gov/echo/ancr/us/
- * State Review Framework: www.epa.gov/compliance/state/srf/index.html
- * Enforcement and Compliance History Online: www.epa-echo.gov/echo
Posted May 4, 2010
Of all the Earth's water, most of it is ocean or seas. (97%). About two percent of the world's water is frozen and therefore unusable. (2%) That leaves a little less than one percent of the Earth's water suitable for drinking water. (1%).
Please, take some time this month to think about how precious our water supply is and find out what you can do to help protect it!
You can join in the celebration by helping a child build an 'aquifer in a cup.' Visit EPA's "Kids Stuff" page for step-by-step instructions; complete with narration and visual support. Access the Kid's Stuff, For Teachers: Grades 4-8 page online at: www.epa.gov/ogwdw/kids/teachers_4-8.html.
Also visit www.epa.gov/safewater/kids/flash/flash_watercycle.html to use EPA's Thirstin's Water Cycle, an animated activity where you control the water cycle.
The National Environmental Services Center's offers an Educators: Environmental Education page at: www.nesc.wvu.edu/educators.cfm for more drinking water links, free lesson plans, and fun activities for children.
Posted May 4, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Watershed Academy is pleased to sponsor its 49th free Webcast Seminar.
"Tools for Protecting Coastal Wetlands"
by Dr. Bill O. Wilen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Danielle Bamford, The Baldwin Group on contract to NOAA's Coastal Service Center, and
Marcia Berman, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Join EPA for a special American Wetlands Month Webcast highlighting three valuable tools available for improving decision-making related to coastal wetland protection and restoration.
A recent report shows that despite a national trend of net gain of wetlands in the conterminous United States, the coastal watersheds of the Atlantic Ocean, Great Lakes, and Gulf of Mexico lost 354,000 acres, or about 59,000 acres per year during the period from 1998-2004. This Webcast will provide information on several tools that can help address impacts on coastal wetland ecosystems from immediate impacts (development) to long-term (sea level rise) in order to help improve decision-making and provide readily accessible information to practitioners.
Webcast participants are eligible to receive a certificate for their attendance. Webcast presentations are posted in advance and participants are encouraged to download them.
To register, go to the Watershed Academy Webcast Seminars page at www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts/.
Download the Webcast Flyer for May 4, 2010. [ PDF file . 122K ]
This 2-hour audio Web broadcast will be held at the following times on Tuesday, May 4, 2010:
Eastern: 1:00 p.m.—3:00 p.m. | Central: 12:00 p.m.—2:00 p.m. | Mountain: 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m. | Pacific: 10:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
Posted April 28, 2010
"We are especially pleased with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Earth Day theme of improving water quality," says Gerald Iwan, Ph.D., NESC's director. "Having dedicated our work to helping small and rural communities with drinking water and wastewater issues and having just completed the source water protection project "SMART about Water," this is good news.
Our projects related to water efficiency, capacity development, resilient communities, and the annual State Onsite Regulators Alliance/Captains of Industry conference in June all in line with the theme and activities spelled out in the Earth Day statement by USDA Secretary Vilsack. Clean, safe drinking water for all is a worthy goal on Earth Day and every day."
In honor of Earth Day, NESC has updated our "Educators" page with links to websites that offer interactive games, ideas for classroom activities, and many other projects for teachers, parents, and kids.
Visit the NESC Educators page at: www.nesc.wvu.edu/educators.cfm
Adding environmental education to regular curricular activities helps children understand why their actions contribute to the condition of the world. To create a better tomorrow, teach the children how to preserve the environment today.
Posted April 22, 2010
This year's NESC State Onsite Regulators Alliance and Captains of Industry SORA/COI© Conference "Moving Forward . . ." on Wednesday, June 9, 2010—in conjunction with the National Environmental Health Association's (NEHA) 74th Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition offers attendees the benefit of two educational events at one venue. Participants will have access to four days of technical presentations, forums, networking, exhibitions and field trip opportunities.
This annual event brings together regulators and industry representatives to network and exchange information focusing attention on current wastewater issues and sustainable wastewater solutions. The conference offers a forum that focuses attention on current wastewater issues and increased opportunities for Captains (manufacturers) to present their products to those capable of permitting its use.
Reach state-level regulators from across the country, increase your exposure, and gain recognition for your company by sponsoring the SORA/COI© Conference. Find out how to be a sponsor online or call 1-(304) 293-4191 or toll free at (304) 293-4191.
Posted April 15, 2010
The National Environmental Services Center announces two additional Tech Briefs are now available in Spanish: Iron and Manganese Removal and Disinfection.
"Tech Briefs" are four-page fact sheets included in our On Tap magazine. Each fact sheet provides concise, technical information about a drinking water treatment technology or issue relevant to small systems."Tech Briefs" are written for drinking water professionals, particularly small system operators.
Tables and descriptive illustrations are provided, as well as sources for more information. They are available for download at our website (www.nesc.wvu.edu/techbrief.cfm) or hard copies can be ordered by calling us toll free at (304) 293-4191..
Topics now available in Spanish include: Disinfection, Filtration, Corrosion, Iron and Manganese Removal, Water Conservation Measures, Slow Sand Filtration, Leak Detection and Water Loss Control, Reservoirs, Towers and Tanks, and Water Hammer.
A Tech Brief Fact Sheets Package is available on CD. The CD holds all the Tech Briefs. Cost is $10.00 plus shipping. Request Product # DWPKOM36. To order individual fact sheets please call for availability and pricing. Shipping charges apply.
Posted April 8, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Wastewater Management has recently expanded its Handbook for Managing Onsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater Treatment Systems with the addition of an E-Handbook.
The E-Handbook features resource guides containing detailed information on the 13 management program elements featured in the existing management handbook: public education, planning, performance, site evaluation, design, construction/installation, operation/maintenance, inspections/monitoring, residuals management, training/certification, financial assistance, inventory/recordkeeping, and compliance assurance.
The E-Handbook focuses on individual and clustered wastewater systems that discharge to the soil, but the information can also be applied to small systems that discharge to surface waters through federal or state National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit programs. It is intended for health departments, wastewater system management entities, local governments, and others involved in managing multiple individual or clustered treatment systems. Each resource guide contains detailed information on each program element topic and links to other resources, case studies, and examples of successful management programs.
The resource guides in the E-Handbook can be accessed via hot-links in the current Management Handbook posted on EPA's Septic (Onsite) Systems web page.
Posted April 6, 2010
This fall, the Association of Watershed and Stormwater Professionals (AWSPS) will publish the first Watershed Science Bulletin, a peer-reviewed journal featuring practical, science-based solutions to important watershed and stormwater management issues. Watershed Science Bulletin will be the first publication to directly serve the watershed management community by synthesizing research and experience from the engineering, hydrology, planning, biological science, geoscience, environmental policy and other relevant disciplines and transmitting this valuable information to practitioners such as regulators, scientists, and educators who need it to protect and restore their watersheds.
AWSPS is currently soliciting short (five published pages or less) articles for the first issue of the Watershed Science Bulletin. This issue will feature new and unique approaches, applications, tools and methods for development and implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to restore water quality. It is scheduled for release in October 2010.
Learn more about AWSPS and theWatershed Science Bulletin by visiting the Center for Watershed Protection's website at www.cwp.org/AWSPS/index.html.
Posted March 18, 2010
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) cautions the public and all responders about the potential hazards associated with flood waters.
Every effort should be made to limit contact with flood water due to potentially elevated levels of contamination associated with raw sewage and other hazardous substances. General precautions to reduce contact with contaminated flood include routine washing with soap, and not eating or drinking while in contact with flood water.
EPA has compiled other useful information on the web to assist individuals and municipalities address post-flooding clean up concerns. Issues include mold, septic systems, municipal water treatment plants, drinking water and food.
Go to EPA's News Releases - Water for the complete press relese and additonal web site information.
Access additional flood and disaster information at www.nesc.wvu.edu/subpages/emergency.cfm on the NESC web site. Many free products are featured online.
Posted March 17, 2010
More than 100 million people in the United States receive their drinking water from public groundwater systems, which can be vulnerable to naturally occurring contaminants such as radon, uranium, arsenic, and man-made compounds, including fertilizers, septic-tank leachate, solvents and gasoline hydrocarbons.
New groundwater studies performed by the United States Geological Service (USGS) explain how, when, and what contaminants could reach public-supply water wells.
Factors that affect potential contamination include the chemistry of the aquifer, groundwater age, and direct paths within aquifer systems. The USGS has studied the movement of contaminants in groundwater in four aquifers in California, Connecticut, Nebraska, and Florida. This information will assist public-supply well managers in protecting drinking water sources.
Go to www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2403 for the complete article and additonal case study information.
Posted March 17, 2010
The rain and snow that flows away from your home and property has great potential for adversely affecting your community's source water. According to the most recent National Water Quality Inventory, runoff from urbanized areas is the leading source of degradation to all water. As one of the earth's caretakers, there are steps you can take to help reduce these effects.
This latest issue of Pipeline discusses how building rain gardens and using rain barrels can help slow the flow. Recommendations for keeping stormwater runoff from picking up contaminants from your property are included. Access this issue at www.nesc.wvu.edu/pipeline.cfm.
All of our past issues of On Tap, Small Flows, Tech Briefs and Pipeline are available on line in our archive section at www.nesc.wvu.edu/publications.cfm.
Posted March 2, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is promoting its second annual WaterSense "Fix a Leak Week," March 15 to 21, 2010, as a time to remind Americans to roll up their sleeves and save water.
Minor leaks from household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes—enough to supply Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami with their water needs for a year. EPA created this week-long annual event to give its WaterSense utility, community, manufacturer, retail, and professional partners a call to action to encourage saving water.
For example, the City of Dallas and dozens of local plumbers will launch Fix a Leak Week by taking to the streets to repair leaks in low-income residences and replace fixtures with WaterSense labeled models. The Great Dallas Fix a Leak Week Roundup—a seven-day blitz to completely wipe out the waiting list for the city's leak repair program—is just one of many events WaterSense partners will be hosting in their communities across the country.
WaterSense is encouraging homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, and plumbing professionals to help find and fix leaks by promoting the following tips:
- * Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense labeled model.
- * Replace worn rubber flappers, which can cause silent leaks in toilets.
- * For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
- * Check landscape irrigation systems each spring before use to make sure they are not damaged by frost or freezing.
- * Remember to look for the WaterSense label if you have to replace a bathroom fixture.
WaterSense© is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Its mission is to protect the future of our nation's water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services.
Posted February 18, 2010
The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) has launched a new interactive tool to help organizations reach out to local officials and land use decision makers. The Your Water Your Decision tool at www.yourwateryourdecision.org helps users create a professional-looking guide that highlights their community or state's specific source water protection needs by customizing subject matter, content, cover photos, contacts and resources.
In addition, organizations can brand their guide by adding their own logo and contact information—making the guide unique for every organization. Use the guide to start a conversation with local officials about what can be done in your community by presenting best practices; people and resources that can help them protect their sources of drinking water.
Visit the tool online at www.yourwateryourdecision.org to see how you can create your own customized guide that downloads to your desktop in under 15 minutes.
The SWC is comprised of federal, state, and local partners who united to protect America's drinking water at the source—in the lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers they tap for drinking purposes. The SWC combines the strengths and tools of a diverse set of member organizations to act now and protect drinking water sources for generations to come.
Posted February 16, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) at West Virginia University (WVU), in partnership with the school's College of Business and Economics (B&E), has received a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop a social marketing campaign to raise awareness about water-efficient products—including low-flow faucets, toilets and showerheads.
Many people may not take water efficiency into account when renovating or building a home. The objective of this grant is to understand the barriers that consumers face when purchasing water-efficient devices and then create compelling messages that will influence market demand. Saving water today ensures water for future generations.
In the grant's first phase, B&E's Paula Fitzgerald Bone, Ph.D., a marketing professor at the college, will research the current use of water-efficient products—investigating manufacturers and surveying consumer opinion.
"Conserving water is a hard sell; it is cheap and easily available. This partnership between the WVU's College of B&E and NESC provides an excellent opportunity to apply current thinking in psychology and social marketing to an increasingly important environmental issue," says Bone.
NESC will use Bone's research to develop messages for a social marketing campaign intended to change the purchasing behavior of a targeted audience. The organization also will publicize and support water-efficient programs and practices through a program titled Future Water using a Web site, listservs and magazines and newsletters.
"Water is an under-valued resource," says Gerald Iwan, NESC director. "Increasing knowledge about water-efficient products, as well as water-efficient programs and practices, helps to elevate the public's appreciation of our nation's water supplies. We believe that combining our expertise with that of WVU's College of B&E will yield important results for the effort to conserve water."
NESC has more than 30 years' experience as an information clearinghouse for drinking water and wastewater issues. WVU's B&E College is a fully accredited business school and is ranked among the top quartile of business school's in the U.S., according to a 2006 U.S. News & World Report.
For more information about the project, visit www.nesc.wvu.edu/futurewater/ or call Kathy Jesperson at (304) 293-4191., ext. 5533.
Posted February 4, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill.—Students from Bradley Bourbonnais High School have won first place in the Midwest Technology Assistance Center (MTAC) "Value of Water" high school video contest. Their video about a quest for water that's more precious than gold was completed as a project for Jim Schreiner's Biology Class. The winning video will receive a $1000 first-place prize.
The second- and third-place videos came from Resurrection High School in Chicago, and were part of Jessica Wojcik's Earth Science class that submitted 7 videos for the contest. Fourth place went to the video submitted by Brian Tylkowski's Chemistry of Nutrition class at Central High School in Champaign.
The first-place team was awarded $1000, $500 for their school/organization, and an additional $500 for the teacher or sponsor of the project. The second, third, and fourth-place videos will receive $500, $300, and $200, respectively, also split equally between the school/organization and teacher.
The goal of the contest was to develop public service videos that demonstrate, in a funny, positive, and creative way, the value of community tap water to our everyday lives. Students were asked to consider what would happen if we no longer had tap water readily available at our homes, schools, and in our communities. The contest was open to any high school student or student group in Illinois. The judging was based on three factors: 40 percent on the delivery of the message about the value of tap water, 35 percent on creativity and originality, and 25 percent on the quality of the production. The complete rules are available at: mtac.isws.illinois.edu/cyber/videocontest.asp
Illinois American Water ($1000), the Illinois Section of the American Water Works Association ($500), and the Illinois EPA's four regional Groundwater Protection Committees ($500) provided the funding for the prizes. Several organizations, in addition to those mentioned above, were involved on the contest committee. They included the Tazewell County Health Department, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, the Illinois Science Teachers Association, and the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois' Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability.
The videos are all available for viewing on YouTube.com at the following web address:
The contest committee will be sending several of the videos to television stations around the state for airplay as public service messages. The Midwest Technology Assistance Center (MTAC) is a program of the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and the Illinois Water Resources Center at the University of Illinois (U of I). The ISWS is a Division of the U of I Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability. MTAC is one of eight research and assistance centers (TACNet) funded by the US EPA to provide technical, managerial, and financial assistance to small public water systems across the country.
For more information contact Steve Wilson: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, phone (217) 333-0956.
Posted February 2, 2010
EPA's Budget Proposal Seeks Efficiencies, Increased Environmental Protection
Budget proposal aligned with Administrator Jackson's key priorities
The Obama Administration today proposed a budget of $10 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This budget heeds the president's call to streamline and find efficiencies in the agency's operations while supporting the seven priority areas EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson outlined to guide EPA's work.
Cleaning up communities: This budget includes $1.3 billion to address Superfund sites that may be releasing harmful or toxic substances into the surrounding community. Cleaning up these sites improves communities' health and allows for these properties to be used for economic development.
In addition, $215 million is provided to clean up abandoned or underused industrial and commercial sites that are available for alternative uses but where redevelopment may be complicated by the presence of environmental contaminants. Revitalizing these once productive properties, known as brownfields, helps communities by removing blight, satisfying the growing demand for land, and enabling economic development. EPA will focus its efforts on area-wide planning and cleanups, especially in under-served and economically disadvantaged communities.
This budget also offers $27 million for EPA's new Healthy Communities Initiative. This initiative will address community water priorities; promote clean, green, and healthy schools; improve air toxics monitoring in at-risk communities; and encourage sustainability by helping to ensure that policies and spending at the national level do not adversely affect the environment and public health or disproportionally harm disadvantaged communities.
Improving Air Quality: In addition to the funding provided through the Healthy Communities Initiative, this budget includes $60 million to support state efforts to implement updated National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA proposed stricter air quality standards for smog and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and will work with states to help them meet those standards in the years ahead.
Building Strong State and Tribal Partnerships: This budget includes $1.3 billion for state and tribal grants. State and local governments are working diligently to implement new and expanded requirements under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. New and expanded requirements include implementation of updated NAAQS and addressing emerging water quality issues such as nutrient pollution. In addition to the $25 million for greenhouse gas permitting and $60 million to support state efforts to implement updated NAAQS, the $1.3 billion for state and tribal grants includes $45 million for states to enhance their water enforcement and permitting programs. In order to help tribes move forward with implementation of environmental programs, $30 million is budgeted for a new competitive Tribal Multi-media Implementation grant program. To further enhance tribal environmental management capabilities, this budget also includes an additional $9 million for Tribal General Assistance Program grants.
Taking Action on Climate Change: This budget contains more than $43 million for additional efforts to address climate change and work toward a clean energy future. EPA will implement the greenhouse gas reporting rule; provide technical assistance to ensure that any permitting under the Clean Air Act will be manageable; perform regulatory work for the largest stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions; develop standards for mobile sources such as cars and trucks; and continue research of carbon capture and sequestration technologies.
Protecting America's Waters: This budget broadens efforts to clean up America's great waterbodies. It provides $63 million for efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and $17 million for the Mississippi River Basin to respond to non-point source control recommendations of the Nutrients Innovation Task Group and implement recommendations outlined in the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Action Plan.
This budget also invests $3.3 billion to maintain and improve outdated water infrastructure and keep our wastewater and drinking water clean and safe. This is in addition to $6 billion in funding provided to states through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Assuring the Safety of Chemicals: This budget calls for $56 million for chemical assessment and risk review to ensure that no unreasonable risks are posed by new or existing chemicals. This budget also invests $29 million (including $15 million in grants funding) in the continuing effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning, and $6 million to support national efforts to mitigate exposure to high-risk legacy chemicals, such as mercury and asbestos.
Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and Working for Environmental Justice: This budget contains $8 million for environmental justice programs. It targets increased brownfields investments to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, and proposes $9 million for community water priorities in the Healthy Communities Initiative, funds that will help under-served communities restore urban waterways and address water quality challenges. EPA is committed to identifying and addressing the health and environmental burdens faced by communities disproportionately impacted by pollution. This commitment is fulfilled through the agency's efforts to give people a voice in decisions that impact their lives and to integrate environmental justice in EPA programs, policies and activities.
For more information go to www.epa.gov/budget.
Posted February 2, 2010
Complete List of NESC Products Now Available
Take Our Questionnaire, Receive a Coupon Toward Your Purchase
A key component of the National Environmental Services Center's (NESC) is to offer free and low-cost products related to drinking water and wastewater. We now have more than 1,000 products featured in an up-to-date list on our website.
The online catalog lists products in the following drinking water and wastewater categories: case studies, design, finance, management, general information, public education, operation & maintenance, research, resilience, regulations, security, training and more.
Please give the item number and title of the product when you place your order and note that shipping charges apply. To order, send an e-mail to NESC at info@ mail.nesc.wvu.edu or call toll free at (304) 293-4191. or local at (304) 293-4191.
Download the 2010 NESC Products Catalog [pdf file . 932 KB]
To receive a $5.00 coupon toward your next NESC product purchase, please take a few minutes to complete our Customer Questionnaire.
Posted January 27, 2010
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) announced a partnership beginning February 1, 2010. Passed in January by the organizations' boards of trustees, the resolution formalizes a three-year agreement to closely collaborate and promote a shared vision of an integrated and holistic approach to water, stormwater, and wastewater management.
Under the agreement, WEF and NOWRA will partner on several initiatives including expanding knowledge sharing and training in common areas; promoting existing technologies and new applications for onsite and natural treatment systems; educating the public on proper use and benefits of onsite and natural system technologies; and promoting consistent regulation for effective management and oversight.
Specifically, WEF and NOWRA will explore collaboration on educational events; increased content and options for distance learning; joint publications; and offering more varied perspectives about water quality issues to their respective members. In addition, WEF and NOWRA will work closely to share association management resources to help direct emphasis to mission critical activities. Part of this special relationship will include NOWRA staff and offices relocating to WEF's Alexandria, Virginia-based headquarters.
"As a strong advocate for a holistic and integrated approach to drinking water and wastewater issues, we are pleased to hear about WEF and NOWRA working together in this fashion," says Gerald Iwan, Ph.D., director of the National Environmental Services Center. "And as fellow members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Memorandum of Understanding for Decentralized Wastewater Management, along with the State Onsite Regulators Alliance (SORA), we wish them every success and look forward to future collaboration related to this important work."
Visit the EPA MOU section on NESC's website at www.nesc.wvu.edu/subpages/mou.cfm to learn more about the MOU group.
Posted January 27, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a compilation of case studies, Gaining Operational and Managerial Efficiencies Through Water System Partnerships, to highlight various approaches small drinking water systems have taken to improve their technical and financial capacity by partnering with other water systems. Many small public water systems are challenged with limited resources, lack of trained operators, and complex regulations.
As part of EPA's effort to promote sustainability of water systems, this report presents examples of different partnership options ranging from informal arrangements, such as sharing equipment, to transferring ownership of a system through consolidation. The potential benefits of partnerships are numerous and significant, including increased economies of scale, increased capital needed to replace and improve aging water delivery infrastructure, and enhanced environmental protection, resource conservation, and contingency planning for conditions of water scarcity. States can also realize the important benefits of such activities because water system partnerships can be an effective means of helping small water systems achieve and maintain technical, managerial, and financial (TMF) capacity, reducing the oversight and resources that the state will need to devote to these systems.
The document can be found on EPA's Web site at www.epa.gov/safewater/smallsystems/financialhelp.html.
You can also contact the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) at 1-800-490-9198 or e-mail email@example.com to order hard copies of the document.
Posted January 26, 2010
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is coordinating a multinational effort in Haiti. For those interested in helping this effort, be it with cash donations or in-kind services, please visit the USAID website at www.usaid.gov/haiti/ for more information.
Also refer to NESC's Haiti Crisis Emergency Response Resources, Water and Sanitation page for information. These resources submitted by Dan Campbell, Web Manager of Environmental Health at USAID, provide free information such as Point of Use Water Treatment in Emergency Response, WHO Technical Notes for Emergencies, and Environmental health in emergencies and disasters: a practical guide.
Posted January 22, 2010
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is pleased to announce the completion of the Lower Meramec Source Water Demonstration Project. In partnership with the United States Forest Service, TPL recently completed this demonstration planning project in the Upper Mississippi River watershed.
|Greg Hoffman (Center for Watershed Protection), talks to Gary Pondrom (East-West Gateway), during a Strategy Exchange site visit.
Photo by Katherine Dockery.
Local experts and other partners collaborated with national experts, using sophisticated mapping technology and a focused forum to develop new solutions and tools to enable water suppliers, land-use planners, local foresters, and local and state officials to conserve and restore natural resources in drinking water supplies, including important wildlife habitat.
The Meramec River Tributary Alliance has come up with specific action plans to tackle problems around septic system maintenance, stormwater management shortcomings, identifying more voluntary land conservation opportunities and funding sources, and improving the public's knowledge about an important source of their drinking water.
Read more about this project at www.tpl.org/lowermeramecdemo.
Posted January 20, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Water Security Web site provides resources for water utilities, state and local governments, public health officials, emergency responders and planners, assistance and training providers, environmental professionals, researchers and engineers, and law enforcement, among others. The following factsheets are now final and available:
- Small Water Systems A Vital Component of WARN - www.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/pubs/fs_watersecurity_warn_small_systems.pdf (pdf file)
- Tribal Water Systems A Vital Component of WARN - www.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/pubs/fs_watersecurity_warn_tribal_systems.pdf (pdf file)
If you have questions about the factsheets please e-mail Nushat Thomas of EPA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access the Water Security Web site at cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/index.cfm.
Posted January 7, 2010