FRWA eNews
February 9, 2018
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FRWA Goes to Washington
FRWA Board Members meet with Darren Soto. Right to left, Bruce Morrison, Board Member, Congressman Darren Soto, and FRWA National Director, Robert Munro.

The FRWA Board of Directors traveled to Washington DC this week to attend the National Rural Water Association Rural Water Rally.  The Rally provides an opportunity for supporters of our industry to make their case directly to their elected officials. Florida Rural Water scheduled meetings with Representatives, Senators and their staff, so that they can share the Rural Water success story, answer questions and build important relationships. 

FRWA President, Paul Brayton (left) met with Congressmand Neil Dunn (center) and Gary Williams, FRWA Executive Director (right).

The visits allow FRWA to give you a voice in Washington. We spoke on your behalf to Florida's representatives asking them to support funding for rural water on-site assistance and ground water protection the priority rural environmental initiative in the EPA and USDA funding bills. 
Left to right, Gary Williams, Executive Director, Congressman Al Lawson,  Pat Cichon, FRWA Board Member, and Bill Grubbs, FRWA Secretary Treasurer.

We explained that our small and rural communities have the most difficulty complying with SDWA and CWA requirements because of their limited economics of scale and lack of technical expertise.  Many rely on volunteer or part-time administration.  Obviously they cannot keep up with vast complicated matrix of federal rules.  Last year the Florida Rural Water Association technical assistance programs trained 3,888 people, completed 7,607 on-site technical assistance contacts, and has now initiated more than 2,609 community ordinances for protecting groundwater.

FRWA also advocated for increased water utility infrastructure funding in the USDA Loan and Grant Program, both State Revolving funds, Disaster Relief Bill for Water Utilities, and through the new administration's Congressional Infrastructure Plan.
Focus on Change

This week once again we joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to present the 2018 Focus on Change.   With almost six hundred attendees, Ocala and Haines City proved to be the largest sessions in 2018.  

Representatives from FDEP presented the 2017 Plant Excellence Awards to deserving systems in their regions. 
Jeff Prather, FDEP Central District presenting the 2017 Plant Operations Award to the City of Clermont East.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection recognized the City of Clermont East Water System as a recipient of the 2017 Plant Operations Excellence Award. Clermont East also won a Plant Excellence Award last year.

"The team at Clermont East have demonstrated over the years that they are innovators," said Jeff Prather, DEP Central District director. "This award underlines the essential role that this facility and others in the region play in the vital task of producing high-quality, affordable potable water for its customers, while conserving resources and protecting the environment."   more

The City of Tarpon Springs Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility accepts award from Kelley Boatwright, DEP Assistant Director.
DEP Assistant Director Kelley Boatwright presented the 2017 Plant Operations Excellence Awards to two Southwest Florida drinking water and one domestic wastewater facility at the annual Focus on Change Seminar. Drinking water facility award recipients were the City of Dunedin and the Hillsborough County Lithia Treatment Plant. The wastewater facility recipient was theCity of Tarpon 
Springs Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility.

City of Dunedin Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant accepting award from DEP Assistant Director Kelley Boatwright

Kelley Boatwright, DEP Assistant Director presenting award to the Lithia Water Treatment Facility. 

"It's important to us that the dedication and commitment to excellence shown by these plant operators is celebrated. "Florida depends on clean water, so we're excited to work alongside these leading utilities and the communities that they serve."  more

There are just two 2018 Focus on Change sessions left for this year.  We will be at the Gateway College in Lake City on February 20th and Gulf Coast State College in Panama City on February 21.  Don't miss your chance to catch up on the latest in regulations for 2018!

There is no charge for admittance for those not wishing to earn CEUs/PDHs, however you must pre-register as seating is limited. If you wish to receive CEUs/PDHs for the session a CEU/PDH processing fee will apply.

FRWA will not be providing the presentations book this year in order to comply with the Department of Environmental Protection's Paperless Initiative Act. You can however download the presentations from our website if you wish to bring them with you or review or you will have access during the sessions on the FRWA App. To download the app go to your APP Store or Google Play and search for FRWA. 

For more information, click here.
Save the Date!  2018 FLAL!
The 2018 Florida Alabama Joint Training and Technical Conference will be held on May 15-16, 2018 at the Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort in Panama City Beach. The reservation cut off date is April 10, 2018.  Be sure to mention the Florida Rural Water Association or the code 1OV7Q5 tio take advantage of the reduced rate.  You may reserve your room online at or by calling 800.874.8686. There will also be a one time charge to those staying at the Edgewater of $10.00 for parking. This charge covers your entire stay.

We are still in the early stages of planning so this is all the information that we have at the present time. More information will be posted as it becomes available at
Save the Date!
2018 Annual Conference
August 6, 7, and 8, 2018
Hilton Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach FL 32118
Reservations:  386.254.8200

Plan to join us next year at the location your input supported. By popular demand, the 2018 Thirty-Ninth FRWA Annual Technical and Training Conference will be held at the beautiful Hilton Daytona Beach/Ocean Walk Village in exciting Daytona Beach, Florida. Room rates start at $109.00 (and a reduced rate of $5.00 per night for self parking) plus tax. You will want to bring the entire family to take advantage of one last family trip before school starts.

That's all the information that we have for now but we will update the information as soon as it becomes available on our website at
This Week in Water History

February 3, 1909:  Municipal Journal and Engineer article. Sewage Disposal in Pennsylvania. "As indicated from time to time in our columns, the matter of sewage disposal is just now assuming more importance in Pennsylvania than in possibly any other State of the Union, this being due largely to the activity of the new State Board of Health under the recent laws endowing it with unusual powers. Two of the latest propositions as well as the largest are those which are ordered for the cities of Harrisburg and Pittsburg. The public press of the former city states that the city officials are about to begin at once preparing plans for works which are roughly estimated to cost one and a half to two million dollars. This does not contemplate the present treatment of the sewage of that city, but only a better location of outlets and the preparation of plans for treatment. Pittsburg, however, is directed to take immediate steps toward building a sewage disposal plant which is estimated to cost fifteen to twenty million dollars; this order possibly being hastened by the typhoid epidemic which is sweeping through the small towns located on the river below Pittsburg."

Commentary:  It was only after the turn of the 20 th century that states began to get serious about requiring treatment of sewage before discharge to local streams.
National News
Trump call for faster infrastructure permits faces uncertain road Several federal agencies are working to speed permitting of infrastructure projects, even though it remains to be seen whether Congress will act on President Donald Trump's related request to move things along. more

Expert: Flint plant not ready before water switch A Genesee County water expert testified Monday that he warned state-appointed officials running this city to not open the Flint Water Treatment plant because it was not quite ready to produce clean water and had employees who weren't experienced enough to run it.  more

Congress wants 'resilient' rebuilding in the wake of hurricanes, fires. What does that mean?  Congress is weighing a House-passed $81 billion supplemental aid package for hurricane and wildfire victims in Texas, Florida, California and the territories. more
State News
Rick Scott Pledges Continued Support for Puerto Rico Following Hurricane Maria Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico five months ago, but Florida isn't ready to let up on recovery efforts just yet. more

ECUA Puts Brakes On Cantonment Eminent Domain Request For Sewage Lift Station The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) is temporarily putting the brakes on a request to exercise its power of eminent domain to acquire property on Well Line Road in Cantonment for a sewage lift station. more

Scott pledges another $50 million for dike repairs   Florida Governor Rick Scott visited Clewiston on Thursday to announce that his proposed budget includes $50 million to help speed repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike.  more
Florida Rural Water Association | |
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309