FRWA eNews
September 8, 2017
Contact Us
Florida Rural Water Association
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309
Training Available
Wastewater Services
Groundwater Services
FRWA Ready to Roll
FRWA has been busy this week preparing for Hurricane Irma.

With Hurricane Irma to hit the state in the next few days FRWA would like to remind you that we are here to offer assistance if you lose power.  You may email us at or call 800.872.8207 for assistance.

We cannot take reservations for generators prior to the event as we try to assist those that have the greatest need.  
A Message from FlaWARN
What is FlaWARN  Florida's Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (FlaWARN) is the formalized system of "utilities helping utilities" to address mutual aid during emergency situations. These incidents may be man-made or natural disaster. The project's infrastructure consists of a secure web-based data bank of available resources and a practical mutual aid agreement designed to reduce bureaucratic red tape in times of emergency. The goal of FlaWARN is to provide immediate assistance, as quickly as possible, to impacted utilities by whatever means necessary until such time that a permanent solution to the devastation may be implemented. Click here for more information.

Your FlaWARN Steering Committee is making plans to assist you with your emergency needs. Just a reminder, FlaWARN does not pre-stage assets at utilities prior to landfall. As soon as you know what your needs will be, post on the FlaWARN website and we will help find resources. 

Make sure you update your operational status in FDEP's StormTracker website. StormTracker is a way for Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to monitor the status of water and wastewater facilities after an emergency event. After the storm makes landfall, FlaWARN will post a notice in the event tracker detailing which counties are open in StormTracker. As soon as you are able, go in and update your status to one of the following: operational, partially operational or non-operational. When you post a need for assistance in StormTracker it is automatically transmitted to FlaWARN. If you do not know how to log into StormTracker contact your local DEP district staff for username/password. A manual on using StormTracker is on the "During an Event" section of the FlaWARN members' page.

We ask that you please complete your rapid damage assessments before asking for assistance. If your utility does not have a damage assessment form, one is located on the FlaWARN Members site under "During an Event". For more information on storm preparation and recovery, an MS Word copy of the BMPs is also located on the members' site under "During an Event".

Just a reminder on how the Mutual Aid Agreement (MAA) works. The MAA is an agreement between a utility and FlaWARN. The MAA details in advance how things like reimbursement, liability, workers compensation and chain of command are handled. FlaWARN (along with FRWA) will attempt to meet all of our members needs but some utilities are only able to send assistance to FlaWARN members that have a signed MAA on file. This is a good time to see if you can get a MAA signed by your managers and/or decision makers. The form is located on the members' page.

Remember, you can reach out directly to other FlaWARN members or neighboring utilities that you have a good working relationship with. You can also request assistance through FlaWARN by posting on the website, requesting help through StormTracker, your local EOC or emailing Be sure to let us know if you are working directly with another member utility so we can include this in our reporting to DEP and Department of Emergency Management. If you are receiving resources through FlaWARN, make sure your local county EOC is aware what you will be receiving.

In the event FlaWARN members cannot handle all of the utility needs throughout Florida we will be reaching out to our surrounding state WARNs to get assistance via an EMAC. FlaWARN staff will be located at the state EOC to help our members with this process.

At the end of each day, we will be posting an update on needs and assistance on the event tracker. A conference call is scheduled for 11:00 AM EST on Monday, September 18 for those needing assistance or able to assist other utilities.

Just remember that hospitals, shelters, EMS, and other critical users can't function without us, the water and wastewater industry. 
More News on Hurricane Irma
EPA Cuts Could Be Disastrous for Florida Hurricane Recovery, Experts Say    As Hurricane Irma closes in on Florida, Texas is still reeling from the effects of Harvey. But it's now clear that the devastation from the storm has gone way beyond flooded homes and wind-damaged buildings.   more

After Andrew, Florida Changed Its Approach to Hurricanes  Survivors of Hurricane Andrew - a Category 5 storm that decimated cities south of Miami - talk of pre-Andrew and post-Andrew as a kind of biblical milestone.   more

Kriseman: Hurricane Irma could affect St. Pete's sewer upgrades  The sewer system has been significantly upgraded since last year's massive discharges, city officials said Wednesday, but Hurricane Irma is such a powerful storm that it could potentially render the $60 million spent on capacity and pipes moot. more

Hurricane Irma most dangerous to St. Lucie River if Lake Okeechobee discharges continue   Hurricane Irma and the short-term Lake Okeechobee discharges meant to prepare for the storm will cause some environmental damage to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.  more

Corps hopes to lower lake level before Hurricane Irma hits; Water still backflowing into the lake at Port Mayaca  As Hurricane Irma makes its way across the Atlantic, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has begun a pre-storm drawdown that includes water releases from Lake Okeechobee.  more

Irma becomes a concern for Glades residents Wednesday morning's forecast called for Hurricane Irma to move directly over Lake Okeechobee.   more

Do toxic sites pose risk during Irma? As Floridians prepare for the potential arrival of Hurricane Irma state regulators are keeping an eye on toxic and contaminated sites that could pose a safety risk if flooding were to occur. more

St. Pete optimistic that Irma wont trigger repeat of catastrophic sewage spills After spilling or dumping around 200 million gallons of sewage during storm events last year, the last thing the City of St. Petersburg needs is another catastrophic mess.  more

JEA prepares to avoid messy repeat of sewer overflows as Irma threatens Trees toppled power lines, sewage system pumping stations lost power, emergency generators failed to kick in and the end result was ugly sewage overflows at about 70 locations in the Jacksonville area. more

Irma prompts releases from Lake Okeechobee, where levee remains a concern The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Tuesday, it had started making water releases from Lake Okeechobee, including some to the Stuart area. more

South Florida Water Managers Prepare For Heavy Rainfall Due To Hurricane Irma With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, water managers in South Florida are bracing for heavy rainfall they say could exacerbate high water issues from record-setting rains the region experienced earli er this summer.   more

South Florida canals in 'good shape' as Irma approaches As Houston continues to deal with massive flooding from Hurricane Harvey, residents in South Florida wonder if Irma will bring the same disaster to them.  more

Water managers watching Irma Water managers are keeping close tabs on Hurricane Irma and working hard to bring down water levels, just in case the storm should hit South Florida.  more
This Week in Water History
September 6, 1893:  The Houston Daily Post ran a series of investigative articles about the Water Works Company and the pollution in Buffalo Bayou-an early surface water supply for the City of Houston, Texas. In a September 6, 1893 article, Houston Cotton Exchange officials charged that the bayou was "an immense cesspool, reeking with filth and emitting a stench of vilest character." The newspaper noted in 1895 that a dozen privies, a smallpox graveyard, a dead cow, oil mill, and cattle yards had been sighted in the waters above the Water Works' dam. In another article later that year, reporters wrote that cattle from the Southern Oil Mill stockyards were discovered wading in the bayou alongside decomposing cow carcasses. A drain from the mill ran directly into the bayou creating additional unsanitary conditions. "It is our opinion that the use of this water is a menace to the lives of the people of this community," avowed the investigative reporters.

Update: With the devastation of the Houston by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, it is astonishing that water service in Houston was never lost, nor was a boil water order ever issued. Houston OBVIOUSLY made a lot of improvements in their water supply over 124 years.

Florida Rural Water Association | |
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309