FRWA eNews
January 19, 2018
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Response to EWG's Article on
Radioactive Tap Water
On January 11, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published an article on their website claiming that 170 million Americans (served by over 22,000 utilities in all 50 states) are currently drinking radioactive tap water and as a result, are at an increased risk of cancer. While the article touches on several radionuclides that are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (and one that isn't regulated under the Act) their ire and attention was directed mainly at radium. The entire article, between their discussions on radionuclides and their trashing of a recent White House nominee, is nothing but an unscientific and inflammatory hit piece. The article serves no purpose except to unnecessarily frighten the public about the quality of their tap water.

Much of the article is devoted to trashing the recent White House nominee, Kathleen Hartnett White, as head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and former chair of Texas CEQ. Ms. White is accused of everything from knowingly falsifying data to not believing in the science of health effects. They use her nomination as a proxy for bashing the current administration and EPA. The nomination is also used as a way to advocate for a significant tightening of EPA regulations on radionuclides.  more
About the Author
Jeffrey Lawson is one of the staff engineers employed by Florida Rural Water Association.  Jeffrey holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Florida State University.  Prior to joining FRWA, Jeffrey worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for 8 years.  He most recently served as the Administrator for their Drinking Water and Aquifer Protection Program.
The article below is a related article that appeared in the August 18, 2017 Issue of Enews
New Water Quality Database
and Misleading Tap Water Customers 
Re cently, many news organizations nationwide published an article warning the public of "dozens of  harmful contaminants in our tap water," and encourages readers to "see exactly which ones you're guzzling down." Their source for this online database developed by the Environmental Working  Group or EWG ( ). This database allows members of the general public to search  water quality data by zip code.

After receiving concerned calls and emails regarding tap water quality,   Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) decided to look deeper into the EWG's tap water database and  report. FRWA randomly selected 6 public water systems (PWS), one from each of the Florida Department  of Environmental Protection's (FDEP) 6 regulatory districts, and compared the data reported by EWG with  the compliance monitoring data the PWS submitted to FDEP. Here is a breakdown of what we learned:  more 
2018 Focus on Change
Just around the corner!  Register ASAP as space may run out at some locations!
Next week, FRWA travels south to Pompano Beach and Punta Gorda to present the first two sessions of the 2018 Focus on Change Seminars. This year's agenda includes several timely topics in the General Session and Breakout Sessions. You are encouraged to take the time to join us for what we anticipate to be an informative Training Seminar. 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.  

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.

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
January 19, 1918:  Municipal Journal article-"State Demands Adequate Sewage Disposal. Syracuse, N. Y.-Demands that the city proceed immediately to carry out an acceptable plan for disposing of its sewage have been made upon mayor Walter R. Stone and the intercepting sewer board by the state department of health. The state refuses to permit the city to put off for another year the adoption and carrying out of a plan whereby sewage will be removed from Onondaga creek and the barge canal harbor. All of the city's sewage now flows directly into the harbor and while it will not become objectionable within a year, it must be diverted without unnecessary delay. According to Henry C. Allen, city engineer, the city is only awaiting the result of tests now being made by Glenn D. Holmes, chief engineer of the intercepting sewer board, to determine whether the activated sludge or aerated-filter system js best suited to conditions."
National News
Seven Ideas for Fixing Water in the United States The U.S. Water Alliance heard from 500 people in the water sector about the nation's water challenges and solutions and distilled conversations down to seven key ideas, says Radhika Fox, the organization's chief executive.  more
State News
Florida Forever bill heading to state Senate floor A bill seeking $100 million for Florida Forever is headed to the Senate floor with an amendment that prohibits the state from spending the money on general operations.  more
Permit OK'd for much-debated water withdrawal around Silver Springs   The St. Johns River Water Management District's governing board on Tuesday approved a water-withdrawal permit near Silver Springs in Marion County that conservationists spent a year fighting in legal challenges. more 

New Smyrna Beach asks residents to chart course for future in resiliency workshops  Still reeling from the impact of two hurricanes 11 months apart, and with rapid housing growth on the horizon, New Smyrna Beach is turning to its residents to help decide what "the future should look like."   more

Tampa hires contractors to help fix water main breaks   "It's just, you can never prepare for it, it's a total inconvenience," said Melissa Sparks.   more

Longboat's outgoing public works director remembers 17-year tenure  Juan Florensa has had significant impact on Longboat Key in the nearly two decades that he lead the town's public works department.  more

New bond issues save water/sewer operations $101 million  Miami-Dade sold almost $1 billion in water and sewer bonds last month, saving $101 million in debt payment as the department begins its sixth year of a $13.5 billion full system revamp.  more  

Florida, Georgia water war reaches nation's highest court  A decades-long "water war" is now before the nation's highest court - pitting Georgia's use of water to supply its multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry and the booming Atlanta area, against the Sunshine State's need for fresh water to revive its oyster business.   more

Pumping sewage underground is illegal. St. Pete wants it legal.  The city wants the state to change its environmental rules to make legal an illegal maneuver it has relied on a lot lately: flushing wastewater down into the aquifer.  more

ECUA Seeks To Take Cantonment Property By Eminent Domain For Sewage Lift Station  The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) is seeking to exercise its power of eminent domain to acquire property on Well Line Road for a sewage lift station.  more
Florida Rural Water Association | |
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309