FRWA eNews
January 11, 2019
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Florida Rural Water Association
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2019 Focus on Change
This year's Focus on Change Sessions are filling up fast. Please don't forget to register to be sure your seat is reserved.

The 2019 license cycle for water, wastewater, and distribution system operators ends on April 30th. The Focus on change series is presented in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection. These sessions are a great way to finish up your CEUs and catch up on the latest changes in regulations for the upcoming year.

If you would like to register, you may click on the dates and locations on the left. Complete information is located on our website. more
DEP Appreciation Awards
On Tuesday, January 8th, Gary Williams, Executive Director, and Pat Cichon, Vice President, of the Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for their hard work and dedication to Florida's water and wastewater utilities in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. FRWA recognized Alex Reed, Director of DEP's Division of Water Resource Management and Trina Vielhauer, Director of DEP's Division of Water Restoration Assistance for their Department's quick action in the field and timely emergency financial assistance for those water and wastewater systems significantly impacted by the storm. The valuable partnership between FRWA and DEP makes it possible to quickly restore water systems to operational status, protecting public health and the environment as soon as possible after a storm.

In addition to the plaque, each recipient was presented with a unique letter of appreciation.  Alex Reed's (pictured above in black) letter expressed appreciation for her "support, leadership, and participation in the Florida Water Agency Response Network (FlaWARN). Further, your response center coordination, communications and reporting enhances public health and environmental protection. All working together makes a terrible situation better and alleviates undo public suffering from lack of water utility services."  Click here for a complete copy of her letter of appreciation.

Trina Vielhauer (pictured above in black) letter noted appreciation for her "quick financial and response support allowed purchase of needed equipment, pipe, panels, and other water utility materials to restore water and wastewater services. Further, your quick development and promotion of a disaster grant program for $10 million was very perceptive and is providing very needed and outstanding public health and environmental protection. Additionally, thank you for your on-going, continuing, and constant effort to support water utilities in the damaged area and across the state."  You may access a complete copy of her letter of appreciation by clicking here.

In closing, FRWA would also like to thank the recipient's division and staff for their support, leadership, and response to water utilities.
National News
Darren Soto tapped for House Energy and Commerce committee  Kissimmee's U.S. Rep. Darren Soto has been appointed to a seat on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  more

Charlie Crist lands on House Appropriations Committee | Florida Politics  Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has won an appointment to powerful House Committee on Appropriations.  more

Researchers track hurricane's effects on river pollution, beneficial bacteria/Scientific American On a rainy Saturday in October, Princeton graduate students Arianna Sherman and Weitao Shuai parked their car by a bridge on a rural road in Hillsborough, North Carolina.  more

From dams to coastal barriers: How the U.S. is fighting flooding in 2019/Treasure Coast Newspapers Critics say the Army Corps of Engineers never saw a flood control project it didn't like.  more

MRWA Assistance Helps Community Repair Seemingly Impossible Leak Under Lake   Ron Greenwald stood on the lake shore in Elysian, Minn., trying to find a way to repair a leak under eight feet of water.  more

President Trump signs algal bloom bill to fund research, monitoring, mitigation | TCPalm  A bill that expands federal funding opportunities for communities affected by harmful algal blooms is now law.  more
State News
SRWMD **REMINDER FOR SPRINGS FUNDING APPLICATIONS**  The Suwannee River Water Management District will be accepting SPRINGS applications until 5:00 pm on January 16, 2019.  more

Bypass pipe to hopefully stop sewage spill in Pompano Beach Residents say they have been consumed by odor for nearly a week. more

DeSantis unvels major environmental reforms including $1B increase for water quality protection | Naples Daily News  It's news millions of Floridians have been waiting eight years to hear: Their governor plans to take the state's water quality seriously and to back up those plans with serious money. more

Gov. Ron DeSantis asks all SFWMD board members to resign over Florida Crystals lease | TCPalm Gov. Ron DeSantis, on his third day on the job, asked for the immediate resignations of all South Florida Water Management District board members during a news conference in Stuart.  more

DeSantis Announces Sweeping Fixes Meant To Clean Up Florida Water Woes | WLRN  Two days after he took office, Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled sweeping measures to clean up Florida's troubled waters, including spending $2.5 billion and launching more aggressive policies to address algae choking Lake Okeechobee and polluting the state's coasts.  more

Gov. DeSantis visits Stuart, calls for South Florida Water Management District board to resign | WPTV  He laid out his plan for protecting our water quality and environment in Stuart. Earlier in the day, he made stops in Bonita Springs and Sarasota.  more

DeSantis wants fresh start, sinks South Florida Water Management District Board | WPEC All summer long, the waterways were full of toxic gunk, something Gov. Ron DeSantis witnessed before he was elected.  more  

Opinion: Ed Bielarski: GRU had an excellent year in 2018 | Gainesville Sun As the summer of 2018 approached, our customer operations director, Kinn'zon Hutchinson, proposed an idea to help ease the burden on customers during high-usage months.  more

Bonita Springs Utilities works to stop gushing water near intersection | WINK  No one seems to know where gushing water from a burst pipe near an intersection in Lee County is coming from.  more

Georgia and Florida nearly reached a water deal in 2013, aide says/WUSF Tampa  Georgia and Florida nearly had a deal to share water in 2013. Then it fell through, and their fight is now in the U.S. Supreme Court.  more

Preparations begin for new Everglades reservoir project/WPTV West Palm Beach Preparations are underway for a long-anticipated reservoir project meant to help restore the Everglades and prevent toxic blue-green algae outbreaks around Florida's coasts.  more

Most of south Florida is in a moderate drought /Tampa Bay Times  With hardly any rain in the forecast, Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast are dealing with dry conditions, and we remain in a moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor's report. more

Funding requested for infrastructure projects that reduce flooding and protect springs /Pensacola News Journal  At the Monday, December 3, 2018 Hernando County Legislative Delegation meeting, the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners requested funding for infrastructure projects that will create and maintain functionally appropriate, sustainable, accessible and high-quality facilities in our community.  more

Jay receives $600,000 grant for water line replacement/News-Journal The Town of Jay has been awarded a $600,000 grant to replace water lines for 223 residents. more

Senate panel briefed on septic tanks' contribution to algae outbreak | Florida Politics Septic tanks are one of the primary triggers for toxic algae blooms throughout the state, the Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee was told Wednesday. more 

Brannan frustrated by wastewater spills | Suwannee Democrat Heading into his first term in office, District 10 Representative Chuck Brannan knows a lot of what he'll be working on once the legislative session begins in March will be dictated by his committee assignments. more

Baby wipes may clean your backside but the mess down below is another story | Bradenton Herald  
Bradenton has a cheeky problem to deal with and the city wants to get to the bottom of it, ensuring it's an issue wiped away while providing relief to its sewer system.  more

Lawmaker seeks money for rural Northwest Florida | Panama City News Herald  Pointing to the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, a state lawmaker filed a proposal Wednesday that would lead to money going to economic-development efforts in seven rural Northwest Florida counties.  more
This Week in Water History
January 9, 1985:  Plane crashes into Kansas water treatment plant. "Last January the Board of Public Works (BPU) of Kansas City, Kansas was the victim of an airplane crash at their Quindaro water treatment plant complex. Although all members of the airplane's crew were killed, the members of the BPU operations staff on duty that morning were unharmed, although shook up. The airplane managed to miss two nearby power plant structures, the east side of the treatment plant, and the chemical treatment plant building where the four employees were working, but landed in a primary basin less than 50 feet away from the building. An intensive manpower effort was launched to get the debris cleaned up and the plant back in operation as soon as possible. Three weeks to the day after the crash, the basin without a walkway bridge was returned to service. Kermit   more

For more articles on what went on this week in water history, click here
Florida Rural Water Association |   frwa@frwa.net | http://www.frwa.net
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309
850.668.2746