FRWA eNews
Novemer 12, 2020
Florida Rural Water Association
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309
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Online Training
Eta, etc., etc., etc. ....
Tropical Storm Eta made landfall in Cedar Key at 4:20 am this morning.  In keeping with 2020's legacy, the storm designated 2020 as having the most named storms in history. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Theta continues spinning east, and a third storm system brews in the southern Caribbean with high odds of becoming the 30th named storm of the year.  Thus the title, Eta, etc., etc., etc...

The Governor has issued an Executive Order for Eta putting FRWA into emergency response mode once again.  Our stock of generators and other emergency response equipment are ready to go at a moment's notice from our warehouse located in Cairo GA.

The storm is moving across Florida at this time with no reported emergency situations.  FRWA will sit tight for now as we wait on what else 2020 will bring us.
FRWA Underwater Drone Videos
What's in Your Tank?
Did you ever wonder what is lurking in your tank?  Take a look at the videos below to see what you can discover by using the new FRWA underwater drone.

Click on the links below to access different aspects of what may lurking in your water tank:
FRWA Energy Efficiency Program
Energy is the third most expensive part of a typical water or wastewater facility's monthly expenses. Last year Florida water and wastewater facilities spent an average of $39,851.25 on electricity, across all system sizes. FRWA's energy efficiency program is designed to help systems reduce their electrical costs. This reduction can allow funding to be spent elsewhere, such as training, chemical, O&M or personnel costs.
The process is simple. A short on-site visit is required; a typical visit last no more than an hour. During this visit, information about the facility operations and the motors, lights, and other energy users are collected.

The FRWA Energy Efficiency Program is funded by USDA Rural Development. Similar programs can cost thousands of dollars. Thanks to USDA RD there is no cost for your system!

For more information, click here.  If your system is interested in participating, please contact Mark Hallett, Energy Efficiency Circuit Rider, at or by calling 800.872.8207 to schedule your assessment today.
Got Maps????
Mapping Assistance Available Through FRWA
In this day and age with changing environments and populations, it's more important than ever to keep up to date maps of our Water and Wastewater Systems. Many Water and Wastewater Operators are retiring and with them goes the knowledge of your systems layout and important asset locations. Systems are also expanding every day, and now you have information from two different sources to keep up with.
The solution to these problems is collecting Global Positioning System (GPS) data. By collecting your water and wastewater systems data (such as wells, valves, hydrants, water & sewer mains, manholes, lift stations, etc.), it allows you to store and keep data on a computer with the coordinates and attributes of each feature with an accuracy of a meter or less! 
Over the past few years, The Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) has invested a great amount of time and money into the research into GPS equipment and GIS software that would benefit members and their operators in both accuracy and ease-of-use. We know that not every system can afford to purchase their own equipment, so FRWA has purchased several accurate handheld units (accuracy to sub-meter or less) with the software needed to create the necessary maps and/or data files.
Florida Rural Water Association GIS Program
* Members have access to GPS equipment for collecting their own data;
* FRWA will train system staff on GPS use;
* Download free applicable GIS Data Viewer

For more information, click here or contact Jim Cagno at or call 800.872.8207.
National News
Alliance of Indiana Rural Water Salutes Alix Clevenger  Alix Clevenger, apprentice with the Town of Frankton, was a Specialist in the Army for 2 years in Fort Leonard Wood, MO & another 2 years in Campbell, KY serving as a Military Police Officer throughout his career. Thank you for your service Alix!  more

Reduce Impacts from a Power Outage  The Power Resilience Guide provides water and wastewater utilities with information and strategies for strengthening relationships with their electric providers and increasing their resilience to power outages.  more

November is Infrastructure Security Month  This year's Infrastructure Security Month comes at a "Time of Transformation" for our Nation and the pillars it relies upon.  more

Copolymer helps remove pervasive PFAS toxins from environment  Illinois engineers Kwiyong Kim, left, Xiao Su, Johannes Elbert and Paola Baldaguez Medina are part of a team that developed a new polymer electrode device that can capture and destroy PFAS contaminants present in water.  more

How sewage is helping Whatcom County scientists detect coronavirus -  Scientists are preventing outbreaks by examining sewage, saying traces of coronavirus can be found in sewage a week before someone starts showing symptoms.  more
State News
Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant Program Extended  Due to Hurricane Eta impacting Florida this week, the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA)  grant program Florida deadline has been extended to Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 5:00 PM EST. more

Rising sea levels play a role in South Florida flooding after Tropical Storm Eta
 Many South Florida homeowners have been shocked by the amount of flooding left behind by Tropical Storm Eta.  more

Drinking Water Facility Locations Proposed By County Hillsborough County residents have been invited to participate in virtual meetings to provide feedback about a future water facility.  more

It's not a water war, but West Palm and the county fear a new rule could leave them dry when they ... Officials responsible for supplying drinking water and irrigation to Palm Beach County are demanding a public hearing on an obscure rule they fear could limit water supply as the state moves to protect northern estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges.  more

Many Broward residents asked to cut down on flushing and showers as cities deal with clogged systems | Local 10  The race to drain the flooded streets and neighborhoods across Broward County has hit a setback.  more

Lake Okeechobee level drops, but will rise again in wake of Tropical Storm Eta | TCPal How could Lake Okeechobee's elevation drop over the weekend despite Tropical Storm Eta's pass across Florida?  more

City seeking ways to halt flooding | | Apopka Chief  Several areas around the city are seeing flooding issues thanks to above-average rainfall the area has received this year, Jeff Weatherford, the city's Public Services director, told the City Council at its meeting on Wednesday, November 4.  more

ECUA considers 6 million gallon sewage overflow tank on West Main, mayor opposes idea | Pensacola News Journal An Emerald Coast Utilities Authority proposal to build a 6 million gallon sewage overflow tank near West Main Street and Barrancas Avenue is raising flags at Pensacola City Hall.  more

U.S. Army Corps Warns Lake Okeechobee Could Rise By 10 Inches As Eta Crosses South Florida | WUSF  Lake Okeechobee could rise by as much as 10 inches as a very wet and messy Eta moves over South Florida, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warned Friday.  more

Heavy rains expected in Southwest Florida as Tropical Depression Eta moves north | News-Press It's not time to put away the rain boots and umbrellas just yet, Southwest Florida.  more

DEP Solicits Proposals Up to $3 Million in Federal 319(h) Grants and Up to $5 Million in Water Quality Assistance Grants more

Unsung heroes at St. Andrews Wastewater Plant get new state of the art facility | My Panhandle The laboratory at the St. Andrews Wastewater Treatment Plant was yet another building that suffered damage during Hurricane Michael. more

City rules on utilities, extends mask requirement | Gulf Breeze News Customers utilizing City of Gulf Breeze and South Santa Rosa Utility System services will be paying a bit more for them now.  more

Former TVA executive Jay Stowe named to head JEA Utilities and more business news | Chattanooga Times  JEA in Jacksonville, Florida, the nation's eighth largest community-owned electric, water and sewer utility, has selected former TVA executive Jay Stowe as its next CEO and managing director.  more
This Week in Water History
USEPA Orders Study of Chemical Contaminants

November 9, 1974:  New York Times headline-E.P.A. Orders a National Study of Chemical Contaminants in Drinking Water. "The Environmental Protection Agency ordered today an immediate nationwide study of chemical contaminants in drinking water after an agency study showed that 66 chemicals were present in Mississippi River water used by New Orleans and nearby communities. Some of the 66 chemicals had already been identified as potential causes of cancer or harmful in other ways."

Commentary: Finding 66 organic chemicals in a water supply occurred at about the same time as a three-part article published in the popular magazine Consumer Reports that discussed the failings of water treatment plants in the U.S. Also presented at this time was a study by the Environmental Defense Fund that alleged the correlation of cancer deaths with use of surface water supplied water from the Mississippi River. These events put tremendous pressure on the U.S. Congress, which responded by passing the Safe Drinking Water Act later in 1974. These studies also initiated the concern with trace organic compounds in drinking water. One of the consequences of these concerns is a bottled water industry in the U.S. with sales of about $15 billion per year.

These events had a profound effect on the career of your scribe. I shifted my PhD dissertation research to the removal of toxic trace organic compounds using drinking water treatment processes. As a result, my thesis and the papers that resulted from it were some of the first that looked at the mechanisms of trace organic removal by granular activated carbon and other processes.

For more articles on what went on this week in water history, click here.
Florida Rural Water Association | |
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309