March 18, 2021
FRWA to Begin Lead Testing in Volunteer Schools
The Florida Rural Water Association is working under contract with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on a Federal program known as “The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act”. The WIIN Act authorized several drinking water grants that promote public health and the protection of the environment including WIIN 2107: Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care Facilities. This grant provides funding to establish voluntary lead drinking water testing program for schools and child care facilities. We are contacting schools and childcare facilities in Florida to request their participation in this voluntary program. 

FRWA will be arranging sample collection and laboratories to go into the schools to collect both first draw and running water samples. Once a school district volunteers in your water utility service area, we will contact you to let you know. We suggest your utility install a sample collection tap prior to the school’s service line and collect a lead sample on the same day the school’s internal lines are sampled. We also suggest working further with the school to flush their lines prior to school openings. If lead is a discovered issue within the school, assisting the school district with suggestions on remediation efforts may be helpful.

Currently, there are no federal regulations that require testing of drinking water in schools and childcare facilities that do not own or operate their own public water system. With the funding appropriated under section 1464(d) of the Safe Drinking Water Act, amended by the WIIN Act section 2107, Florida has established a program for testing drinking water lead levels in schools and child care facilities. Protecting Florida’s children is one of our top priorities. This voluntary program which will assist Florida in furthering this priority by assuring that schools are providing the highest quality drinking water to our children. more
NATIONAL NEWS

CISA Insights: COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy within the Critical Infrastructure Workforce The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released the CISA Insights: COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy within the Critical Infrastructure. more

Byron Donalds' first bill would keep harmful algal bloom watchdogs working even if the government shuts down | News-Press Making good on campaign promises, freshman Naples Congressman Byron Donalds introduced his first bill Wednesday: the Harmful Algal Bloom Essential Forecasting Act. more

N.J. city set to make water treatment upgrades worth $23M Upgrades Planned for City's Water Treatment Plant as Lead Service Line Replacement Program Nears End more

House Infrastructure Bill Includes Water Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee unveiled legislation Thursday that would authorize major investments in the country’s electrical and water infrastructure. The $312 billion package would authorize $51.6 billion to protect drinking water by extending and increasing funding for the drinking water SRF targeted to replace lead service lines and a new grant program for community water supplies contaminated with PFAS. (House Committee’s bill)

House Clean Water SRF Reauthorization The House Clean Water Committee leadership including Chair DeFazio (OR) and Subcommittee Chair Napolitano (CA) is expected to introduce a bipartisan bill this week to reauthorize the Clean Water SRF titled, “The Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021.”

EPA Delays Effective Date of New Lead and Copper Until 2022 EPA announced that it is extending the effective date of the Revised Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) so that the agency can seek further public input, particularly from communities that are most at-risk of exposure to lead in drinking water. more

PFAS and Pretreatment On March 10, EPA signed an action to solicit data on the presence and treatment of PFAS in wastewater discharges from PFAS formulators and manufacturers to evaluate regulation through the national Effluent Limitation Guidelines.

EPA Publishes Two Federal Register Notices for LCRR Delays On March 10, EPA signed an action to solicit data on the presence and treatment of PFAS in wastewater discharges from PFAS formulators and manufacturers to evaluate regulation through the national Effluent Limitation Guidelines. more

STATE NEWS

UPDATE: Florida Chief Science Officer Quietly Relinquishes Position | WMFE When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took office two years ago in a state that had been hammered by two major hurricanes in two years and was suffering through an epic toxic algae crisis, he earned widespread praise for appointing the state’s first chief science and chief resilience officers. more

Milton wastewater treatment plant cost doubles to $54 million, city looks to cut costs | Pensacola News Journal Bids for the city of Milton's new wastewater treatment plant came in at about $54 million — nearly twice what it was originally estimated to cost — leaving city officials scrambling to figure out how to cut millions from the price tag so the direly needed project can be seen through. more

City of Marianna receives Environmental Protection Agency’s Pisces Award for Innovation | My Panhandle Earlier this month the city of Marianna received a Pisces Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for innovation — a first for the sunshine state. more

Opinion: Editorial l BOCC sewer project a logical next step | Citrus County Chronicle The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recently considered whether to approve spending CARES Act-derived funds to design and construct wastewater infrastructure to serve the Cardinal Street Interchange Management Area. more

PSC encourages consumers to find and fix leaks | Okeechobee News Are you ready to chase down leaks? Household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide. more

To Preserve Springs, High Springs Is Ditching Septic Tanks | WUFT High Springs has worked to modernize its wastewater system and preserve some of Florida’s natural resources for the past two decades. However, the city has seen the most progress to protect its springs over the past two years. more
This Week in Water History
Dam before failure.
Dam after failure.
March 12, 1928: St. Francis Dam gives way in Los Angeles, killing over 500 people. “The St. Francis Dam was a curved concrete gravity dam, built to create a large regulating and storage reservoir as part of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. It was located in San Francisquito Canyon, about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California, approximately 10 miles north of the city of Santa Clarita….

The dam was designed and built between 1924 and 1926 by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, then named the Bureau of Water Works and Supply. The department was under the supervision of its General Manager and Chief Engineer, William Mulholland.

At two and a half minutes before midnight on March 12, 1928 the dam failed catastrophically and the resulting flood killed up to 600 people. The collapse of the St. Francis Dam is considered to be one of the worst American civil engineering failures of the 20th century and remains the second-greatest loss of life in California’s history, after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and fire. The disaster marked the end of Mulholland’s career….

As the dam collapsed, the reservoir’s 12.4 billion U.S. gallons of water began to surge down San Francisquito Canyon in a dam break wave….” more

For more articles on what went on this week in water history, click here.