FRWA eNews
January 25, 2019
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Florida Rural Water Association
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309
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Hurricane Michael
Damage Estimates

Power, water, and sewer se rvices have been restored. The emergency crews (heroes) have returned home. The drone of chainsaws and emergency generators have silenced. However, Florida Panhandle communities hit by Hurricane Michael are still recovering from the devastation - particularly rural communities.
Florida Rural Water Association is advocating with the Florida Legislature for water and wastewater systems impacted by Hurricane Michael. We have prepared the attached disaster estimate of storm damages to water and wastewater infrastructure. The repair estimates have been developed using utility input, field observations by circuit riders, utility emergency relief personnel, and engineers, and experience gained from other disasters that have hit Florida over the decades.
We're doing what we always do, promote your interests. We have teamed up with the Florida League of Cities, Florida Association of Counties, Florida Section of AWWA, and Florida Water Environment Association. There is already a bill filed in the Senate for $50M in relief funds to impacted utilities.
Areas hardest hit by Hurricane Michael.

The damage estimates are likely low (understated). It is common that emergency repairs have a short-term life and actual damages are not known or knowable immediately after the disaster. The emergency workers, or "MacGyvers," patch the water system in one place and quickly move on. These repairs are performed using "bailing wire and duct tape" and work well enough to serve for the moment.
Underlying damage is often not known until the facilities are re-energized and more fully operational, and complete capital cost estimates developed by operators, maintenance staff, managers, engineers, etc.
Plus, extensively damaged infrastructure is likely undersized, old, or outdated. Repairs to facilities beyond their useful life are not often simply replaced and upgraded to meet current needs.

For a look at the draft of the impacts and damage estimates click here.
2019 Focus on Change
The first Sessions of the Focus on Change is just a little over a week away.  Classes are filling up fast.   If you have not already registered please do so soon to reserve your space in the class. 

There are several very timely topics being discussed in the General Session and Breakout Sessions. Please take the time to join us for what we anticipate to be a very informative Training Seminar. 

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.  The 2019 CEU cycle ends on April 30, 2019, what better way to earn 0.6 CEUs! 

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
National News
Icebergs of fat, oil, and grease are growing in the sewers beneath our feet. Here's why. A specter is haunting Europe-and the United States, and the rest of the developed world. It lurks beneath our streets, slinking along with oily modesty as it searches out hospitable corners of our cities.  more

Scientists discover freaky fish thriving in waters we thought were deadly to life The Guardian In the water, it's getting harder to breathe. Suffocating dead zones with little or no oxygen are pervading the world's oceans, rivers, and streams. more

House Speaker Pelosi "Optimistic" about Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Legislation This week in Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi address the country's mayors at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting. more

Bipartisan Legislation to Subsidize Water Bills Subsidizing water bills for low-income families may be more difficult than a similar successful program for energy, but that's the road map a bipartisan group of lawmakers is exploring. more
State News
Water quality activist supports FWC decision to pause herbicide treatment | WINK  No more spraying. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Thursday that it is putting a pause on herbicide treatments on fresh water around in Southwest Florida.  more

Melbourne to continue fluoridating water, weigh future fluoride voter referendum | Florida Today  The city of Melbourne will maintain status quo and continue fluoridating drinking water for roughly 170,000 residents across southern Brevard County. more

Hamilton County residents, officials share sewage spill concerns with legislators | Suwannee Democrat   Hamilton County residents and elected officials shared concerns over the ongoing wastewater spills from Valdosta, Ga., during the county's legislative delegation hearing Jan. 16.  more

DEP Celebrates Florida Recycles Day  Today, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection joined the Florida Recycling Partnership and other recycling stakeholders in celebration of Florida Recycles Day with a press conference and educational displays at the Florida Capitol.  more

Water quality specialists reflect on Florida's first water policy summit Tampa Bay Times Regional experts join us in the studio today to discuss what happened at the first Florida Water Policy Summit last night. more

Once leading the way, Clearwater's plan to turn wastewater to drinking water is on hold Tallahassee Democrat  After 10 years of study and a $6.2 million investment, Clearwater has the design and permits to break ground. But construction on the cutting edge plant is stalled due to costs. more

Sen. Montford seeks to ban fracking and have it declared a threat to Florida's aquifer WFLX West Palm Beach  Sen. Bill Montford seeks to ban fracking by having the controversial practice declared a threat to the state's drinking water supply. more

Dry conditions may be good and bad for Lake Okeechobee  Palm Beach Daily News  South Florida Water Management District officials are calling it a drier than average dry season and are preparing for water shortages.  more

Stuart city water cleanup funding request filed in Florida Legislature  Treasure Coast Newspapers  The state could cover some of the costs to clean up chemicals from Stuart's water supply. more

4 things to know from the Mexico Beach City Council meeting | Panama City News Herald  The Mexico Beach City Council met Tuesday and, as expected, various aspects of Hurricane Michael recovery were discussed.  more

Opinion: Debbie Mayfield: Septic tanks play a major role in algae blooms | Gainesville Sun GateHouse Media reporter John Kennedy's recent article, "State Republicans, DeSantis split on water issues," implied that there is discord where there is none. more

HB 191: Rural counties to receive Triumph funding | Washington County News  A proposal filed by Representative Brad Drake, R- Eucheanna, is bringing some rural counties into the Triumph fold. more

Florida legislators want to filter public school drinking water | Tallahassee Democrat  A trip to the water fountain after lunch or recess may seem innocuous for students. But Florida legislators are concerned with what may be in the water.  more
This Week in Water History
January 19, 1918:  Municipal Journal article-Well Drilling by Canton Water Department. "The superintendent of the Canton, Miss., electric light and water works, J. T. Sharp, Jr., furnishes the following information, with accompanying photograph, describing work done recently in drilling a new well for the water supply. The water works is owned and operated by the city under a commission, being now in its 13th year. A complete well-drilling outfit forms a part of its equipment, by which the city is able to drill deep wells and do any well repairing that is necessary. Two sources of supply are available to the city, one at 1,020 ft. deep which will rise 12 ft. above the surface, and another at a depth of 375 ft. which will rise to a level of 14 ft. below the surface. A well tapping the latter supply drops only 23 ft. when yielding 300 to 350 gallons per minute, or to a point 37 ft. below the surface."

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