FRWA eNews
April 16, 2020
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Florida Rural Water Association
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309
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National Water Utility Survey Impacts of COVID-19 Emergency
Please fill out this rapid survey to assess the overall impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency on your utility. NRWA will use the information generated by this survey to support legislation to help all water utilities respond to and recover from this crisis.

The survey is intended for all water and wastewater utilities ("water utility") nationwide.  Your answers will be kept strictly confidential. Please fill out one survey per utility.   Thank you for time.
The new WATER Tracker system was launched on Monday with a partial re lease for the current event.  A full launch for Hurricane season will occur around June 1st.  This new system combines the former StormTracker website and Florida Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (FlaWARN) event trackers. This system gives utilities one portal for all water and wastewater facilities to post status, submit needs and request resources.  During the launch, an email was sent to each system on file with your user name and a link to create your WATER Tracker password. We recommend that you use Chrome to access WATER Tracker. If you did not receive the email, please contact us by clicking here.

At this time, we are assuming that your facility is fully operational. WATER Tracker is being deployed ahead of schedule to assist FlaWARN, FRWA and FDEP to prioritize any needs or resources you have during this crisis. Please remember that Florida's WATER Tracker  is not only a reporting mechanism but also a means of obtaining assistance through FlaWARN and other partners. 

If you are an operator associated with multiple utilities, please email us at Include a list of the utilities so we can assure that they are linked to your profile for easier access.

If you need assistance logging into WATER Tracker, please call 800-872-8207. You may also be receiving a call from one of the WATER Tracker partners to check on your system. If you are having difficulty accessing the website, you may need to check with your IT department to make this an approved site. 
National News
Chlorine producer meeting increased demand from nervous water plant operators JCI Jones Chemical, a bulk producer of chlorine and bleach products, is leveling off production after a few weeks of water treatment plant operators placing larger and more frequent orders amid concerns of running out of cleaning and disinfection chemicals during the coronavirus pandemic. more

Legislation Considerd in Congress as part of Next Relief Legislation  Copy of House Bill to provide for an enhanced Coronavirus relief fund for units of government with a population of 500,000 or less, and for other purposes. more

Stevens, Michigan Delegation Members Urge Governor Whitmer to Support Small and Mid-Sized Cities  This week, Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11) led a bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers in calling on Governor Gretchen Whitmer to consider the needs of small and mid-sized cities as the State of Michigan distributes nearly $4 billion in federal funds that were allocated to the state as part of the recently-passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. more

Trump calls for $2 trillion infrastructure package as part of coronavirus response Four days after signing an unprecedented $2 trillion relief bill to blunt the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, the president on Tuesday called for the U.S. to spend another couple trillion bucks on a massive infrastructure package.  more
State News
A Message from Secretary Noah Valenstien   I'm pleased to announce that the department will be launching WATER (Water Assistance Tracking and Emergency Response) Tracker, a new online system to coordinate drinking and wastewater utilities across the state during times of emergency.  more

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces HUD Providing $633 Million in New Disaster Mitigation Program Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved the state of Florida's action plan for the $633 million in first-of-its-kind federal funding for disaster mitigation.  more

Florida warns of Apalachicola River's 'doom' if Georgia isn't forced to release more water to it | Orlando Sentinel  Warning that a special master's recommendation would "spell doom" for the Apalachicola River, Florida wants the U.S. Supreme Court to require Georgia to share more water in a river system that links the two states.   more

Sewer district plans second solar project | Key West Citizen  Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District commissioners have nodded approval for staff to discuss the second phase of solar power installation with Burke Energy, the highest-ranked company that bid the job.   more

St. Cloud continues to clean water lines of sediment | WESH  It was only a few months ago that some people in St. Cloud started seeing brown water coming out of their faucets.   more

COCOA UTILITIES DEPARTMENT: Risk to Water Supplies Low During Coronavirus Pandemic | Space Coast Daily   The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low, according to the Cocoa Utilities Department.   more

SFWMD Issues Strict Guidelines for Landscape Irrigation Amid Drier Conditions | CBS Miami  You've probably noticed there hasn't been very much rain around lately which is why the South Florida Water Management District is issuing a water conservation order with strict guidelines on irrigation.  more

Officials send letter outlining priorities to tackle PFAS Officials sent a letter outlining their priorities to address in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to address harmful PFAS chemicals.  more

Joint Florida Water Utility Associations Letter to Senator Rubio   While the recent enacted CARES Act brought much needed relief to many societal sectors, it failed to include funding for water and wastewater utilities.   more

South Florida Had Its Driest March On Record. Summer Could Be Trouble | WLRN  As a drought across South Florida deepens following a record-dry March, Lake Okeechobee teeters on the edge of a water shortage, canals shrink and withering marshes risk losing peat that took centuries to build.  more

10 tips to save water for water conservation month while you shelter at home  While the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) encourages water conservation year-round, there is extra emphasis each April for Water Conservation Month.  more

Even if you're out of toilet paper, Palm Beach leaders beg - don't flush wet wipes The extreme demand for toilet paper has been a punchline for many, but Palm Beach County utility leaders say flushing substitutes down the drain is no laughing matter.   more

EPA encourages Americans to only flush toilet paper   Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging all Americans to only flush toilet paper, not disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should be disposed of in the trash.   more

Water associations reassure public on tap water's safety during COVID-19 outbreak  As the global COVID-19 crisis continues to develop and reports of bottled water shortages make headlines, the National Association of Water Companies, the American Water Works Association and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies recently issued a joint statement which may be useful for water utilities and treatment plant operators to share with the public.   more

Warm Gulf water may intensify hurricane season Water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are running more than three degrees above average, increasing the prospects for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes this spring and potentially stronger hurricane activity in the summer and fall.  more
This Week in Water History
Small Water Treatment Plants in Illinois

April 10, 1913:  Engineering Newsarticle. Conditions of Small Water Purification Plants in Illinois. By Ralph Hilscher. "In Illinois there are about a dozen water purification plants with rated capacities of about 2,000,000 gal. per day, or less, which involve the use of coagulants, settling basins and filters. Of these, with possibly two or three exceptions, it can be said that none produce an effluent that attains at all times the standard of purity that any municipality should demand for Its public water-supply. Some of these plants yield an effluent during the major part of the time, which is of quite satisfactory quality, but fall far short of successful operation during periods of excessive turbidity and color in the raw water. Others produce an effluent at no time that is of good appearance and satisfactory from a hygienic standpoint more

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