FRWA eNews
September 17, 2020
Florida Rural Water Association
2970 Wellington Circle
Tallahassee FL 32309
Flushing Signs
Upcoming Training
Water and Wastewater System Training/Cairo GA
1/2/3 Water Distribution Certification/Pensacola
1/2/3 Water Distribution Certification/Bradenton
B/C Wastewater Certification Review/Tavares
1/2/3 Water Distribution Certification/West Palm Beach
Online Training
Sally Takes a Swing
Hurricane Sally takes a swing at Florida

Hurricane Sally made landfall as a Category 2 storm near the western Florida-Alabama border in the early morning of September 16, 2020. While a category 2 storm seems small, Sally presented a unique trial in emergency response with her slow moving rain bands that have poured a record amount of rain onto both states. Sally continues her slow steady march to the Atlantic Coast and is expected to continue pouring rain on Alabama, Georgia, and Florida for the next several days. Flood warnings, watches, and advisories are in effect for several areas. Flooding creates a hazard for responders as flood waters can hide dangerous debris or downed power lines. Flood waters can submerge equipment and controls causing damage and outage. 

As with any storm event, safety is a top priority during the response effort. This includes when responders are on site assisting as well as when they travel. FRWA coordinates with the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT), local sheriff offices, and other authorities to ensure that roads are clear and passable for travel. This has been exceedingly important given the damage the 3 Mile Bridge in Pensacola. Other bridges may have been affected and closed for inspection prior to heavy equipment being driven over them. FRWA continues to monitor the progress of these closures to ensure that equipment travels quickly and safely to the ones who need it. While some traffic delays may slow our response FRWA will find a way to get the equipment to those in need using our semi or fleet vehicles.
As we in the water industry know, flooding can be a detriment to collection systems causing inflow through manholes and flooding of lift stations. This flooding has caused a number of systems to experience an increased need for bypass and trash pumps to bail out their lift stations. FRWA has responded with as many resources as we had on hand. Our response to Hurricane Laura which affected Louisiana earlier this year saw most of our equipment already deployed out of state. As equipment is released from its use in Louisiana, FRWA will continue to move it to staging areas in the affected area to continue serving our members. Georgia Rural Water (GRWA) has pledged 3 by pass pumps to aid in removing flood water and to pump out submerged and damaged lift stations while we wait on FRWA's resources to become available. It's great to know that rural water sticks together regardless of state lines.

Generators of all sizes have made their way into the affected area. From our tiniest 2 kilowatt generators up to our large 200 kilowatt generators, FRWA has responded with several generators being brought to the affected area. Florida's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has acquired an additional 16 large state-owned generators for use in this emergency response. These generators will be loaded onto the FRWA semi and sent to the area later this week. more
National News
Rural Water Senior Leaders on Front Lines of Emergency Relief Executive Directors Credeur, Matthews, and Williams all "On-site" in Hurricane Laura Emergency Response Efforts. more

Minnesota Drafts $700 Million Plan to Address PFAS in Water from Its $850 Million Settlement with 3M Minnesota is planning to spend about $700 million of its $850 million settlement with 3M Co. to address PFAS contamination in drinking water in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, the state announced Thursday.  more

Strained Rural Water Utilities Buckle Under Pandemic The months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic already spelled trouble for the Rome Water System and the tiny community it serves in the Mississippi Delta. more

Millions of Americans Lack Clean, Affordable Water   Clean water is a basic human right, according to the United Nations. more

Final LCRR Still Under OMB Review As of today (Friday, 9/11), the final Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) are still under Executive Order Review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). more

Wastewater data helping local experts identify COVID-19 hot spots early - Analyzing sewage for traces of the novel coronavirus has become a part of the largest public health response in memory, and local officials have adopted a testing strategy they say could identify outbreaks up to a week in advance of standard nasal swab testing.  more
State News
Fitch Upgrades Hollywood, FL's Water & Sewer Revs to 'AA'; Outlook Stable - Fitch Ratings The upgrade of the revenue bond rating to 'AA' from 'AA-' and assessment of the SCP at 'aa' reflects the utility's robust leverage capacity within the framework of strong revenue defensibility and very low operating risks.  more

Destin and other Okaloosa beaches to undergo post-Hurricane Sally review | Northwest Florida Daily News  Full assessments of area beaches and dunes, including the millions of dollars worth of sand that bulked up Holiday Isle beaches in Destin earlier this year, will not be made until Hurricane Sally passes and her storm surge backs away, local officials say.  more

Panama City officials address storm water and sewage system concerns | My Panhandle  Commissions for both Bay County and Panama City declared states of emergency Tuesday evening because of Hurricane Sally. more

Melbourne mayoral candidates disagree over fluoridation of drinking water supply | Florida Today  Melbourne's mayoral race could help determine whether fluoride remains in the drinking water supply for about 170,000 people across southern Brevard County.  more

Pensacola Beach water main break reported, ECUA will shut off water 11 p.m. | Pensacola News Journal  A significant water main break has occurred on Pensacola Beach, and ECUA crews cannot respond due to current storm conditions and bridge closures. more

Smelly, brown water will be a thing of the past after Indiantown OKs $8 million for water plant | TCPalm  After months of waiting, Indiantown's water will be in the hands of its taxpayers, but they won't see crystal-clear drinking water anytime soon.  more

Panama City Beach sewer rate is going up slightly | WJHG
 At the city council meeting Thursday night, it was said that Panama City Beach will still have the lowest water and sewer rates in Bay County.  more

Moving Forward on Wastewater Improvements  Newberry city commissioners turned their attention to wastewater improvements at the Aug, 24 City Commission meeting. The commission approved a bid of $726,004, which includes the base bid of $637,727 and the addition of Alternate One at $88,277 to relocate Lift Station #1 and establish a wet station on higher ground.  more

Tallahassee breaks ground for new water quality laboratory | Tallahassee Democrat  A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday morning for the future location of a water quality laboratory at the city's Thomas P. Smith Water Facility. Local elected officials and representatives from the facility were present.  more
This Week in Water History
Drinking Water Security

September 11, 2001:  The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, D.C. catapulted drinking water security to the forefront. In 2002, the U.S. Congress enacted the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act. With respect to water supplies, this legislation amended the Safe Drinking Water Act and specified actions that community water systems and the EPA must take to improve the security of the nation's drinking-water infrastructure. Vulnerability Assessments were conducted at hundreds of drinking water installations across the U.S.

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