March 29, 2017: GMWEA Hosts Annual Legislative Luncheon
After joining other water-quality organizations for Clean Water Day activities at the Statehouse, GMWEA board members and staff hosted GMWEA's annual Legislative Luncheon at the Capitol Plaza Hotel for lunch and conversation. Approximately 30 water quality facility operators, representatives of New England regional water quality organizations, Vermont DEC staff, and legislators attended. Participants enjoyed a delicious lunch and informal discussion of water quality policies being discussed at the Statehouse as well as long-term water-related issues at the state and national level.
Among the topics discussed were the recent Clean Water Report and proposed water quality improvements funding and H.211, particularly concerns over land application of biosolids. GMWEA greatly appreciates the legislators who attended this event for their interest in Vermont's water quality and their attention to the complex and highly-technical implications of policies under consideration! Thanks are also due to GMWEA members who attended to share their perspectives.
May 25, 2017: Spring Member Meeting & Technical Trainings
One of GMWEA's two major annual events, the Spring Member Meeting at Killington Grand Hotel was attended by approximately 170 members and vendors representing water quality products and services. The event included six technical trainings as well as a special, half-day, IACET-certified course on the growing importance of effective public relations for water quality municipal facilities. In addition to the trainings, the day also featured addresses by GMWEA president Rick Kenney and NEWEA executive director Ray Vermette; an excellent lunch; GMWEA's business/member meeting; GMWEA's annual awards ceremony; and a raffle.
During the GMWEA business meeting, attendees elected Steve Crosby for another term on the bosrd of directors, along with Michele Eisenstein, long-time GMWEA associate in many capacities, continuing education committee vice chair, and former board member.
May, 2017 -- GMWEA's Busiest Month Ever!
GMWEA is presenting a lot of activities throughout the state this month! Join us for some the events listed below; click on the event title for more information.
May 16, 2017 New Stormwater Manual Training
In partnership with Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, GMWEA presented a training focused on the new Stormwater Manual. The half-day course, attended by thirty operators, engineers, systems, designers, and facilitated by four members of Vt. DEC's Stormwater Unit, was held at Rutland Free Library. The event was one of several presented by the Vt. DEC throughout Vermont; additional trainings may be offered later in 2017 if demand warrants.
The training event provided an overview of the new Manual. Topics included applying the updated stormwater treatment standards under the new runoff-reduction approach and prioritized Water Quality Practice Selection framework; a review of the stormwater treatment design requirements, including changes to certain practices; and consideration of new application materials, supporting guidance, and application preparation tools, including design examples.
For more information about the new Manual, visit: http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/stormwater/manual_update.
May 19, 2017: Water Quality Day Observed Statewide
GMWEA initiated Water Quality Day in 2014 to remind Vermont citizens and policymakers of the crucial role water, waste water, and stormwater management plays in Vermont's way of life -- and to honor the boots-on-the-ground professionals who make the miracle happen 24/7/365. Proclaimed originally by Gov. Peter Shumlin, proclaimed in 2017 by Gov. Phil Scott, this annual event offers Vermonters opportunities to learn more about the people, the science, and the high-tech equipment that "provide our first and most critical protections against pollution" and bring drinking water to our faucets.
This year, approximately 180 visitors took tours of nine water, wastewater, and stormwater facilities.
Special thanks are in order to the staff of facilities that held open houses this year: Middlebury WWTF, Rutland WWTF and Rutland Water Filtration Plant, Montpelier WRRF, Milton WWTF, Champlain Water District, South Burlington Stormwater Facility, South Burlington WRRF, and Hinesburg Water Treatment Facility!
Below: Middlebury Union H.S. students observing polymer addition to sludge. Photo by Bob Wells.