89 Main St., Suite 4, Montpelier, VT 05602
Clean Water: Our Most Crucial Resource
For all water-users, state and municipal administrators, educators, and students, we suggest the following for information about how drinking water and wastewater systems work, and how citizens can play a vital role in reducing water pollution:
"Water Resource Recovery Facility 3-D Virtual Tour," by the Water Environment Federation, is an excellent, 10-minute animated video overview for people of all ages:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2FmNrEmowE
"From Flush to Finish," by the City of Grand Isle, 26 minutes, offers both schematic animations and real-time views of equipment, technology, and processes in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRaptzcp9G4
Challenges Facing Water Management Infrastructure
"Liquid Assets," by Penn State University, shows first-hand thechallenges facing our ability to provide ourselves with safe drinking water while protecting our natural waters through appropriate wastewater management. (Trailer): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cul30R0z-A
(The full, 43-minute video is also available online.)
COVID-19 Resources for Water Quality Workers
Drinking water and wastewater treatment are essential services, and facility staff are deemed essential workers. It’s important that all water quality workers learn about COVID-19 (the disease), SARS-CoV-2 (the virus), and precautionary measures their positions may demand.
The Basics: The Water Environment Federation (WEF) offers an excellent primer geared toward water quality professionals at www.wef.org/news-hub/wef-news/the-water-professionals-guide-to-the-2019-novel-coronavirus/
Emergency Preparedness: Vermont Rural Water Association, Vt. DEC, and GMWEA have posted a convenient, one-page guide, “COVID-19 Preparedness for Water and Wastewater Systems.” It offers advice on protecting the health of water quality workers and facility/personnel management during the emergency: vtruralwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/VT_COVID19_Preparedness_v8.pdf
Getting Help: VTWARN, the statewide mutual aid network, has been re-established, allowing water and wastewater facilities to rapidly receive assistance if their operations are impaired due to shortfalls of staffing, supplies, or equipment: www.VTWARN.org.
Water or Wastewater Transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, Precautions, and PPE:
Impact on Water Grants, Contracts, and Loans: The Vt. DEC, recognizing that the emergency has affected performance on water-related contracts, has published a helpful page of FAQs at www.dec.vermont.gov/water-investment/covid-19 .
Your Health: The Vt. Dept. of Health site describes COVID-19 symptoms, gives tips on staying healthy, and explains what to do if you think you have caught it: www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19 .
Water-wise Homes & Communities:
To improve your household's impact on Vermont's water quality, read GMWEA's "Don't Flush It!" brochure series! Each brochure offers simple tips on how to avoid putting pollutants (or septic/sewer system-damaging materials) into your wastewater stream. Remember, all the water you use eventually ends up back in the ground, rivers, or lakes! Keeping it clean helps protect human health and the environment. To view or download "Cloggers!", "Drugs!", or "Poisons!", CLICK HERE.
For more information on water quality science, technology, infrastructure, emerging issues, funding, and policies, we recommend the resources provided by the following state, regional, and federal organizations and agencies. GMWEA works regularly with these trusted allies to bring national and regional expertise to assist Vermont water users, water-quality professionals, and policy-makers.
Links and Resources
Vermont Rural Water Association (VRWA): www.vtruralwater.org. Serving primarily municipalities and private water systems, VRWD offers a range of trainings, tracks policy issues and rules, and provides technical advice and assistance to cities and towns.
VRWA is a member of the National Rural Water Association and maintains a contact list of scores of links to information useful to individuals, municipalities, corporations, nonprofits, and policy-makers at all levels. To access this excellent resource, go to: http://vtruralwater.org/industry/links.php
New England Water Works Association (NEWWA): www.newwa.org . Based in Massachusetts, NEWWA in a regional organization focused on drinking water. It offers conferences, trainings for professionals, and a quarterly journal/newsletter.
New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA): www.newea.org. NEWEA is based in Woburn, Mass., and focuses on wastewater issues. It offers conferences, technical trainings, a quarterly journal, and regional links.
New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Council (NEIWPCC):www.neiwpcc.org. Founded by the U.S. Congress, governed by the seven New England states, NEIWPCC conducts programs in research, pollution control, source water protection, wastewater, wetlands ecology, and many more, including programs for youth and continuing education for professionals.
North East Biosolids & Residuals Association (NEBRA):www.nebiosolids.org. NEBRA is a nonprofit, interstate organization focused on environmentally sound, publicly-supported recycling of biosolids (nutrient-rich organic by-products of wastewater treatment) and other organic residuals such as paper pulp for soil amendment and renewable energy generation.