Tuesday, November 13, 2018
     
"An investment in Knowledge pays the best Interest."

Ben Franklin's words still ring true today. So we pick out the most appropriate articles in current events and news regarding the Water Industry both nationally and in Kansas to filter the most pertinent information for you.

Weekly News - Nov. 5, 2018

11/05/2018 - Weekly KRWA E-News

City of Topeka Begins Project to Replace Majority of 57,000 Water Meters 
The program will convert commercial and residential water meters to a wireless system that transmits the meter readings to receivers placed strategically throughout the city, said Ryan Woolaway, the city’s community education manager. Readings will be transmitted hourly to monitor usage and alert the utility department if a leak is suspected. Photo of the type of meter to be replaced by the City of Topeka.“This technology will not only improve the efficiency and accuracy of the meter reading program, it will also improve the customer experience,” Woolaway said. A good portion of the  city's current meters require a meter reader to visit homes monthly, Woolaway said. They have been in service for 15 to 20 years and have reached the end of their use, he said. The new meters have a 20-year battery life. [source]


KDHE Launches Public Awareness Campaign Regarding Well Water
Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) last week unveiled a public awareness campaign to recommend that private well users have their water tested for at least two contaminants, every one to three years. The contaminants include total coliform bacteria and nitrate. The campaign includes a flyer, public service announcement, web page and social media messaging. “It’s important for residents to understand that the Environmental Protection Agency sets regulations for treating and monitoring community water systems, but these regulations don’t apply to privately owned wells,” said KDHE Environment Director Leo Henning. “Residents are responsible for monitoring their own wells, so we want them to have the information they need to ensure their drinking water is safe from contamination.” [source]

 

WIFIA Update: EPA Selects 39 Projects to Apply for Water Infrastructure Loans
Two Kansas projects are among 39 nationally invited to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. The WIFIA program accelerates investment in our nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects. One of the selected projects in Kansas is for the City of Frontenac, which proposes a new well, water treatment facility upgrades, water distribution system improvements, elevated water storage tank improvements, and a new 250,000 gallon elevated water storage tank. All proposed improvements are designed to greatly increase the useful life of the system, reduce water hardness and reduce combined radium to levels below EPA’s maximum contaminant level. It also increases water supply redundancy, water storage for firefighting and supply to customers, and the useful life of the entire water system. The other Kansas project is the Northwest Water Treatment Facility at Wichita. The proposed facility will be a greenfield water treatment plant to serve the City of Wichita and surrounding communities, industries, and wholesale customers. The new plant will provide 120 million gallons per day (MGD) of firm capacity and will replace the existing, aging Main Water Treatment Plant. The purpose of the project is to replace aging infrastructure to provide reliable delivery of drinking water from a diversified water supply portfolio. Nationally, the selected borrowers will receive WIFIA loans totaling up to $5 billion to help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments and create up to 155,000 jobs. These loans will allow large and small communities across the country to implement projects to address two national water priorities – providing for clean and safe drinking water including reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants and addressing aging water infrastructure. When EPA receives its appropriation, the WIFIA program issues a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) to solicit letters of interest from prospective borrowers seeking financing from EPA. The 39 selected projects are from 62 letters of interest submitted by prospective borrowers for water infrastructure projects across the country that were submitted to EPA earlier this year. [source]

 

Appeal Period Open for Proposed Floodplain Map for Butler County, Augusta and El Dorado 
KDA/DWR map of current or proposed floodplain mapping projects.An updated Flood Insurance Rate Map for portions of the city of Augusta, the city of El Dorado, and unincorporated Butler County was released for public review in early 2018. Before the new map is finalized, property owners and lessees are being allowed one last opportunity to provide engineering data through their community during the official 90-day appeal process. The appeal period began Sept. 20 and will continue through Dec. 18. The new map will provide communities with up-to-date flood risk information and tools that can be used to enhance local mitigation plans, and help local officials and residents make informed decisions about reducing flood risks and purchasing flood insurance. Only mapping within the City of Augusta levee analysis area and the City of El Dorado levee analysis area is being updated at this time. The local mapping project is part of a nationwide effort led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to increase local knowledge of flood risks and to support actions to address and reduce those risks. The work in Butler County has been led by FEMA and the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources in partnership with local community officials. Community officials encourage property owners and lessees to view the proposed Flood Insurance Rate Map to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements. The new preliminary map can be found on the KDA/DWR website, along with information about other floodplain mapping projects. [source]

 

Happy ‘National Jealousy Day’! Finland Bares Its Citizens’ Tax Records
Pamplona can boast of the running of the bulls, Rio de Janeiro has Carnival, but Helsinki is alone in observing “National Jealousy Day,” when every Finnish citizen’s taxable income is made public at 8 a.m. sharp. The annual Nov. 1 data dump is the starting gun for a countrywide game of who’s up and who’s down. Though some complain that the tradition is an invasion of privacy, most say it has helped the country resist the trend toward growing inequality that has crept across of the rest of Europe. “When we do publish the figures, the people who have lower salary start to think, ‘Why do my colleagues make more?”’ said Tuomo Pietilainen, an investigative reporter at Helsingin Sanomat, the country’s largest daily newspaper. “Our work has the effect that people are paid more.” Employers, he said, “have to behave better than in conditions where there is no transparency.” Economists in the United States have shown great interest in salary disclosure in recent years, in part as a way of reducing gender or racial disparities in pay. Transparency may or may not reduce inequality, but does tend to make people less satisfied, several concluded. A study of faculty members at the University of California, where pay was made accessible online in 2008, found that lower-earning workers, after learning how their pay stacked up, were less happy in their job and more likely to look for a new one. “More information may not be something which improves overall well-being,” said Alexandre Mas, one of the authors of the University of California report. [source]

 

Hoover Dam Transformed in an Exceptional Display of Purple to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence
Bureau of Reclamation Photo: Hoover Dam was lit purple Monday night to raise awareness about the impacts of domestic violence.With national Domestic Violence Awareness Month coming to an end, the iconic Hoover Dam was lit purple last week in honor of efforts in Nevada and across the country to raise awareness about these crimes. "More than 100 onlookers gathered atop the Mike O’Callahan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge in solidarity with the local and statewide organizations who united for this unique show of strength,” said Len Schilling, Manager of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Dams Office. “We were delighted to be able to use the majesty of Hoover Dam to draw attention to this vitally important domestic cause." [source]

 

KRWA Training Calendar
 

Nov. 6: Manhattan
Math Refresher Course for Water and Wastewater Operators

 

Nov. 7: Great Bend
Math Refresher Course for Water and Wastewater Operators  

 

Nov. 7-8: Manhattan
Activated Sludge

 

Nov. 13: Lawrence
Cross Connection - Backflow Prevention

 

Nov. 14: Clay Center
Operation & Maintenance of Wells and Distribution Systems

 

Nov. 15: Lawrence
Cross Connection - Backflow Prevention

 

Drought Monitor
According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, the trend toward drought improvement continued across a majority of the High Plains this week as recent moisture helped to improve both short- and long-term deficits. In Kansas, however, conditions remain largely unchanged from last week. While most of Kansas enjoys drought-free conditions, areas of stubborn dryness and moderate drought persist across portions of northeast Kansas. Since remaining deficits are at longer time scales, greater than 6 months, the drought designation in those areas remains classified as "Long-Term," due to ongoing impacts to hydrology and ecology. The greatest chances for precipitation in the coming week are in the Pacific Northwest, Northern and Central Rockies, and across the eastern half of the continental U.S., particularly in a band stretching from east Texas to New England. For Kansas, the NOAA/WPC 7-day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast appears to favor good chances for lighter precipitation over a large portion of Kansas this week.

Kansas detail from the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Nov. 1, 2018.

Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central Region and Southern Plains Region