Friday, January 17, 2020
"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 - Jan. 13, 2020

01/13/2020 - Weekly KRWA E-News

Governor’s Water Appointments Pass Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee
Several of Governor Laura Kelly's appointments approved during the 2019 Legislative Interim, including Connie Owen, as Chair of the Kansas Water Authority, and Earl Lewis, as Director of the Kansas Water Office, were approved last week by the Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee and will be voted on by the full Senate during the upcoming 2020 Legislative Session. “I have been working diligently to appoint people I know will perform their duties with the utmost dedication,” Governor Kelly said. “I appreciate the Senate committee’s support in approving these appointments, and look forward to each appointee’s service to the people of Kansas.” [source


Applications Sought for KRWA Dennis Schwartz Scholarship
The deadline to submit applications for the Dennis Schwartz Scholarship, for the 2020-2021 academic year, is January 31, 2020. The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school senior. Applicants are limited to children, stepchildren or students under legal guardianship of either a KRWA Active Member System or KRWA employee. The scholarship was created in honor of Dennis Schwartz who served on the KRWA Board of Directors from 1977 to 2014, and who has served on a host of state and national committees including the National Rural Water Association, National Drinking Water Advisory Committee and the Kansas Water Authority. The recipient will receive the amount of $1,000, beginning with the 2020-2021 school term, and will be announced during the KRWA Annual Conference & Exhibition, March 24-26, 2020. [more


EPA Completes Agreement to Settle Clean Water Act Violations From Biosolids Land Application in Salina
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that it had completed four federal enforcement actions, including one in Kansas, to settle Clean Water Act violations that resulted from land application of biosolids. The EPA alleges that Salina land-applied biosolids in 2016, 2017 and 2018 that contained molybdenum in excess of the allowable ceiling concentration in violation of the regulation for land application. “When sewage sludge is properly processed and treated, the resulting biosolids can be used as a fertilizer,” said EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Assistant Administrator Susan Bodine. EPA’s enforcement actions ensure that biosolids meet appropriate limits for use on crops and in fields where livestock graze, and that compost consumers buy at their local hardware store is appropriate to use in their gardens. These EPA actions also help to ensure that stormwater runoff from fields treated with biosolids do not impact lakes and rivers. [source


Private Water Wells in High Plains Aquifer Show Large Increase in Nitrate Levels
The Great Bend Prairie Aquifer, a part of High Plains Aquifer, was the focus of a 40-year comparison study of private domestic water wells recently published in Hydrogeology Journal. The 2016 study measured water chemistries and compared them with 1970s measurements at the same sites. Twenty of 21 wells had increases of nitrate concentrations compared to the 1970s samples. Seven wells exceeded the nitrate concentrations allowed by the EPA standard for drinking water. In the 1970s study, only one of the wells was above the current EPA standard. Matthew Kirk, KSU associate professor of geology and the study's principal investigator, and Alexandria "Allie" Richard Lane, KSU 2018 master's degree graduate in geology, published the study along with Donald Whittemore, Kansas Geological Survey; Randy Stotler, KU Department of Geology; and John Hildebrand and Orrin Feril, both with Big Bend GMD No. 5. According to KDHE, about 7 percent of Kansans get their water from privately-owned wells. KDHE unveiled an ongoing public awareness campaign in 2018 recommending that private wells be tested for at least two contaminants, every one to three years, specifically total coliform bacteria and nitrates. [source


2020 Expected to be a Busy Year for Baldwin City
The city’s biggest project of 2020 will be a $2.6 million upgrade of sewer line serving southeast Baldwin City. Financed with a low-interest loan the city secured through KDHE, the project will either replace existing clay sewer line or provide a new lining in the less deteriorated sections of the line. The new line will prevent the rainwater flooding of sewer line that now occurs through pipe infiltration, which reduces the capacity and effectiveness of the city’s wastewater plant. [source


Regulators to Review Handling of Water Problem at Nebraska Nuclear Plant
The Cooper Nuclear Station, located along the Missouri River, approximately 35 miles north of Hiawatha, was operating at full power Dec. 6 when employees noticed they were unable to establish water flow through a large pipe that discharges water used to cool some of the plant’s safety-related equipment, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a Jan. 2 press release. The plant owner and operator, the Nebraska Public Power District, soon determined that silt had built up and blocked the pipe outfall. The district had the silt removed within a week. On Dec. 18, the NRC sent an inspector to the site to gather additional information in preparation for a special inspection that is expected to begin this week to review the circumstances that contributed to the problem. Flooding on the Missouri River threatened the plant in March, but the plant continued to operate. The river crested 4 inches short of the level at which the reactor had to be shut down as a safety precaution. [source


KRWA Training Calendar
Register for the KRWA Conference

January 14: El Dorado
Operation and Maintenance of Lift Stations

January 15: Moundridge
Wastewater Lagoon Operation and Maintenance


January 28-31: Manhattan
Cross Connection - Backflow Prevention 


February 4: De Soto
Water & Wastewater Math


February 5: Newton
Fundamentals of Chlorination: Operation of Chlorination Systems


February 5-6: De Soto
Activated Sludge


Drought Monitor
After a mostly warm and dry week across the High Plains, moderate and severe drought continued across the southern portions of Colorado and adjacent southwest Kansas. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor also depicts persistent moderate drought conditions in south-central Kansas. Those dry conditions remain a big concern for farmers in drought affected areas of Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, where most of the nation’s winter wheat is grown. “The rain stopped in July and we had no significant moisture left until Thanksgiving,” said Kyler Millershaski, a wheat farmer in Lakin.
Kansas portion of the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Jan. 7, 2020.
Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central RegionSouthern Plains Region and State of Kansas


E-News is compiled and edited by Ken Kopp, KRWA. Subscribe to this weekly newsletter by e-mail to with subject "subscribe krwa e-news."