Thursday, April 15, 2021
     
"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.

E-News for Apr. 5, 2021

04/05/2021 - Weekly KRWA E-News

Kansas Man Accused of Water Supply Tampering
A 22-year-old Ellsworth County man was indicted last week on charges that he illegally accessed a public water facility's computer system, jeopardizing the residents' safety and health. On Mar. 27, 2019, the man is alleged to have broken into a protected computer system belonging to Post-Rock Rural Water District, using it to shut down the cleaning and disinfecting processes at the facility. The man has been charged by federal prosecutors with one count of tampering with a public water system and one count of reckless damage to a protected computer during unauthorized access, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. If found guilty, the man faces up to 25 years in federal prison and a total fine of $500,000. Post Rock serves water directly in segments of eight counties and indirectly to two more counties, through over 1,500 retail customers and 10 wholesale accounts. [source

 

WaterOne Named 2021 Healthiest Employer Honoree
Photo of WaterOne employees.WaterOne was among 30 companies honored last week by the Kansas City Business Journal as a 2021 Healthiest Employer. Recipients prioritized their employees' well-being in a year when health took center stage. The award, was based on wellness programming and benefits. A data and research company, measured factors using an analytics platform. The assessment scored companies on their wellness program's culture and leadership commitment, foundational components, strategic planning, communication and marketing, programming and interventions, and reporting and analysis. [source

 

KRWA Apprenticeship Program Grows
The City of Garnett recently enrolled three water operators in KRWA's Apprenticeship Program. (L to R: James Howard, Lead Operator, John Rogers, Distribution Operator, and Jeff Mucklow, Water Operator.) The city was able to come up with three mentors which will oversee the on-the-job training of each apprentice, while KRWA staff will provide the course work through a combination of online and in-person delivery. We are excited to have three new apprentices on board! For more information regarding the KRWA Apprenticeship Program, or contact Monica Wurtz at monica@kwa.net or (785) 262-7301.

 

Phase I Construction on Kansas River Weir, North Riverbank in Topeka Wraps Up

Detailed plans for Kansas River weir at Topeka.Phase I construction on the Kansas River weir was expected to wrap up last week. Phase II of the $5.2 million redesign is expected to resume in September. The weir provides the Topeka Water Treatment Plant continuous access to the Kansas River. The redesign is meant to make the weir safer and provide passage for both fish and recreational boats and kayaks. [source

 

City of Lawrence Launches New Water Rate Structure
The city of Lawrence implemented a new billing structure last week, which includes three inclining residential rates and a structure that intends to bill the higher rates only for accessory usage. Households with relatively stable water use all year will pay the lowest rate, while the city will charge those that water their lawns or otherwise use larger-than-average amounts of water 10% to 15% more for those extra gallons. Whether water use falls under the higher rates is based on each individual household’s water usage, meaning that larger families that generally use more water all year round would not be subject to the higher rates. The city identifies water used for irrigation or other accessory uses by comparing each individual household’s average winter use against its water use during the summer months. The new structure was initially scheduled to go into effect in spring 2020, but that rollout was delayed in April by the coronavirus pandemic and a concern that residents would likely be using more water than usual under the stay-at-home order. [source

 

New Soil Health Alliance Formed in Kansas
Kansas Soil Health Alliance LogoThe Kansas Soil Health Alliance's mission is to improve and protect Kansas soils, led by a board of Kansas farmers and ranchers supported by five partner organizations. The nonprofit alliance seeks to promote the benefits of soil health principles to Kansas growers, provide up-to-date science-based information pertaining to soil health and educate Kansas growers about system-based soil health production methods. The alliance is supported by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition (KGLC), Kansas Soybean, No-till on the Plains and General Mills. [source]

 

2021 Kansas Tornado Season Poses Increased Threats
Meteorologists have predicted the 2021 tornado season may be more severe than usual due to the weather phenomena known as La Niña. A 2017 study found a clear relationship between changing patterns of tornados and La Niña, indicating that storms occur more frequently and with greater intensity. [source]

 

KRWA Sponsored Water & Wastewater Training
Apr. 7:          Activated Sludge (ONLINE)
Apr. 13:        Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Training (McPherson)
Apr. 14:        Chlorine -- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (ONLINE)
Apr. 21:        Chemical Feed and Disinfection (ONLINE)
Apr. 27:        Wastewater Collection System Operation and Rehabilitation (Hill City)
Apr. 28:        Wastewater Lagoon Systems - What Makes Them Work - or Not (Cherryvale)
Apr. 29:        Wastewater Lagoon Systems - What Makes Them Work - or Not (Viola)
Apr. 27-30:   Cross Connection - Backflow Prevention (Liberal)

 

Drought Monitor
No significant changes were noted on the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. Localized improvements were noted in a small area of northeast Kansas. Meanwhile, Extreme and exceptional drought conditions have been removed in western counties. Much drier weather is forecast for the central U.S. Meanwhile, a rapid warming trend is likely over the northern and central Great Plains with much above normal temperatures forecast during the first week of April. Gusty south winds and low relative humidity may continue to result in very high fire danger across most of Kansas.
NOAA/NWS/CPC Outlook for Temperature (30 Days)NOAA/NWS/CPC Outlook for Precipitation (30 Days) 
Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central RegionSouthern Plains Region and State of Kansas