Monday, April 28, 2014

Surface Water Treatment Workshop 2014

Starting Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota American Water Works Association chapters gather in Fargo to kick-off the 2014 Surface Water Treatment Workshop (SWTW).

The SWTW is a three-day workshop that covers current and future issues surrounding all things water. Industry professionals, scientists, and operators alike gather to discuss issues that range from optimization and treatment to technology and case studies. 

Surface water is becoming an alarming issue due to rooftops, roads, parking lots, driveways and other impenetrable surfaces no longer allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground; rainfall becomes a dangerous runoff. Elements such as trash, chemicals, oil, fertilizers and animal waste all have effects on the quality of water, and once these are exposed will affect the quality of water. These elements all contribute to the degradation of water quality all over the world.

To effectively prevent surface water degradation and pollution, it is critical to come up with advanced solutions and systems to prevent further harm to waterways. This event will cover strategies, case studies, effects of impact and advancements that deal with surface water-related concerns and issues.

Members and employees of AE2S will act as the event’s keynote speakers. AE2S is an environmental and civil engineering consulting firm based out of North Dakota that specializes in electrical, structural and water services. AE2S’ CEO Steve Burian just recently participated in, and won “Dancing with the Special Stars,” to help support North Dakota Special Olympics. 

On Tuesday, April 9, as part of the SWTW '14 event, k-12 students submitted posters were featured along with the three selected winners of the poster contest. The poster contest’s key message this year was “Trust the Tap,” educating younger generations of the safety and convenience of tap water over bottled, and learning more about public and private water issues. Over 900 submissions were submitted by students of all ages throughout the state of Minnesota.

The three-day event will conclude with a facility tour of Fargo’s Ground Storage Reservoir, Moorhead Public Service Red River Pumping Station and Industrial Treatment Facility (Fargo Brewing Company). Pre-registration is required to attend tours and a lunch will be provided.

AWWA gives you the information and resources you need to deliver safe water to the world. Since its inception in 1881, AWWA has provided the information and leadership needed to advance policies that protect the public’s health. Becoming a member of AWWA is easy and has many benefits. As a member, you will enjoy access to technical resources, networking opportunities, advocacy efforts, career development resources, and more!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March Review: Tips to Save Water All Year Long

March was a busy time for the water industry. The Clean Water Act turned 40-years-old, the U.S. EPA hunted down loose faucets and leaks for a week, and March 22nd was World Water Day.

The Safe Drinking Water Act, established in 1974, helped to establish a set of national standards and regulations for all public water suppliers. The federal government provided leadership and funding to help states nationwide to help meet these standards. These nationwide standards help regulate states by meeting federal standards. Minnesota has always had strict water standards even before the federal mandate was issued. This act ensures safety procedures carried out by water suppliers and water treatment facilities. The water has been tested, it is safe to drink, and it has met the standards of the SWDA. 

Walter Mondale, who was U.S. Vice President when the act was passed, said, “Safe drinking water is almost the first requirement of a prosperous community.”

More than 97% of Minnesota water supplies meet all Safe Water Drinking Act standards.

The U.S. EPA, partnering with Water Sense, chased household water-wasters down for a week to reduce annual household waste in its “Fix a Leak Week”. 
The focus was to reduce household leaks that annually contribute to over one trillion gallons of water wasted nationwide. By fixing or repairing simple maintenances, for instance, a dripping faucet, a running toilet and other leaky valves, it will reduce the cost of water consumption while promoting sustainability.

Tips to Help Save Water Year-round 
· Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
· Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
· Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 15 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)
· Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
The UN System raised awareness of the inter-dependency between water and energy on March 22, titled World Water Day. This awareness event reached over 700 million worldwide, highlighting the importance and necessity of clean sources of drinking water in areas that need it most. 

Without water, there would be no life. That is why it is essential for our industry to keep growing, thriving from new innovations, to provide a healthy and dependable resource to those who matter most: you.