11/20 Weekly Newsletter

One of the duties I’ve “inherited” while working for Rural Water is teaching math at operator certification classes. Sort of like that cute little puppy that your kids had to have - somehow, over time, it became your responsibility (this sort of makes an argument for getting a cat - they’re so much more independent and less work - if they just weren’t, well, a cat).
The old saying “don’t use it, you lose it”, really applies to math, and most of the operators don’t find a reason to utilize water math very often (back when I was an operator, if someone had told me that someday I would be teaching water math, I’d probably be washing elephants in the circus right now). There are times when being able to apply a math formula to a situation encountered when running a system can be helpful though; the challenge is remembering how.
To that end, I’ve taken some of the most common and useful calculations and put them in an online spreadsheet. If you’d to take a look at it and maybe even use it for your own math challenges, you can find it here.
This is a work in progress, and I can’t guarantee that everything works as it should. However, I’ve used it enough that I believe it’s pretty close. If you find something broken, let me know and I’ll fix it.
Since it’s a Google spreadsheet, the Chrome browser that Google provides works best. Firefox also seems to work pretty well. Microsoft Edge refuses to play in that sandbox.
-Terry Smith

Nominate For An Award

Each year at RWAU’s Annual Conference in St. George, Utah, the Association presents awards to member systems, as well as system personnel who have done an outstanding job of running their water or wastewater system. Most awards are given based on performance in the 2017 calendar year. This is your chance to nominate someone who deserves an RWAU Award for their hard work – even if it’s you!

Click here to Nominate 


NRWA News Release

NRWA Announces Partnership with DOL on Apprenticeship Program
The National Rural Water Association, the nation’s largest water utility association with more than 31,000 members, today formerly announced a partnership with the United States Department of Labor to launch a nation-wide apprenticeship program.
The WaterPro Apprenticeship Program, tailored to water and wastewater system operations specialists, is now a nationally-recognized standard with the DOL.
Twelve NRWA state affiliates jointly made the announcement at training events for water and wastewater operations specialists as they look to register their own programs with NRWA’s national guideline standard. The announcements and events commemorate National Apprenticeship Week 2017, which is recognized November 13-19, and highlight the need for a national water sector apprenticeship initiative. 
“The WaterPro Apprenticeship Program will ensure a well-trained and capable water sector workforce to meet the increasing demands of the water industry,” said NRWA CEO Sam Wade. “Advancements in water treatment and supply technology have increased the skills and training needed to protect public health and the environment. The apprenticeship program will ensure we have the skilled and educated workforce we need well into the future.”  
CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, will underwrite $250,000 to help establish the program.
“We are extremely excited for the NRWA and their new WaterPro Apprenticeship Program,” said Chris Shaffner, CoBank’s sector vice president for water and community facilities banking. “Recruiting and retaining highly talented individuals for the future workforce of America’s rural water systems is vital as the industry underpins the agricultural economy and the lives of those living in rural America.”
It takes more than 380,000 highly skilled water and wastewater personnel to ensure the public supply of safe drinking water and to protect our lakes, streams and groundwater. Advancements in water treatment and supply technology have increased the skills and training required of this workforce. Water professionals are responsible for meeting stringent regulatory standards, replacing aging infrastructure, recruiting and training new operations specialists, and responding to and recovering from disasters.
In addition to increasing professional demands, utilities will soon be forced to replace many of their most experienced employees. Over the next decade, the water sector is expected to lose between 30 and 50 percent of the workforce to retirement. Many of these employees have worked at the same utility for the majority of their careers, and they will depart with decades of valuable institutional knowledge.


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Exhibitors Register & Reserve Your Booth For Annual Conference Today!

February 26 – March 2, 2018

The Dixie Center, St. George, Utah

(1835 Convention Center Drive, St. George, UT 84790 )