Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Utility of the Future: Is it Already Here?

What will water, wastewater, and stormwater agencies look like in the future as priorities change, sustainability becomes the goal, and resources become more scarce and, hence, more valuable? This is the question that we are trying to answer through a collaborative effort with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) known as the “Utility of the Future”. Through this initiative, we are developing a “blueprint for action” that defines what types of activities will create this future utility. [ … ]

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Six Ways Clean Water Utilities Are Using Social Media

We’ve been hearing a lot about how important it is that clean water utilities become active users of social media. And while many utilities across the United States that have come to embrace various social media tools, there are many more that have not. Some confusion may lie in exactly how utilities are using social media and why. Utilities that have embraced use of social media are using it in a variety of ways [ … ]

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“Flushable” Wipes, Clogging Pipes

Cooperation from product manufacturers to clearly label products as not flushable, however, would help tremendously in educating the public. Many products are not meant to be flushed and are not labeled as flushable, but they still end up in the sewer system. The fine print on many non-flushable products is not sufficient. [ … ]

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It’s Time for a New Approach to Financial Capability Assessments

For the past decade, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has relied on an outdated approach to assessing the financial capability of communities to pay for Clean Water Act investments. Although EPA’s recently released Integrated Planning Framework provides a new way to evaluate and prioritize water-related investments to maximize water-quality improvement for each dollar invested, it relies on EPA’s outdated 1997 guidance on financial capability, Combined Sewer Overflows – Guidance for Financial Capability Assessment and Schedule Development. [ … ]

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NACWA’s SSI Lawsuit is about Getting the Regulations Right

Recently, NACWA filed its opening legal brief in litigation with EPA over a new rule to regulate air emissions from sewage sludge incinerators (SSIs) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The brief marks a significant milestone in a multiyear regulatory and legal advocacy effort by NACWA to ensure environmentally appropriate regulation of SSIs. NACWA has tried to work collaboratively with EPA on this issue, but last year EPA abandoned its previous regulatory approach and mandated a new set of SSI air emission standards that are illegal and scientifically flawed. This prompted NACWA to sue the Agency over the rule and embark on the largest litigation effort in the Association’s history. [ … ]

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Senate Takes Baby Steps Toward Improved Nutrient Management on the Farm. Will Farmers (and Wastewater Utilities) Follow Along?

The Senate Farm Bill proposes a small but important step toward encouraging better nutrient management practices by farmers. This is accomplished in a newly created Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that provides special five-year conservation funding to farmers who undertake nutrient management activities in critical conservation areas. Although yet to be enacted by Congress, the […]

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