Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 37

courses GRWA holds each year. GRWA's
Conferences focus heavily on training
as well as tabletop exhibits. The events
draw more than two thousand system
operations specialists and industry
professionals to learn and share industry
knowledge. Additional training programs
are provided throughout the year through
onsite, classroom and online training. In
all, some 10,000 water professionals are
trained each year by GRWA.
"From classroom style training to
on-site technical assistance, GRWA
fills the needs of the system operations
specialists in keeping them up-to-date on
regulatory changes," Matthews said. "We
need to train new people and keep existing
professionals current on safe drinking
water and other technical aspects of the
operation. There's a lot that goes into
getting water to the faucet."
Currently, GRWA provides certification
training and continuing education
courses for water and wastewater
system operations specialists, as well as
backflow certification and recertification. It
represents the increasingly skilled nature
of water and wastewater.
That is something that many people in
Georgia don't fully understand, Matthews
believes, in part because of how water
systems are designed. "When all the
assets are buried underground and water
systems are on the outskirts of town,
people don't see what goes into it,"
Matthews said.
GRWA has worked to transform the
image of the profession, including the
language by which system operations
specialists are known. It worked with the
state to issue a proclamation changing the

term to "water professional." "We wanted
to create that image of a profession
because that is really what it is," Matthews
said. "There is a lot of chemistry, biology
and technical professional expertise
involved."

An important partnership
GRWA's staff includes 11 who
work in the field, providing technical
assistance. That includes four circuit
riders-two focused on water and two on
wastewater-to assist. They may work
to troubleshoot problems or detect leaks,
provide hands-on training, recommend
improvements and evaluate alternative
technological solutions.
The partnership with National Rural
Water Association is equally important. A
number of GRWA board members have
served on NRWA's board, as well. Doug
Anderton currently represents Georgia
on the NRWA board and is a past NRWA
president. The late Joe Palmer served as

both GRWA and NRWA board president.
"You can network not only across the
state, but also throughout the nation
because of the relationship with NRWA,"
Matthews said.
Relationships remain at the core of
GRWA's existence, Matthews believes,
just as it did many years ago when GRWA
brought together rural systems to improve
water and wastewater in the state.
Without GRWA, "water system
operations specialists wouldn't have that
day-to-day help and someone to lean on
to help them out," Matthews said. "They
know they can count on us."
And Jimmy in particular knows he
can count on employees and board
members to help the Georgia Rural
Water Association continue to thrive.
"Employees and board members past and
present have put a lot of hard work and
dedication into building this association,"
Jimmy said. "GRWA has been successful
because of them." ●

FROM CLASSROOM STYLE
TRAINING TO ON-SITE TECHNICAL
ASSISTANCE, GRWA FILLS THE NEEDS OF
THE SYSTEM OPERATIONS SPECIALISTS
IN KEEPING THEM UP TO DATE ON
REGULATORY CHANGES.
- Jimmy Matthews, Executive Director,
Georgia Rural Water Association
RURAL WATER

37



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018

From the President
When Rural Water Systems Combine
Peer-to-Peer Networking
Cheboygan, Michigan Adopts Level Service Goals for Water Department
NRWA President Steve Fletcher: Rural Water’s “Man for All Seasons”
Rural Water Rally 2018
State Rural Water Association Profile
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Regulatory Update
Up the Creek: The Ongoing Story of Our Life
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Intro
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - bellyband1
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - bellyband2
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover1
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover2
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 3
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 4
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 5
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 6
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 7
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 8
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 9
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 10
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - From the President
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - When Rural Water Systems Combine
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 13
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 14
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 15
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 16
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 17
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Peer-to-Peer Networking
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 19
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 20
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 21
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 22
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 23
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 24
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 25
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Cheboygan, Michigan Adopts Level Service Goals for Water Department
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 27
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - NRWA President Steve Fletcher: Rural Water’s “Man for All Seasons”
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 29
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 30
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 31
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Rural Water Rally 2018
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 33
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 34
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 35
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - State Rural Water Association Profile
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 37
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 39
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 40
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Regulatory Update
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 42
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Up the Creek: The Ongoing Story of Our Life
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 45
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover3
Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - cover4
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