Streamline - Spring 2013 - (Page 16)

Soapbox Farewell BY NANCY CARR, SOURCE WATER PROTECTION SPECIALIST Thank you for seven very good years at your service and with VRWA. THE USDA THREE-YEAR contract for Source Water Protection finished on March 30. I chose that date to retire from a job that allowed me to explore Virginia like a free bird. Rural roads beckoned me from the Appalachians to the Atlantic. The waters beneath the land and flowing through forests and farms, small towns, and developing communities connected me to the landscapes and to the people living there. We are one with our waters. I’m going to get on a soapbox here and express some of what I’ve learned in my seven years at VRWA. The lesson of source water protection is that we cannot separate ourselves and our lifestyles from the places on earth that we inhabit. Water is the blood of the earth. Like arteries and veins, water accepts whatever goes into it, transporting both nourishment and poison to some other place. Those who design stream bank restoration know that a naturally flowing river or creek is always changing its course. Putting riprap here, pulling an edge back there to eliminate a steep cutbank, are only temporary measures in the physics of flowing water. Rivers want to snake their ways through valleys. The human tendency to halt change is to deny nature, but water teaches us that change is constant and inevitable. I owe the people I’ve met a great deal. The list is long. To name a few, I include the utility directors, water and wastewater operations specialists, town managers and county administrators, conservation technicians, inspectors, planners, educators, trainers, salespeople, engineers, clerks, geologists, farmers, fishing guides, permit writers, map-makers, realtors, students (fifth-graders rock!), and the regulators. What community has ever been built without a source of clean, available water? We fret over ever more regulations in the water and wastewater industries. But is there any other way to challenge behavior that is damaging the life supports we share in common? I have been passionate about this job because I am passionate about water. The spark has been 16 S T R E A M L I N E • S p r i n g 2 0 1 3 continually fanned by the people with whom I’ve worked. They’ve allowed me “into” their unique cultures and have generously given time, expertise, advice, and often friendship. They offered ingenious ideas at a grassroots level to protect their drinking water. Many people stepped forward as residents who were concerned about their water and their neighbors’ water. I’ve met many hard-working, dedicated people who want to do the right things, as they see them, for the environment and for their communities. (Albeit we are still defining what is “right.”) Conservation is practical, common sense. When you are sick, you try to get well. When you damage someone’s property, you have to make amends. If something is used up, it’s gone. It is easier, and less expensive, to stay healthy and to prevent accidents. It is best to go the middle road and to conserve resources. The same maxims apply to our environment. Everyone affects the water near his home and business in some way. The problem is we, the people, and hope lies in we, the people, to keep our waters safe for all. Life furthers itself. The earth renews herself. The force of life goes on. We don’t know exactly what environmental changes will occur. Every plateau of new understanding brings new questions. The inevitable change that we can control is the change in our personal lifestyles, so that we conserve, consume less, and recycle more. So keep it nature’s way – choose the green infrastructure, choose solar, develop new communities with low-impact development methods, control harmful insects without chemicals, plant buffers along stream banks and leave shrubs and trees there and in the hedgerows, use native plants for landscaping, attract native pollinators, buy local, walk, and recycle. Thank you for seven very good years at your service and with VRWA.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2013

From the President
From the Executive Director
What If?
Stormwater Management
Soapbox Farewell
Water and Wastewater Certifi cation Exam Test Taking Tips
Past 25 Years of VRWA
Proactive vs. Reactive
Asset Management and Drought Management
Is the Tank Contaminating the Water?
Committed to the Future of Rural Communities
Standard Operating Procedure For Leak Detection Using the Pressure Hold Method
The Virginia RATES Program is at Your Service
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Employee Introductions
VRWA 25th Annual Exposition Agenda
Wastewater Math
eLearning Benefits
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
Membership Application
Throwing My Loop
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/

Streamline - Spring 2013