Streamline - Spring 2015 - (Page 9)

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!" - Benjamin Franklin The Sustainability Managed Utility BY KENNY REYNOLDS, VRWA TRAINING SPECIALIST I have presented several of the Efficient Utility Managed (EUM) Workshops that are required under my EPA Wastewater Grant Program. These Workshops were developed through a "Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2011 to jointly support a series of activities to help rural and small water and wastewater systems address various issues and more effectively provide sustainable services to the communities they support." DURING THIS PAST YEAR, We used the Rural and Small Systems Guidebook to Sustainable Utility Management and the Workshop In A Box: Sustainable Management of Rural and Small Systems Workshops during these workshops. Sustainability is the care and management of the water and wastewater systems and infrastructure that we are able to use and protect not only for us but for others in the future. We addressed the ten key management areas of a sustainably managed utility that are listed below in no certain order of importance as all of them are of importance to a Sustainable Managed Utility. The 10 management areas are: * Product Quality * Customer Satisfaction * Employee and Leadership Development * Operational Optimization * Financial Viability * Infrastructure Stability * Operational Resiliency * Community Sustainability and Economic Development * Water Resource Adequacy * Stakeholder Understanding and Support During these workshops that have been attended by water and wastewater management, operation specialists, and utility staff, several have asked the most important question which is: How do we get this valuable information in front of our Boards or Councils? Since these Boards and Councils are of valuable importance in the decision making process of our utility, many felt these workshops would be of great value to them. Our EUM Workshops were designed for Multi System Workshops, but can be also done as Team Exercise Workshops back at your water or wastewater system. "The objective of the Team Exercise Workshop is to educate utility staff and stakeholders about the ten management areas, to use the self assessment exercise to identify priority areas for performance improvement, and to communicate the priority-setting results to the board and community members." Those present at our workshops completed a 'Utility Self Assessment' of their utility based on the ten management areas, and then worked in groups on selecting three of the Priority Management Areas to address Improvement Action in those areas. Attendees were given information on various resources for Rural and Small Systems to assist them with further guidance in the ten management areas. Years ago, when many of our water and wastewater infrastructure were constructed, no one gave much thought to how this would be replaced in the future. Some of that infrastructure has come to the end of its life expectancy. We, as water and wastewater professionals, have a responsibility to change that thought process to ensure we are not just looking at our systems for today but for the future. This process involves assessing and discussing where we are today, setting goals and planning where we want to be in future years. This involves using the ten management areas to prepare an improvement plan. Water and wastewater utilities need to develop an asset management plan to better prepare to meet upcoming infrastructure repairs and replacement. Our EUM Workshops are a great tool for water and wastewater utilities to participate in to better prepare for the future. We, at VRWA, will be glad to assist you in doing a Team Exercise Workshop and help you see the benefits of a Sustainable Managed Utility. References EPA & USDA/Rural and Small Systems Guidebook to Sustainable Utility Management 2013 EPA & USDA/Workshop In A Box: Sustainable Management of Rural and Small Systems Workshops 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2015

From the President: Power Failure
From the Executive Director: Highlights from 2014
The Sustainability Managed Utility
Communication… Say What?
Flushing Away the Ebola Threat
Hazard Communication Standards – Guidelines for OSHA Compliance
State Water Control Board Approves Controversial Permit
VRWA Said Goodbye to Past Executive Director
USDA Rural Development
The RATES Program
Adequate Rates versus Affordability
NRWA Recap
Debt Refinancing: An Alternate Source of Capital
How the Cloud is Revolutionizing the Future of Water Utility Management
Southern Corrosion Supports Victory Junction
Throwing My Loop: Call Me Anytime
Wastewater Math
Booster Club
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
VRWA Mailbag
New Members
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Spring 2015