Streamline - Spring 2016 - (Page 31)

VRWA Report Card BY MYRICA W. KEISER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THE VIRGINIA RURAL Water Association (VRWA) was founded in 1987 and is a private, non-profit association whose members are small municipal and rural water and wastewater systems across the state. Our corporate members include engineering and technical firms, equipment suppliers, and service companies. VRWA also has individual members from all over the state. VRWA is an affiliate state of the National Rural Water Association (NRWA). The association is governed by a nine member board of directors elected by its members. As one part of our mission, we sponsor frequent training programs designed to meet the needs of small water and wastewater systems. In addition to these programs the association offers on-site technical and managerial assistance in a wide range of areas. VRWA is supported by membership dues, advertising, conference revenues, and contract work performed through our affiliation with the National Rural Water Association. Our modest membership dues are used to expand our services and buy equipment such as portable labs and leak detectors that are used to assist rural systems. The VRWA office staff consists of an executive director, financial office assistant and office support/administrative assistant. Our field staff consists of a Training Specialist, two Water Circuit Riders, a Wastewater Technician and a Source Water Protection Specialist. We have been able to conduct this work through USDA Programs that are currently authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill and through funds allocated by EPA Appropriations. Our programs Virginia Rural Water Association (VRWA) currently through USDA have two water circuit riders and one wastewater technician who travel the state day-in and day-out to provide immediate on-site, hands-on technical assistance to small water and wastewater systems throughout the Commonwealth. Our primary goal is to assist the small systems to operate safe and clean drinking water and to comply with all water and wastewater regulations. Our circuit riders are in the field everyday helping systems with compliance issues, operations, maintenance, management and training. Small communities often have difficulty providing safe, affordable drinking water and sanitation due to limited economies of scale and the lack of expertise. Through USDA Rural Utilities Service Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants program these systems and rural communities have been able to turn to USDA water loans and grants to construct water and wastewater infrastructure through loans provided at reasonable rates and terms. In the past, through EPA Safe Drinking Water Act, we have been able to provide assistance and training for compliance with the myriad of federal PEA regulations, avoiding EPA fines, and operating drinking water and wastewater utilities. As always, the need for rural water assistance continues to increase with the expansion of federal water/wastewater regulations. The only statewide local community based initiative ensuring environmentally progressive local land-use decision without the controversy and bureaucracy of regulatory programs is provided through the USDA Farm Service Agency Source Water Protection. It provides states with one full-time person to organize and assist rural communities interested in the implementation of source water protection plans including non-point source protection practices in agriculture regions. The additional funding will expand the source water initiative to all state associations. BREAKDOWN OF PROGRAMS Rural Utility Services (USDA) * Technical Assistance and Training (water) * Wastewater Training and Technical Assistance Water Circuit Rider Virginia Rural Water Association's (VRWA) Circuit Riders are experienced operators, technicians and teachers that travel the entire state of Virginia dayin and day-out to provide immediate on-site, hands-on technical assistance to small water systems throughout the Commonwealth. Areas of expertise include but are not limited to: * Line Location * Leak Detection * Treatment * Wells - Pumps * Management * Board Leadership * Rate Study Environmental Protection (EPA) Training and technical assistance for small and/or rural public water systems 31

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2016

From the President: Strong
From the Executive Director: Do You Need VRWA?
Thanks for the Memories!
Future Operators: Implementing A Career
Claypool Hill: Triumph Over Adversity
Work Zone Safety Awareness: V-DOT Work Zone Traffic Control Certification
Water System Consolidation
Decline of Coal: Economic Effects on Utilities
Effectively Managing Inventory Space and Costs
VRWA Report Card
NRWA Recap
Planning Reports Funded for Three Rural Water and Waste Projects in Central Virginia
VRWA Members Corner
Throwing My Loop: A Positive Life...
Booster Club
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Benefits for VRWA Members
Mail Bag
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Spring 2016