Streamline - Summer 2012 - (Page 9)
BY MYRICA W. KEISER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
“Have We Passed the Test?”
IN FEBRUARY, I
attended our Region II Regional Meeting hosted by Bedford County PSA and GHD, Inc. The topic was Asset Management Planning for Small to Medium Communities. I sat back and attempted to understand this definition of Asset Management: the need for strategic and systematic application of management practices applied to the entire portfolio of infrastructure assets at all levels of a town/municipality/utility. Seeking to minimize the total costs of acquiring, operating, maintaining and improving and renewing assets: • within an environment of limited resources, • while continuously delivering the service levels customers desire, and regulators require, and • at a tolerable level of risk. (Brad Jurkovac, GHD). That is a mouthful, and in reality, it also can affect VRWA. Words like strategic, systematic, management practices, total cost, limited resources, continuously delivering the service levels, risk – all apply to us here. We must have strategic planning in order to stay updated on rules and regulations, to stay within budget guidelines, to meet the needs of our water and wastewater systems. Management practices are needed in order to know how to present, how to deliver and how to address the target. Cost is important as we need to plan out in detail what we can deliver to our members with our What do we do? Many times people say “Just what do you do?” I chime in with – well, when you have to work with regulators, etc. – but to best state it, we come in the back door with all the news, the latest on the rules and regulations, the do’s and don’ts, before the officials come in the front door with the citations or the you must be doing… We like to think we prepare you for what will be happening or may be coming down the pipeline. During an onsite visit, we may suggest something new to assist you in your daily duties. Or we are able to find that leak that has been causing you problems and money for some time, or locate the sewer line that is leaking. Or we are hosting a math class that will help you when you sit for your license or when you just need a refresher class. Or we assist you in creating a protection plan for drinking water sources so that treatment costs are lowered. Why do we do it? Because we care! Our staff cares about the many small rural systems throughout Virginia with limited budgets, limited limited resources. And then there is risk – what risk could be involved? Did we make a suggestion? Was it the right suggestion? Brad Jurkovac (GHD) talked about Asset Management as: • What we do • Why we do it • How we do it • What our costs are • What our return is This hit home for me, as I applied it to the association and the path we are following. staff and limited access to resources. We get the “good” feeling when we are able to find a leak for a system of less than 2,000 customers and save them over $4,000 that was not in their budget; we feel good when our staff members spend one-on-one time to help operators study for their license exams, and feel satisfaction when those operators pass their exams. We feel good when utilities, agencies and citizen groups work together to drive a protection plan to implementation, and when a lab succeeds in becoming certified. How we do it? We are able to provide these services at no or low cost to these systems due to the funding received from National Rural Water Association. NRWA receives the grant funding from USDA Farm Bill, Rural Development and EPA and passes on funds to 49 rural water associations across the nation. The grant funds make it possible for us to assist, train and mentor many operators across the Commonwealth.
Our staff cares about the many small rural systems throughout Virginia with limited budgets, limited staff and limited access to resources.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Summer 2012
From the President
From the Executive Director
Summer Conservation Considerations
Southampton County: A Story of Progress
Board Members Quiz
Conference 2012 Highlights
The Town of Lebanon-One Small Step for Man
Drakes Branch Distribution System Upgrade
A Proper Rate-Virginia RATES Program
Missing Water Found
Throwing My Loop
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
Welcome New Members
Board of Directors
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Summer 2012