Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 36

STATE RURAL WATER ASSOCIATION PROFILE

Georgia Rural
Water Association

b
BY SANDY SMITH

Back in 1975, Jimmy Matthews
was elected mayor of his hometown of
Barnesville, Ga. What does this have to do
with Rural Water? Without that election-
which brought a keen understanding of
the needs of small Rural Water systems
across the state-the Georgia Rural Water
Association might never have come to be.
Matthews went on to serve as mayor
until 2003; he developed the GRWA in
1976. As he talked to mayors across the
state, he saw the need to provide technical
assistance and training to help these water
professionals on a day-to-day basis, and it
has evolved from there.
That evolution now is the basis of
GRWA's extensive training and technical
assistance programs, which focus
on topics like safe drinking water and
economic development through water
infrastructure.
Education is far from the only offering
as GRWA continues to serve as a rapid
response team for the state's Rural Water

systems. Often, when a state agency
discovers a need, GRWA is sent to help
communities comply with regulations,
including the Safe Drinking Water Act
and the Clean Water Act. GRWA also
administers the state's fluoridation
programs and assists understaffed
communities. It provides annual
evaluations on water systems that adjust
for water fluoridation.
"We make sure the equipment is
sufficient and proper and that they
administer the proper adjustment for the
optimal level of fluoridation," Matthews
said. GRWA also provides a one-day
training class on fluoride for any water
system in the state, rural or not. "The
term 'rural' is very misleading," he
said. "We do training for the largest of
systems in Georgia as well. We work
all across the state, no matter whether
the water system is public or private. If
the water is permitted by the state, we
provide assistance."

Under pressure
Nowhere is that philosophy more
tested than in natural disasters-and
Georgia has had more than its share in
the last year. Last year, Georgia had 35
confirmed tornados in the spring through
two massive outbreaks. One outbreak
occurred in January, the other in April.
Two hurricanes also targeted the Peach
State, with Irma in particular causing
significant damage.
GRWA stepped in, providing
emergency response, sourcing and
delivering generators to systems in
need. GRWA staff served at the state
operations center during Irma. Having
firsthand knowledge of systems
around the state, GRWA found itself
well suited to assist in times of need,
including providing technical assistance
experience with the system operations
specialists. By conducting many
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Technical Training Workshops for system
operations specialists, GRWA continues
to prepare systems for disruptions to
daily operations.
Much comes from deep personal
relationships with system operations
specialists and managers forged by
networking at GRWA events. "We trust
each other and know the resources-
who can help who. It's a brotherhood
or sisterhood that is built on personal
relationships," Matthews said. "In any
business the more personal you are, the
more you're able to work together. That
really pays off in times of need during
natural disasters."

Technical expertise
Many of those relationships are
forged at the variety of technical training

36

FIRST QUARTER 2018



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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