BLOG

WIFIA Selects King County as One of 12 Projects to Apply for Federal Loan

Established in 2014, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) is a federal loan and guarantee EPA program that assists with investing in water infrastructure through long-term, low-cost credit assistance for regional and national projects.

On December 10, 2016, President Obama signed the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act and Congress provided $17 million in budget authority for the WIFIA program. Earlier this year, WIFIA released its 2017 notice of funding availability. The EPA received nearly 50 letters of interest from public and private entities around the country. After a lengthy review process, WIFIA chose 12 prospective borrowers from around the country, which they announced today:

Read More

Talking Utility Management with PNCWA's Newest Committee

PNCWA is excited to announce our newest committee—the Utility Management Committee. While some think that utility management is similar to asset management, its range is much broader and encompasses finances, staffing, leadership, resiliency, data, customer service, communications, IT, sustainability, strategic planning, and more. The committee is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the use of best practices in utility management to efficiently protect human health and the environment. Per their official charter, they work to disseminate best practices in utility management internally to members and externally to stakeholders with an emphasis on fostering PNCWA’s vision of clean, sustainable watersheds for future generations. 

David Gordon, the chair of the UMC, is passionate about utility management. Gordon, who works at FCS Group in Seattle, spent some time talking to us about the new committee, why utility management is so important, their first workshop in October, and how PNCWA members can get involved. 

Read More

WEF Wants You to Become a Water Advocate

As wastewater treatment professionals, we work every day to ensure our communities receive clean, safe water. Now there’s one more way to advocate for your community. WEF, the Water Environment Federation, has created a new program—Water Advocates—to empower its members to impact water policy on a national level.

Read More

Registration for #PNCWA2017 Is Now Open!

Registration for the 2017 PNCWA Annual Conference is now open! This year, the conference will be October 22–25 at the Hilton Vancouver in Vancouver, WA.

We’re already excited about this year’s conference, which has a great lineup of sessions, an awards banquet and—special to this year—an innovative technology track. You can view the entire session schedule here.

Read More

2017 Western Washington Short School & Trade Show: By the Numbers

From June 6-7th in Lynwood, Washington, operators from across Western Washington gathered for the annual short school and training. Each day, concurrent sessions were held each day for water and wastewater operators, engineers and managers covering treatment, maintenance, pumps, distribution & conveyance, odor control, sampling, energy conservation, I&C, water chemistry and more. We hope you enjoy this quantitative assessment of the conference, below! 

Read More

PNCWA Award Nominations due July 28

Each year, PNCWA’s membership honors and recognizes excellence in the clean water industry. The mission of the awards program is to facilitate and promote the recognition of professionals involved in supporting, operating, or managing wastewater collection systems, stormwater systems, or wastewater treatment/water resource recovery facilities in the Pacific Northwest. The awards will be presented at our annual conference in Vancouver, Washington this October. Recipients of the 2016 PNCWA awards can be viewed here

The Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for 2017. Awards categories include individual, group and project recognition. You must be a PNCWA member in order to nominate anyone for awards (except the Safety Awards or OYA/COYA Awards). Nominations close July 28, 2017. To view all PNCWA awards and criteria, click here. 

Read More

Congratulations to 2017 Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winners!

Every year, high school science students from around the country compete in WEF’s Stockholm Junior Water Prize, which aims to increase students’ interest in water-related issues and research and to raise awareness about global water challenges. The winners from around the country go on to compete in the national competition, which this year is June 16-17 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Students create projects aimed at improving of water quality, water resources management, water protection, and drinking water and wastewater treatment. PNCWA is thrilled to announce the regional winners: Bryan To (Oregon), Apoorv Khandelwal (Washington) and Ari Carter (Idaho).

Read More

Call for Photos Extended—2018 PNCWA Calendar

Wow, we have received some great pictures, but we are looking for even more! We're excited to say we've extended the call for photos to July 9!

Read More

Northern Idaho Operators Section of PNCWA Hosts Annual Operators Conference

The Northern Idaho Section (NIOS) of PNCWA is gearing up to host the annual Idaho Operators Conference. Operators from all over the state—from Twin Falls up to Bonner’s Ferry (and even some from Eastern Washington)—will be arriving in Moscow, Idaho, on May 21st for three days of classes and activities. 

Read More

Nominate WEF Members for Leadership Positions

WEF, the Water Environment Federation, is seeking nominees for the following positions: WEF Vice President, WEF Treasurer, WEF Board of Trustees (two positions).

Here's what WEF says: 

WEF’s mission is to connect water professionalsenrich the expertise of water professionals, increase the awareness of the impact and value of water, and provide a platform for water sector innovation.  This mission is executed through the dedication and active involvement of WEF members. 
 
We encourage you to join WEF leadership in advancing our mission and vision by nominating WEF members who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the water environment profession, for WEF leadership positions.  WEF’s visibility in the global water sector continues to grow as do our contributions to advancing the profession and providing exceptional services to our diverse membership.   
 
To successfully continue on our path, WEF requires the leadership of dedicated and exceptional volunteers who are committed to moving our goals forward, consistent with our Strategic Plan! 
 The deadline for nomination is Friday, May 26, 2017. Click here to log-in for nomination criteria, forms and WEF Strategic Plan.
 

Last Chance to Join 2017 PNCWA Mentorship Program

Calling all future mentors and protégés! PNCWA's mentoring program, which encourages members to connect with and learn from one another, wants you to join! PNCWA provides a mentoring guide and matches mentors and protégés based on shared interests, profession, and region. The program gives mentors an opportunity to pass on their wealth of knowledge and experience to help protégés develop professional skills and goals. 

The survey for the 2017 mentoring program survey closes May 1, 2017. We will begin pairing soon thereafter. After mentors and protégés are matched, they will confirm the selection, commit to their partnership, and then the mentoring can begin! Teams are encouraged to meet for at least an hour every other month. It is up to the mentor and protégé to determine what they would like to talk about and what they would like to develop (e.g., list of goals, career map). Mentor/protégé teams are encouraged to meet up at the 2017 PNCWA Annual Conference in October.

Read More

Pictures from the 35th Annual Eastern Oregon Operators Conference

The Eastern Oregon Operators Section of PNCWA and the Eastern Oregon Subsection of AWWA held their annual Operators Conference in Pendleton April 3–5, 2017. This annual conference is in its 35th year and still going strong. There were 122 attendees, 36 vendors, 47 speakers and 65 different topics/classes in four tracks over the three days.

Read More

Five Reasons to “Camp” with Us at the May 11 Public Communications Camp

Join us at the May 11 Public Communications Camp: Tools to Engage, Motivate, and Reassure Your Community to gain valuable outreach and communication skills. Whether you are a project manager, engineer, treatment plant operator or public outreach professional, these easy-to-adopt tips will build trust and credibility with stakeholders to meet your organization’s goals.

1. You can gain tried and true outreach skills from your industry peers.
We’ve assembled a great team of communications professionals who have been in your shoes and know what they’re doing. We’ve got more than 25 years’ worth of tried-and-true outreach campaign planning and execution in the water, wastewater and environmental fields. Our experts range from  public and private sector marketing and community relations managers to digital media and school-education programming experts. They’ll show you how to connect with your core audience, evaluate your efforts and sustain momentum no matter the size is of your budget.

Read More

WaterWeek 2017 Part 2: PNCWA Members Meet with DC Representatives

On March 21, 2017, PNCWA Government Affairs committee members Bob Baumgartner, John Beacham, Mike Ollivant flew into Washington, D.C. for the annual WaterWeek Fly-In, where water representatives from all over the country gather to talk water infrastructure and funding. In “WaterWeek Part 1: PNCWA Members Report on National Policy,” we reported on national policy discussed.

Next, John, Bob, and Mike split up to meet with representatives from each of our states—Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.  Our message was threefold:

Read More

New Scholarship Funds for Operators

Thanks to a very generous offering and donation from UBOS (Umpqua Basin Operators Section), the PNCWA scholarship program has recently added two new funds that will award scholarships to applicants interested in the field of operations. PNCWA’s main scholarship fund, in existence since 2010, has always been open to applicants interested in pursuing studies in both the engineering and operations fields (and will continue to be), but the two newly established funds will accept only applications from candidates involved in studies related to operations. Scholarships are now open and applications are due June 23, 2017. Read more at our "Scholarships" page. 

The two new funds are:

Read More

Check Out the Envision Certification System and WEF Envision Manual

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision rating system as been around for about five years and is gaining traction as the premier sustainability rating system for the wastewater industry. ISI was founded by the American Public Works Association (APWA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and operates under their oversight. ISI collaborated with the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design to develop Envision. 

Envision is a rating system for sustainable infrastructure. It measures a project’s impact on the surrounding community and environment plus technical considerations regarding materials and processes while providing a framework for discussing sustainability decisions with project stakeholders and community.  Not only is it a planning and design tool, it also is a means of evaluating completed infrastructure projects. 

Read More

Upcoming Webinar on Integrating Odor Control in the PNCWA Community

The PNCWA Odor & Air Quality committee is presenting a two-hour webinar on May 3rd, 2017 on several topics. The webinar is no-cost to PNCWA members. Scroll down for a complete webinar schedule. Click here to register for the webinar today! .2 CEU's requested. 

The webinar will cover three areas:

Read More

WaterWeek 2017 Part 1: PNCWA Members Report on National Policy

On March 21, 2017, Bob Baumgartner, John Beacham, Mike Ollivant of the PNCWA Government Affairs committee flew into Washington, D.C. for the annual WaterWeek Fly-In, where water representatives from all over the country gather to talk water infrastructure and funding.

This year felt different than most. Capitol Hill was abuzz with the American Health Care Act in the House and the confirmation hearings for Judge Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice. Closely behind was the release of the president’s “skinny” budget— a proposed budget consisting of top-level line items for federal programs but without specific details. Of interest to PNCWA was a proposed 31% cut to the EPA budget, which did not include any cut to SRF funding, and the removal of the line item for USDA Rural Development funding, which is often used to finance infrastructure projects for smaller municipalities.

Read More

PNCWA Members Prepare for National Residuals and Biosolids Conference in Seattle

This year’s national Residual and Biosolids Conference is taking place in Seattle, Washington, from April 8-11. Many members from the PNCWA Residuals & Biosolids Committee are attending and involved as conference organizers, presenters, and moderators.

Museum of Pop Culture“The committee is taking advantage of this opportunity to participate more than we could at a more distant conference,” says Susan Hildreth, PNCWA Residuals & Biosolids Committee Chair. “We’re having an unusually good turnout at a national conference because it’s local.” PNCWA is also cohosting a Friends of Biosolids Reception at the Museum of Pop Culture (pictured left) on opening night of the conference—and tickets are still available! 

Read More

Resilience Planning and Adaptation Workshop for Drinking Water, Wastewater, Stormwater Utilities

On Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Seattle, Washington, the EPA is hosting a free workshop to assist with adaption and long-term infrastructure planning related to utility resilience planning.

During the one-day, no-cost training, participants will learn how changing environmental conditions and extreme weather events in the Pacific Northwest could impact their utilities. Participants will also explore potential vulnerabilities to water infrastructure and strategies for reducing risk and enhancing utility resilience.

The workshop is designed for participants who make or influence planning and resource allocation decisions within drinking water, wastewater, or stormwater utilities and from governmental agencies who work with water utilities. Participants will learn about tools and resources available through the Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative and CREAT, a risk-assessment application that helps utilities in adapting to extreme weather events through a better understanding of current and future weather conditions. 

Read More