Join us October 9th for ASDWA’s Capacity Development and Source Water Protection Collaboration Webinar

This webinar will explore opportunities for state drinking water capacity development and source water protection program coordinators to work together to help their small water systems enhance compliance and prevent MCL exceedances.  The target audiences are  State and EPA Regional capacity development and source water protection coordinators, technical assistance providers, and any other interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend.


Attendees will learn how two states are collaborating to use both their source water protection and capacity development programs to benefit small water systems.  Source water protection can be a viable option for:  enhanced compliance; increased resiliency; cost savings from monitoring waivers and filtration variances; and for potentially offsetting additional treatment costs for particular contaminants or problems with the water supply.  Source water protection is also a key component of the multi-barrier approach to public health protection.  The key logistical information for this webinar is as follows:


  • Date:  Wednesday, October 9, 2013
  • Time:  2:00 pm to 3:00 pm (eastern time)
  • Cost:  Free
  • Registration Link:
  • Presenters:
    • Washington:  Loralei Walker and Kitty Weisman from the State of Washington will share information about the state requirement for water systems to prepare and implement a Water System Plan that includes source water protection.  They will also share an example from at least one water system they are working with.
    • Maryland:  Lyn Poorman and John Grace from the State of Maryland will provide information about the state’s integrated planning process and water system tool to help water systems with capacity development, source water protection, and water supply sustainability.  They will also share information about their efforts to help a number of groundwater systems with nitrate problems.

September 23-27 is SepticSmart Week!




Please help promote the first annual SepticSmart Week on September 23-27 to encourage homeowners to get SepticSmart and take action. Proper care and maintenance of septic systems can help keep homeowners and their neighbors healthy and protect their drinking water and the environment. For homeowners, proper care can also prevent costly repairs or replacement of systems, protect property values, and save water.


EPA has compiled a variety of materials and messages on its web site at that serves as an online resource for state drinking water programs, industry practitioners, local governments, and community organizations to help educate their clients and residents. While EPA’s SepticSmart program promotes proper septic system care and maintenance all year long, this special week was designated to enhance the promotion of homeowner education about periodic septic system maintenance and proper daily system use.  Following are some of the SepticSmart tips you may share through your networks.

  • Protect It and Inspect It: In general, homeowners should have their system inspected every three years by a licensed contractor and have their tank pumped when necessary, generally every three to five years.
  • Think at the Sink: Avoid pouring fats, grease, and solids down the drain, which can clog a system’s pipes and drainfield.
  • Don’t Overload the Commode: Ask guests to only to put things in the drain or toilet that belong there. For example, coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, and cat litter can all clog and potentially damage septic systems.
  • Don’t Strain Your Drain: Be water efficient and spread out water use. Consider fixing plumbing leaks and installing faucet aerators and water-efficient products, and spread out laundry and dishwasher loads throughout the day.  Too much water at once can overload a system if it hasn’t been pumped recently.
  • Shield Your Field: Remind guests not to park or drive on a system’s drainfield, where the vehicle’s weight could damage buried pipes or disrupt underground flow.


EPA Announces First 2013 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant and 2105 Task Force Priorities

EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe announced a new 2013 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant today at Great Lakes Week in Milwaukee. The grant will provide the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with more than $1.5 million for several Milwaukee Estuary and Great Lakes projects to help restore beneficial uses to the Milwaukee Estuary areas of concern, as it is one of 29 highly contaminated hotspots on the US side of the Great Lakes border or shared with Canada.  These grant projects will aim to:

  • Inventory fish and wildlife populations in the Milwaukee area;
  • Locate uncontrolled sources of sewage and evaluate their impacts on water quality;
  • Restore and expand grassland habitat in the area and increase breeding opportunities for threatened grassland species; and
  • Assess the health of microscopic aquatic communities and of bottom-dwelling organisms in four Wisconsin areas of concern (AOC), including the Milwaukee Estuary.


In addition, Perciasepe announced the Great Lakes Federal Interagency Task Force (IATF) priorities for fiscal year 2015 to help states, municipalities, tribes, business interests, environmental groups, the academic community and other partners plan their activities. On behalf of the federal agencies that met in Milwaukee today, he noted that:

  • Progress is being made in the development of the next Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Action Plan for FY 2015-2019 and will be released for public comment in early 2014.
  • In FY 2015, the GLRI will likely continue with an emphasis on five focus areas — Toxics, Habitat, Nearshore Health, Invasive Species and Accountability.
  • The next Action Plan will also emphasize the need to ensure that GLRI projects are not undermined because of changing weather patterns, in addition to many other needs raised by the Great Lakes community.


The IATF is made up of 11 federal departments and is tasked with overseeing management of the GLRI, which President Obama proposed and a bipartisan Congress has continued to fund. For more information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, visit