Plan Now for Protect Your Groundwater Day and SepticSmart Week in September


Protect Your Groundwater Day:  The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) is encouraging the protection of public health and the health of the environment by celebrating “Protect Your Groundwater Day.” This year’s celebration will take place on September 6, where every citizen is encouraged to ACT: Acknowledge the causes of preventable groundwater contamination, Consider which apply to you, and then Take action by keeping groundwater safe from contamination, as well as using it wisely by not wasting it.  State drinking water programs should consider sharing information about “Protect Your Groundwater Day” with their water utilities and residents, as a means to create greater awareness about protecting this valuable resource.  For more information, visit the NGWA website and website. To ask questions, please contact Cliff Tryens of NGWA at

SepticSmart Week Seal 2016

SepticSmart Week:  Each year, EPA holds SepticSmart Week with outreach activities to encourage homeowners and communities to care for and maintain their septic systems. This year, SepticSmart Week will be held from September 19-23.  State drinking water programs and communities will want to use this opportunity to inform homeowners on proper septic system care, promote homeowner education and awareness, and educate local decision makers about infrastructure options available to improve and sustain communities. Visit EPA’s website to download SepticSmart materials and a proclamation template, read about suggested events and activities, and view highlights and case studies of community efforts across the nation.


Webinar on “Imagine a Day Without Water”


The Value of Water Coalition will host a webinar about their “Imagine A Day Without Water” national campaign on Wednesday, August 3rd, from 1:00pm – 2:00pm (eastern).  The campaign is aimed at engaging stakeholders, public officials, and the general public on how water is essential, invaluable, and needs investment.  The campaign will be celebrated on September 15, 2016 with hundreds of organizations across the country hosting events, authoring resolutions, taking to social media, and more, to show why water is important to our economies, jobs, communities, environment, and daily lives.  The webinar will highlight opportunities to participate in this national campaign that will help educate stakeholders and citizens – through events, online engagement, school curriculum, and partnering with organizations inside and beyond the water sector.  Register for the webinar here.

EPA’s Healthy Watershed Consortium Awards First Grants

EPA and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities are funding the first grants awarded under EPA’s Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program.  The nine awards total more than $1.4 million and will protect and improve land management of hundreds of thousands of acres of watersheds in seven states, including drinking water supply watersheds. The grants were awarded to help build the capacity of local organizations for sustainable, long-term watershed protection, as well as new techniques and approaches that advance the state of practice for watershed protection. EPA and the Endowment are each providing $625,000 annually for grants, and the program is planned to run for at least six years. In this inaugural year, the program received 169 applications requesting more than $37 million.  For more information and to view the list of awardees, view the June 14th press release.

USGS Publishes Groundwater Corrosivity Study

A recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of more than 20,000 wells nationwide indicates that groundwater found in 25 states in the northeast, southeast, and northwest, and the District of Columbia has a high potential for being naturally corrosive. The findings have the greatest implications for homeowners with private drinking water systems, though some of the data in the study are for samples collected from public supply wells. Naturally corrosive water is not dangerous to consume by itself. Nevertheless, it can cause health-related problems by reacting with pipes and plumbing fixtures in homes. If plumbing materials contain lead or copper, these metals may be leached into the water supply by corrosive water. Signs of corrosive water causing leaching of metals may include bluish-green stains in sinks, metallic taste to water, and small leaks in plumbing fixtures.

Two indicators were used to assess the potential corrosivity of groundwater. The first index is the Langelier Saturation Index, an indicator of whether mineral scale may form on the inside of pipes and prevent the release of lead to drinking water. The second indicator, the chloride-to-sulfate ratio, measures the potential of source water to promote the release of lead in pipes through galvanic corrosion. These two indicators were combined into one indicator to assess the prevalence of potentially corrosive groundwater nationwide.  View maps, download the data, and learn more about this national assessment of groundwater corrosivity online.  For more information, contact Ken Belitz of USGS at


Corrosivity map


July and August US Water Alliance Webinars

The US Water Alliance will host two free webinars in July and August that should be of interest to state source water contacts.  See details following.


Date/Time:  Thursday, July 28 from 1:00pm – 2:15pm (eastern)

Title:  Know Your Water: Deciphering and Communicating Drinking Water Quality and Consumer Confidence Reports

Description:  Communities from New York to Flint, Michigan and beyond have recently experienced tragic lapses in water quality. Consumer confidence in drinking water is understandably shaken, even though the overwhelming majority of water providers are doing an excellent job of providing high quality drinking water. How can we demystify what goes into water quality testing and so communities can be assured of access to safe drinking water? With the July 1st deadline for water providers to post their 2016 consumer confidence reports, now is the time to discuss how communities can better know their water. Hear from top experts about national trends in water quality testing, monitoring and reporting, challenges faced by utilities with different water sources, common myths about water quality, and best practices in communicating consumer confidence results and community outreach.

Speakers:  Radhika Fox, CEO of the US Water Alliance (moderator), Diane VanDe Hei, CEO of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Wally Wilson, Chief Hydrologist for Tucson Water, and

Kelley Dearing-Smith, Strategic Communications Director for Louisville Water

Register for the webinar here.


Date/Time:  Thursday, August 18 1:00pm – 2:00pm (eastern)

Title:  Advancing Partnerships for Healthy Watersheds


Watersheds don’t fall into clear-cut city or county boundaries. To manage these systems, it can take more than one municipality or organization to design a holistic approach.  Tackling multi-jurisdictional challenges requires defined goals, responsibilities and funding sources which can be difficult to handle without strong partnerships.  What’s the ideal recipe for a successful watershed partnership? Ingredients include pinpointing specific geographic areas, targeting stressors and including grassroots organizations, all while steadily evaluating and communicating achievements.  Hear from experts who have successfully advanced watershed partnerships through strategic collaboration and goal-setting.

Speakers:  To be announced.

Register for the webinar here.

Plan Now to Nominate Your Water Systems for AWWA’s Source Water Protection Award

Please take a few moments to consider nominating your state’s water systems for the 2016 AWWA Exemplary Source Water Protection Award, that will be awarded at the 2017 AWWA Annual Conference & Exposition.  This award recognizes up to three water systems every year for their outstanding source water protection programs, with consideration for their size and resources.  This year’s two award winners were the Central Utah Provo Watershed Council and the Regional Municipality of York, Ontario.

This year, the AWWA Source Water Protection Committee that administers the award program is strongly encouraging nomination submissions for the smallest water systems serving populations of 10,000 or fewer, using either ground water or surface water supply sources.  Because many of these systems may not have the gumption, resources, or ability to complete the application process themselves, the Committee is hopeful that state drinking water programs, AWWA Sections, and State Rural Water Associations will be willing to help.

While the nominations for this year are not due until January 15, 2017, it is helpful to get an early start on the application process.  Nominations are judged on how well a water system meets the six components of AWWA’s (G300) Source Water Protection Standard:  1) program vision; 2) source water characterization; 3) source water protection goals; 4) development of an Action Plan; 5) implementation of the Action Plan; and 6) periodic evaluation and revision of the entire program. In addition to how well a source water protection program satisfies each of the six program components for the AWWA Standard, nominees will also be evaluated on the following three criteria:

  1. Effectiveness of the program,
  2. Innovative approaches, and
  3. Difficulties overcome.

More information about the award, including previous award recipients, eligibility and submission criteria, and the entry form, may be accessed via the AWWA Source Water Protection Resource Community page.  You will need to sign in using your AWWA member information, or sign up for a free username and password if you are not a member.  You may also view the criteria and download the entry form at