This message is to notify you that the NYS Department of Health and the New York Rural Water Association’s partnership continues with a new five (5) year contract to provide technical assistance (TA) and training to public water systems (PWSs), particularly the small public water systems in New York State. The new contract can accommodate a variety of technical services under the broad category of general TA. Additionally, services specific to water fluoridation can be provided under the category of fluoridation TA.
The NYRWA will be providing on-site general TA visits and other TA services to water plant operators, superintendents and local officials of PWSs each year of the contract. This assistance will address on-going regulatory, operational, management, financial, and technical deficiencies, including time-critical TA, and will be delivered throughout each contract year. Although the majority of the TA will be provided to small community water systems (CWSs) (serving < 3,300 people), general TA will not necessarily be limited to this size water system. Similarly, the NYRWA will be providing on-site fluoridation related TA (fluoridation TA) visits to fluoridating PWSs each year of the contract. The on-site fluoridation TA visits will be specific to fluoridation operation and are available for any size PWS.
In addition, to the on-site TA visits NYRWA will be providing select technical products and services not related to water fluoridation to PWSs each year of the contract. Qualifying technical products and services include, but are not limited to, system infrastructure mapping, preparation of standard operating procedures (SOPs), emergency response plans (ERPs), asset management plans and also emergency operations. Lastly, NYRWA will provide approximately six (6) general plus four (4) fluoridation in-person TA trainings regionally across the State to PWS water operators for each year of the contract. See Attachment M: Map on Technical Assistance Region.
Below are just some brief examples of the work our TA Providers are doing out in the field:
- A small system in the North Country requested assistance with charging her pressure tank. Our TA Provider assisted with emptying the water tank, inserting air and then recharging the system. After assuring all was correctly functioning and that the pump was cycling normal, this was a completed onsite visit.
- A very small mobile home park had purchased a radio leak detection listening device and was having trouble using the device. Our TA Provider took the time to go over its features and train the Operator on its proper use, helping to build the confidence of the operator for future leak detection within their park.
- A small village in the Southern Tier contacted NYRWA TA Provider with problems with chlorine injection point at both his well houses. The operator reported that the injection lines were constantly clogging. Our Circuit Rider suggested the operator consider purchasing injection quills. He explained that these units have several advantages and they can be easily removed for cleaning, and due to them being made of plastic it is less likely to have issues and they also inject the chlorine into the center of the water main to aid in better mixing, as well as, preventing the chlorine from coming into contact with the side of the water main. The TA Provider showed the operator images of injection quills to better explain the advantages. The Operator planned to order 2 for replacement.
- A small mobile home park in central New York called with operational issues. Three wells supply the park. The lower well (#3) seldom runs and the upper wells (#1) do most of the pumping to supply the park. They did an elevation reading at each well location. Wells #1 are close to the same elevation, however well #3 is 20' lower. All three wells have 20-40 pressure switches, so the TA Provider explained wells #1 kick on at 20 psi, however, the lower well would still be at 29 psi. Only when there is a large demand at the lower elevation does the pressure drop enough to cause well 3 to kick on. The Circuit Rider suggested installing a 40-60 pressure switch at well #3 and manually running this pump periodically to help keep it flushed out and operational. They also did a leak survey of the park and located two leaks.
- A small village requested assistance with line and valve locating. A hydrant was hit by a vehicle within the village, damaging the hydrant and water main. Together with the TA Provider they located 2 gate valves at an intersection, but they could not locate the other 2 valves believed to be in the area. They determined the best course of action would be to dig near the valve that fed that street, locate the transit water main on the cross street and install a valve on the main that feeds the area to the hydrant that had been damaged.
Our TA Providers worked with fluoridating PWSs’ equipment with respect to troubleshooting and recommending upgrades. Common operational problems encountered include fluctuating fluoride levels, persistent non-optimal fluoride levels, and inconsistencies in split samples.
Our TA Providers worked to develop SOPs for several communities. A typical SOP prepared by NYRWA includes all components of the treatment plant.
- Using GPS and GIS, our TA Providers and NYRWA have produced full sets of maps for small water systems in New York State.
I hope the above examples provide you with more information on how your small systems can take advantage of this technical assistance. Should you have small systems in need in your area, please contact either of our two TA Providers at 1-888-697-8725. Rich Winters covers Western and Central NY, as well as Sullivan, Orange, Nassau and Suffolk Counties and can be reached at extension 160, or email Winters@nyruralwater.org. Morris Coolidge covers the North Country, Adirondacks, Capital Region, Catskills and Eastern NY area and can be reached at extension 320, or email Coolidge@nyruralwater.org. Other qualified TA providers and Specialists may also assist on TA and related services.
If you are not the correct individual to receive this notification, we would greatly appreciate it if you could forward to the correct representative at your LHU. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. NYRWA welcomes this opportunity to continue its partnership with the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Water Supply Protection and the Bureau of Child Health in providing Quality on Tap.
Jamie Herman, CEO
New York Rural Water Association
Claverack, NY 12513