Sunday, February 17, 2019
"An investment in Knowledge pays the best Interest."

Ben Franklin's words still ring true today. So we pick out the most appropriate articles in current events and news regarding the Water Industry both nationally and in Kansas to filter the most pertinent information for you.

Weekly News - Feb. 4, 2019

02/04/2019 - Weekly KRWA E-News

Kansas Lakes Test Negative For Zebra Mussels
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) reports good news about preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species. According to Chris Steffen, KDWPT aquatic nuisance species coordinator, no zebra mussel larvae were detected in 2018 sampling efforts on 110 Kansas lakes that were not already on the ANS Waters list. Water bodies are sampled annually and include city, county, state and federal lakes. Aquatic nuisance species (ANS) are animals and plants not native to Kansas that can threaten lake and river ecology, harm native or desirable species and interfere with our economy.“These results are encouraging, and I hope this success means that lake users in Kansas are more aware of how to prevent the movement of zebra mussels by cleaning, draining, and drying their boats and equipment before recreating at another lake,” said Steffen. “I am particularly excited because remembering to clean, drain and dry prevents the spread of not only zebra mussels, but also other harmful aquatic species that threaten our waters now and in the future. We urge everyone who uses our lakes and rivers to keep up the good work.” Zebra mussels are known to occur in 30 Kansas lakes. As zebra mussel populations increase, they can clog intake pipes and prevent water treatment and electrical generating plants from drawing water. In 2012, two Kansas communities, Council Grove and Osage City, experienced temporary water shortages from zebra mussel infestations before water intake structures could be cleaned up. Removing large numbers of zebra mussels to ensure adequate water flow can be labor-intensive and costly. The city of Lawrence discovered an infestation in a transmission main between Clinton Lake and the Clinton Reservoir Water Treatment Plant in 2017. At that time, Lawrence city commissioners approved the purchase of about $80,000 worth of the copper ion generation equipment to help manage the mussels. [source


KDA/DWR Online Water Use Assistance Available
Last Wednesday, KRWA partnered with the KDA Division of Water Resources to hold an online water use filing help session at Winchester. Additional KDA/DWR help-sessions are being held across the state for those who need assistance with the online filing system. As of last week, with only a month to go before the filing deadline, only 28% of water use reports for all use types had been filed online through the DWR online water use reporting system. Of municipal users, only about 24% have successfully completed their water use reports online. KRWA recommends that you file your annual water use reports online as soon as possible, in order that DWR staff can be readily available to assist you over the phone, if needed, and to ensure that you don't encounter potential problems related to increased web traffic hitting their online filing system close to the March 1 filing deadline. If there is anything unique about your 2018 water use information, or if any of your information doesn't seem to fit elsewhere in their online system, that information should be fully described in the "comments section." Video tutorials have been made available on the DWR website


KDHE Holds Harmful Algal Bloom Meeting
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) held the 2019 Harmful Algal Bloom Meeting during the week of Jan. 24, at Washburn University in Topeka. The meeting, which included all Kansas agencies which work on harmful algal blooms, discussed health, monitoring and responses due to harmful algal blooms in area water sources. “At this year’s meeting we have expanded from our recreational stakeholders to include the public water supply operators and other agencies to find the best ways to address issues as they arise,” said Megan Maksimowicz, an Environmental Specialist at KDHE’s Bureau of Water. “We want to make sure that we stay on top of all public health and safety issues connected to HABs. We have not had any toxins above the EPA’s health advisory level from HABs in a public water supply system, but we continue to come up with the best ways to prevent this and to monitor these situations.” Presentation topics included recreation and reservoir research, animal health, testing and monitoring, nutrient reduction and practice, in-lake mitigation strategies, public water supply monitoring, and planning and response, among other discussions. The meeting, hosted by KDHE’s Bureau of Water, has been held annually every winter to engage stakeholders on this challenging issue affecting lakes in Kansas. A short video of the meeting is also available online. [source]

Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Welcomes New Leader
Brad LovelessGovernor Laura Kelly has named Brad Loveless to be secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). He comes to the agency after a 34-year career with Westar Energy where he was most recently the senior director of environmental conservation and sustainability. Prior to that, he was director of biology and conservation programs and earlier held environmental management positions at Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation. He was one of the leaders of Westar’s Green Team, an active volunteer group of employees and retirees that has been helping with habitat improvement, environmental access and education, and enhancement of sensitive species for 30 years. "During my career, I have had the pleasure of working closely with KDWPT staff on many occasions,” Loveless said. “They are dedicated and hard-working, and I look forward to helping them manage the state’s natural resources and promote all the wonderful outdoor and travel experiences that Kansas offers." In 2013, Loveless was awarded the Kansas State Forester’s Award for Community Forestry. In 2009, he was recognized by the Kansas Wildlife Federation as Wildlife Conservationist of the Year and by the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education as their Strickler Award winner for Environmental Education. He is an avid hunter, angler and beekeeper. [source]

Kansas Farm Incomes Down 60 Percent  
Change in State-Level Net Farm Income (Avg. 2016-2017 vs. Avg. 2011-2013). Data Source: USDA NASS.Kansas farm income is one of the hardest hit in the nation. That’s according to David Widmar’s syndicated Agriculture Economic Insight. “Kansas farm income was down 60 percent,” Widmar numbers showed. Those numbers were shared with the Kansas House of Representative members by Majority Leader Don Hineman, a Dighton cattleman serving the 118th District. “Outside of the Midwest, the farm economy slowdown has been, generally speaking, less severe,” Widmar pointed out. A recent Associated Press article details how a monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states suggests banks are growing increasingly concerned about farm loan defaults in 2019. Regionally, only the largest of operations are making any money. Land prices are down, farm real estate listings are up, younger farmers are looking bankruptcy in the face and older farmers are retiring. [source]

EPA Won't Limit 2 Toxic Chemicals in Drinking Water
According to an exclusive article published last week by Politico, the EPA will decline to set a drinking water limit for PFOA and PFOS, which have been detected in drinking water and have been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, hypertension and other ailments. Major chemical companies like 3M as well as the Defense Department would face billions of dollars in liability from aggressive efforts to regulate and clean up the chemicals, which have contaminated groundwater near hundreds of military bases and chemical plants. EPA's decision means the chemicals will remain unregulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to EPA "sources familiar with a still-unreleased draft PFAS plan that acting administrator Andrew Wheeler signed off on in late December." However, the draft chemical plan includes a decision to list those two chemicals as hazardous under the Superfund law, according to the two sources, a move would help force polluters to pay for cleanup. State and local officials, as well as rural water utilities, have argued against a federal drinking water standard. They say the problem is localized and that utilities across the country should not have to pay to test their water if they are unlikely to find the chemicals. [source]


Loud Booms and Cracks: Ice Quakes are Just Another Winter Oddity
As temperatures plunged to Antarctic levels over the Upper-Midwest Wednesday, social media lit up with reports of loud outdoor booms, cracks and bangs. They’re called ice quakes, or frost quakes. Or cryoseisms, if you want to get technical about it. These peculiar events are occurring because the weather is causing the ground to explode. “Basically, it’s so cold outside right now that you’ve got some moisture below the surface that’s starting to freeze,” said meteorologist Ben Deubelbeiss of the National Weather Service in Chicago. “When the water freezes, it starts to expand and it’ll move the soil, subsoil, rocks and everything around it. That’ll create these little miniature quakes.” That’s right. Miniature quakes. [source]


KRWA Training Calendar
Feb. 5: Pittsburg
Math Refresher Course for Water and Wastewater Operators

Feb. 19-22: McPherson
Cross Connection - Backflow Prevention 


Feb. 20: Salina
Distribution System Operations, LCR and RTCR


Feb. 27: Parsons
Surface Water Treatment: Production, Sampling & Technologies


Mar. 6: Mayetta
Surface Water Treatment: Production, Sampling & Technologies


Mar. 26, 27 and 28: Wichita
KRWA Annual Conference & Exhibition


Drought Monitor
The main climate and weather feature on the Plains last week included temperatures that plunged below -30°F in the Red River Valley of the North. Sub-zero readings occurred Wednesday and Thursday mornings, northeast of a line from central Montana to northeastern Kansas, accompanied by gusty winds and dangerously low windchill temperatures. Windchill values in Kansas ranged from just below zero across much of  Kansas to -15°F at Durham in Marion County. Water main breaks and burst pipes disrupted operations at several facilities in Michigan and elsewhere amid the bitterly cold weather. City Hall in Kansas City (MO) remained closed late last week after a water main break on Thursday morning caused the downtown Jackson County Courthouse's basement to flood, resulting in power outages throughout downtown. Similar problems were expected amid a rapid thaw, with above-normal temperatures across the Plains and Midwest. Weekend temperatures reached 70°F as far north as Kansas. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the region was mostly drier than normal for the week, with only areas of the Dakotas, southeast Nebraska, and eastern portions of Colorado and Wyoming receiving slightly above normal precipitation. The dry conditions, however, did not warrant any changes to the drought status this week and Kansas remains drought free. There will continue to be an active storm track across the country where a significant storm will impact the West coast and into the intermountain West and Southwest, bringing additional chances for precipitation.

High Plains detail from the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Jan. 31, 2019.

Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central RegionSouthern Plains Region and State of Kansas