Monday, October 18, 2021
     
"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.

E-News for Oct. 11, 2021

10/11/2021 - Weekly KRWA E-News

Wichita Mayor Asked Wichitans not to Hoard Bottled Water; Urged Patience During Water Crisis
A major water main break late last week led to a KDHE boil water advisory for all of Wichita’s water customers and several other water systems that Wichita supplies water to, in Sedgwick and Butler counties, affecting more than half a million people. Wichita Public Works Director Alan King told media that the city’s water treatment plant experienced some difficulties after a power interruption shut down all equipment and pumps.Drone image of the Wichita water main break. When the system restarted, King said city crews noticed they were losing pressure. A break in a 42-inch water main discovered near 17th and I-135 was so large it flooded neighborhoods and intersections along 17th Street from Mathewson to Hydraulic. The city blocked several exit and entry ramps onto the highway near a site where water was reported to be gushing out of the ground. At the scene of the gushing water on the side of the highway, and in the neighborhood surrounding the Tabernacle Church of God, visible water erosion cut out some of the hillside along I-135 and the sidewalks along the streets. Wichita's mayor asked residents of Wichita and the surrounding area to remain calm and urged residents against making a run on bottled water. The last time a boil water advisory was issued for Wichita occurred in the 1990s, according to a city spokesperson. [source

 

Larned Wastewater Plant Director Receives Award
Dale Vanderhoof was presented with an award from Aqua-Aerobic Systems Inc., in recognition of the Larned wastewater plant's outstanding performance during 2020. It is the second year running for the award. Vanderhoof also was previously recognized in 2019 with the KDHE Jim Current award for his work at Larned. Under Vanderhoof's direction, the facility has received awards in the past two years and he expects a third this year. Vanderhoof, a Kansas certified Class IV wastewater treatment operator, OSHA trainer and instructor, was hired by the City of Larned in November 2018 to spearhead repairs and monitoring deficiencies cited by KDHE at the Larned Wastewater Treatment facility earlier that year. “When you start with a facility that was cited for dumping black stuff into the river, and three years later, the water that you release is safe enough to drink, this is what you get,” said Vanderhoof, as he was presented with the company award for outstanding plant performance as Larned plant director. [source]

 

Water Photos to be Featured at Kansas Virtual Water Conference
The Kansas Water Office (KWO) is now accepting water photos to be featured in conjunction with their 2021 Virtual Governor’s Water Conference in November. The photos need to pertain to water or water use in Kansas. Examples include all bodies of water, irrigation, agriculture, recreation and fun, or other water infrastructure. Worthy entries will be voted on during this year’s Virtual Governor’s Water Conference by conference attendees. The winning photo will earn feature photo at the 2022 Governor’s Water Conference. It will also, along with second and third place, be displayed in the Kansas State Capitol and KWO during the year. Nov. 5 is the deadline to submit photos at kwo-info@kwo.ks.gov.

 

Rural Water On Display Photo Contest Winners
Overall Grand Prize Winner: Troy Larson, South Dakota | Pipeline to Skyline.During the WaterPro Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sept. 13 to 15, the National Rural Water Association held its first annual Rural Water On Display Photo Contest. Entries were sent in from across the country and were narrowed down to the top five images in three categories. NRWA conference attendees then voted for their favorite images. The winning photos can be found on the NRWA Website.  

 

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Through increased knowledge and awareness we each have the ability to use the internet while maintaining the integrity of our information.  We need to remain vigilant with the steps we take, to protect ourselves, our families and our business.  “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” [source]

 

EPA Expects $21.7 Million Available for Rural, Small Water Systems
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week announced that it expects to issue, by Oct. 15, a $21.7 million grant funding opportunity for technical assistance and training providers to support small drinking water and wastewater systems that are often located in rural communities across the United States. EPA's funding will improve public health and environmental protection by helping ensure that drinking water in these communities is safe and that wastewater is treated and responsibly returned to the environment. Eligible applicants for this competitive agreement are expected to be nonprofit organizations, nonprofit private universities and colleges, and public institutions of higher education. We expect this grant solicitation will be posted on Grants.gov by October 15th and applicants will have 60 days to apply.  EPA expects to award these cooperative agreements by Spring 2022 and encourages all eligible organizations who have an interest in these projects to apply. [source]

 

Wichita Council Candidates Debate Persistent Stench in South Wichita
Two prospective city council candidates offered differing plans for ridding the south side of its persistent and pungent stench of human waste emanating from two sewage plants handling 90 percent of Wichita’s wastewater. [source]

 

Four Dead on Family Vineyard in Freak Wine-Making Accident
In an accident that highlights one of the many hazards of working in a confined space, four Italian men between the ages of 40 and 70 recently perished while producing wine from their family vineyard. They were found on the floor of a small shed where they were fermenting grapes without proper ventilation. The local prosecutor, Pierpaolo Bruni, said that an inquiry into the deaths would be opened, but that the room was “not sufficiently ventilated” for the high level of carbon dioxide the fermentation process produces. Police hypothesize that one of the older men first went into the shed to stir the vat of fermenting grapes as they prepared to transfer the liquid to vats when he was overcome by fumes. The second older gentleman then likely went in to rescue him but was also overcome. The two younger men and a woman though to be a daughter-in-law of one of the men also followed. The woman passed out near the entrance and was resuscitated and is recovering in a local hospital. [source]

 

KRWA Sponsored Water & Wastewater Training
Oct. 13: Competent Person for Trenching and Excavation (Great Bend)
Oct. 13: Introduction to Cybersecurity (Online - Sessions fill fast!)
Oct. 14: Confined Space Entry (Great Bend)
Oct. 19: Finally, Math Simplified (Maize)
Oct. 20: The ABCs of Activated Sludge (Wichita)
Oct. 26-29: Backflow Prevention - Cross Connection Control (Valley Center)

 

Drought Monitor
On the Plains, unusual warmth persisted during the drought week. Weekend igh temperatures neared 100°F in parts of the southern Plains before a cold front pushed through during the weekend. Mostly dry weather accompanied those above-normal to record-setting temperatures. Some areas of improvement were noted on the latest U.S. Drought Monitor in northwest Kansas, where rains fell during the previous week, but moderate to severe drought persists in most of that area. Deterioration was noted in eastern Colorado, southwest Nebraska and southeast Wyoming.

High Plains portion of the U.S. Drought Monitor.

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