The resources and links listed and embedded below will help utilities with public outreach, networking, and education. If you have a resource you feel would benefit water utilities by posting here, please email Kirsten King at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to a generous grant obtained by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Wastewater Management Program and administered through the Vermont Rural Water Association we are able to bring you an update of the State Wastewater Laboratory Manual last updated in 1996. It is hoped that this manual will assist Vermont wastewater operators in understanding and properly performing NPDES required analyses at their facilities. There have been many changes in the analytes of interest as well as the technology available for analysis of those parameters.
We have attempted to maintain the basic style of the original manual to minimize confusion. One major difference you will notice is the addition of links to some methods, equipment, and procedures. These links are specific to those methods and are subject to change in the future. New links can be established by searching the topic or company included in the link if necessary.
The Department of Environmental Conservation would like to express its great appreciation for the valuable help and support given by the Vermont Rural Water Association, specifically Elizabeth Walker, who was extremely helpful from start to finish in this manual update. Thanks also to the Green Mountain Water Associations Laboratory Standards Committee and especially the chair of that committee, Jennifer Garrison, for her much-appreciated editing prowess and to committee members (and WWTF operators) Lucas Harrington and Josh Kemp for reading the drafts and adding their valuable comments. Another major contributor to the success of this update was Dr. Amy Polaczyk of the Wastewater Management Program. Her insightful edits and useful additions to the manual were extremely valuable.
Help to educate legislators and the public.
This resource will help water systems and those needing to educate legislators as well as the public about PFAS do so in this simple, quick, and easy-to-read document. Click the below to view and download.
Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic byproducts of wastewater treatment. Biosolids have been treated and tested and meet strict federal and state standards for use as fertilizers and soil amendments. Biosolids were once considered a waste product but are now a recycling success story. They can be beneficially reused on farms.
This resource will help water systems and those needing to educate legislators as well as the public about PFAS do so in this simple, quick, and easy-to-read document. Click the image above to view and download.
Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic byproducts of wastewater treatment. Biosolids have been treated and tested and meet strict federal and state standards for use as fertilizers and soil amendments. Biosolids were once considered a waste product but are now a recycling success story. They can be beneficially reused on farms. Click the image above to view and download the infographic to help with community education.
For more information on water quality science, technology, infrastructure, emerging issues, funding, and policies, we recommend the resources provided by the following state, regional, and federal organizations and agencies. GMWEA works regularly with these trusted allies to bring national and regional expertise to assist Vermont water users, water-quality professionals, and policy-makers.
Vermont Rural Water Association (VRWA): www.vtruralwater.org. Serving primarily municipalities and private water systems, VRWD offers a range of trainings, tracks policy issues and rules, and provides technical advice and assistance to cities and towns.
VRWA is a member of the National Rural Water Association and maintains a contact list of scores of links to information useful to individuals, municipalities, corporations, nonprofits, and policy-makers at all levels. To access this excellent resource, go to: http://vtruralwater.org/industry/links.php
New England Water Works Association (NEWWA): www.newwa.org . Based in Massachusetts, NEWWA is a regional organization focused on drinking water. It offers conferences, trainings for professionals, and a quarterly journal/newsletter.
New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA): www.newea.org. NEWEA is based in Woburn, Mass., and focuses on wastewater issues. It offers conferences, technical trainings, a quarterly journal, and regional links.
www.neiwpcc.org. Founded by the U.S. Congress, governed by the six New England states and New York, NEIWPCC conducts programs in research, pollution control, source water protection, wastewater, wetlands ecology, and many more, including youth programs and training for wastewater certification and continuing education.
North East Biosolids & Residuals Association (NEBRA):www.nebiosolids.org. NEBRA is a nonprofit, interstate organization focused on environmentally sound, publicly-supported recycling of biosolids (nutrient-rich organic by-products of wastewater treatment) and other organic residuals such as paper pulp for soil amendment and renewable energy generation.
Septic systems and public sewer treatment plants can't eliminate all the dangerous chemicals we put into our wastewater stream every day. Ultimately, it's up to each individual to learn better water stewardship habits. Fortunately, there's plenty of great advice available.
Don't Flush It!: GMWEA's four "Don't Flush It!" brochures provide comprehensive, easy-to-follow advice on how to keep your private septic system or municipal sewer system working right, how to avoid polluting natural waters and wells, and how to dispose of the many toxic chemicals every household uses.
CLICK HERE to view or download!
Alternative Cleansers, Stain-removers, & Disinfectants: Just because they're readily available doesn't mean common commercial products are safe for human health or the environment! You can make your own, safer and cheaper versions by using recipes at: www.addisoncountyrecycles.org/hazwaste/reduce/toxic-products
Keep Pesticides Out of Water: The National Pesticide Information Center provides facts sheets on all pesticides and offers natural, minimal-risk alternatives: www.npic.orst.edu .
Fight Pests Without Poisons: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is recommended by the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture! Check out the "Quick Tips Library" for non-polluting lawn & garden care using IPM: www.ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/index.html .
Skip Chemical Fertilizers: They run off your lawn & garden into natural waters and cause ugly, toxic blue-green algae blooms in Vermont lakes. Find better, safer, cheaper soil care options at these three great sites:
Most people don't understand the astonishing infrastructure that keeps the faucets flowing and toilets flushing. It's mostly out of sight and out of mind -- yet clean water is our most precious resource. These resources offer fascinating, compelling inside looks at how "working water" is managed.
"Water Resource Recovery Facility 3-D Virtual Tour," by the Water Environment Federation, is an excellent, 10-minute animated video overview for people of all ages:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2FmNrEmowE
"From Flush to Finish," by the City of Grand Isle, 26 minutes, offers both schematic animations and real-time views of equipment, technology, and processes in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRaptzcp9G4
For an eye-opening overview of the importance of our water infrastructure, "Liquid Assets," a documentary produced by Penn State Broadcasting, can't be beat. The film is an excellent resource for educators, and should be seen by every governor, legislator, and mayor.
View the four-minute trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cul30R0z-A .
The whole video is hard to find online, but a similar 56-minute documentary, "Liquid Assets Minnesota," produced by Central States Water Environment Association, can be seen here: https://www.pbs.org/video/tpt-documentaries-liquid-assets-minnesota/
Drinking water and wastewater facility staff are deemed essential workers. It’s important that all water quality workers learn about COVID-19 (the disease), SARS-CoV-2 (the virus), and precautionary measures their positions may demand.
The Basics: The Water Environment Federation (WEF) offers an excellent primer geared toward water quality professionals at www.wef.org/news-hub/wef-news/the-water-professionals-guide-to-the-2019-novel-coronavirus/
Emergency Preparedness: Vermont Rural Water Association, Vt. DEC, and GMWEA have posted a convenient, one-page guide with on protecting the health of water quality workers and facility/personnel management during the emergency: vtruralwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/VT_COVID19_Preparedness_v8.pdf
Getting Help: VTWARN, the statewide mutual aid network allows water and wastewater facilities to rapidly receive assistance if their operations are impaired due to shortfalls of staffing, supplies, or equipment: www.VTWARN.org.
Water/Wastewater Transmission of the Virus, Precautions, and PPE:
The CDC maintains frequently updated advisories at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html
The U.S. EPA maintains another comprehensive advisory resource, including key information about drinking water, wastewater, and personal protective equipment (PPE) at: www.epa.gov/coronavirus
Impact on Water Grants, Contracts, and Loans: The Vt. DEC, recognizing that the emergency has affected performance on water-related contracts, has published a helpful page of FAQs at www.dec.vermont.gov/water-investment/covid-19 .
Your Health: The Vt. Dept. of Health site describes COVID-19 symptoms, gives tips on staying healthy, and explains what to do if you think you have caught it: www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19 .