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EPA Tutorial Video on Certifying Risk Assessment and ER Plan Online

Posted By IAMU, Friday, March 6, 2020

The EPA has created a tutorial video to assist water utilities in complying with America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) Section 2013: Risk & Resilience Assessment and Emergency Response Plan certification requirements.  The You-Tube video demonstrates step-by-step instructions on how a water utility can certify electronically through EPA’s website. 

See the EPA website for more information on how to develop the assessment and plan, due dates, etc.

Reminder: all community water systems serving more than 3,300 people (including consecutive population) are required to conduct the assessment and develop the ER Plan.

Tags:  AWIA  EPA 

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Water Members: Consider Participation in Affordability Study

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Time commitment is minimal; information obtained is invaluable.

The Wichita State University (WSU) Environmental Finance Center (EFC) is

conducting a series of case studies regarding Household Affordability and Financial Capability in the Water Sector in communities in EPA Region 7. WSU is specifically looking for water and/or water and sewer utilities that serve under 10,000 people that are concerned about or have analyzed affordability for their customers.  

WSU team will help utilities gather data and/or rely on utilities to gather the data needed to calculate affordability metrics, which include but are not limited to socioeconomic factors, water treatment system, income distribution of the community, staff size, etc.  

The Process

  • The process begins with a conversation with participating communities. WSU will request some initial information, such as population, average water bill, water distribution process, etc.
  •  After that, WSU will send a brief narrative along with some metric calculations that the community will need to complete. WSU will send a template with guidelines and instructions.
  •  WSU will then have a follow-up conversation about the metrics and ask a range of interview questins. 

This project requires little time (approximately five to 10 hours over the course of several weeks).

At the conclusion of this exchange, WSU will write a case study about the community and how it was able to access and calculate the metrics and the thoughts about the process from the person who completed it. WSU will send the community a copy of the in-depth case study about their community level affordability of water/wastewater.

Centers like WSU are completing case studies across the country. These will be compiled into a larger report. If you are interested in participating, please contact Michelle DeHaven at or Nicholas Willis at

Tags:  EPA  Water  Wichita State 

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Water Members: Consider Participating in the ‘National Study of Nutrient Removal and Secondary Technologies: Publicly Owned Treatment Works’

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Each city and/or municipal wastewater treatment plant in the country should have already received a letter from the EPA notifying them about this voluntary study with instructions on how they can participate. 

The purpose of the study is to obtain nationwide data on nutrient removal to help set more realistic and achievable nutrient reductions, help Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) understand the range of opportunities to optimize nutrient removals based on data from their peers, and encourage improved POTW nutrient removal performance with less expense.

Iowa DNR participated in developing this study over the last two years and was able to help steer this study into something that the Iowa DNR thinks will be truly beneficial. 

This is a multi-phase effort, and the first phase of the study is a screener questionnaire. The goal of this questionnaire is to identify and characterize the full population of POTWs in the country that discharge to a water of the United States. The information will be used to help establish a baseline of nutrient performance at the national level for all POTWs.

The Iowa DNR is encouraging systems to complete the questionnaire, as its success will benefit POTWs in our state, nationwide, and all stakeholders involved in managing nutrients at the watershed level. You can find the survey at

To help encourage participation, the Iowa DNR is offering CEUs to operators who participate in the study. An Iowa wastewater operator who completes the survey and submits a copy of the EPA competition certificate will receive 3 hours of CEUs. The EPA completion certificates should be emailed to Laurie Sharp for processing at The Iowa DNR is hoping to have as many of Iowa's facilities represented as possible.

The EPA is hoping to get responses by Nov. 26 (the Tuesday before Thanksgiving).

If you have any questions, contact Adam Schnieders, Acting Water Quality Bureau Chief & Water Quality Resource Coordinator with the Iowa DNR, at 515-238-055 or by email at

Here is a helpful link from EPA about the effort:

Tags:  EPA  IDNR  POTWS  Water 

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Troubleshooting Noncompliance at the Smallest Wastewater Treatment Plants – Part 1

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is presenting a series of technical assistance webinars to highlight best practices for addressing noncompliance at small wastewater treatment plants.

This training, which is for owners and operators of small plants, was originally presented in 2016 by Ohio’s Package Plant Initiative. That initiative focused on small mechanical treatment systems that were in significant noncompliance (SNC) with their NPDES permits.

Webinar attendees will learn how to fine-tune their systems and troubleshoot common non-compliance issue using cheap, easy, and effective process control tools and methods to return the wastewater treatment plants to compliance.

This is the first of two webinars on this topic. This webinar will cover conversion problems (i.e., ammonia noncompliance). The second webinar, scheduled for November 13, will cover separation and disinfection issues.

Webinar Time: October 17, 2019 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Central

Registration Link:

Audience: Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators, NPDES technical assistance providers and compliance staff from states, tribes, and US EPA. While all plant operators may find this useful, it is geared more toward smaller systems with flow of less than 1 million gallons per day.

Presenter: John van Dommelen, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Compliance Assistance Unit.

NDPES Expert Q&A Support: Louis Salguero and Cornell Gayle, US EPA Region 4, Science and Ecosystem Support Division Laboratory, Athens, GA.

References: Activated Sludge Process Control and Troubleshooting Training Manual, which includes a self-diagnostic troubleshooting chart.

Sponsors: EPA’s Office of Compliance Water Branch and the EPA-State Reducing SNC with NPDES Permits National Compliance Initiative (NCI) Workgroup.

Tags:  EPA  NPDES  Wastewater 

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New Risk Assessment and Emergency Response Plan Requirements and Tools Overview Webinar

Posted By IAMU, Friday, August 30, 2019

From EPA Water Security Division (via Region 7), 8/28/2019

 “EPA will host an overview webinar to provide participants with a quick introduction to the new risk assessment and emergency response plan requirements. Participants will also learn about the updated Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool Web 2.0 and Emergency Response Plan Guidance, Template and Instructions.

Date and time: September 5, 2019 from noon - 1:30 PM CDT

Registration link

Notes: This webinar is related to the AWIA Risk Assessment and Emergency Plan requirements for systems serving more than 3,300 people, including consecutives.  Further information on those requirements is available at EPA's website.  

Example ERP Template in MS-Word: At the bottom of the website is the ERP Template in .pdf.  There is also an MS-Word version that is available by first downloading the .pdf, then clicking on the box in the middle right side of page 2 entitled "AWIA ERP Template."  That will open an MS-Word document that can be used. 

Tags:  EPA  Water 

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