October, 2012- Vol 7, Issue 3

In This Issue
Creative Financing Tools to Fund Water Infratsructure
Nations Water Costs Rushing Higher
Winterizing Tips for Water Utilities
Current North Dakota Drought Conditions
Four Tips to Identify a Water Leak at Your Home
Upcoming Events

Eric Volk, Executive Director

Lisa Schatz, Finance Manager

Kathy Berg, Admin. Assistant

Chuck Mischel, Op Cert Program

Mike Ritteman, Circuit Rider-East

Tom Sieg, Circuit Rider-West
Les Sigette, Wastewater Tech

Rod Stroh, Drought Mgmt Specialist

Andy McDonald, Training Specialist

Executive Board

Keith Nilson, President
Michele Schommer, Vice President
LaVonne Althoff, Secretary
Joe LaFave, Treasurer
Jon Nelson, Director at Large
John Bearman, National Rep.

Geneva Kaiser, Managers Rep.

Gordon Blixt, Past President

Contact Us


2718 Gateway Ave. #201

Bismarck, ND 58503

Phone: 1-800-349-6951

Fax: 701-258-5002




The mission of the North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association is to educate, support, and lead its members in providing quality service to their customers.

Creative Financing Tools to Fund Water Infrastructure


Water: it is one of our most vital resources but increasing demand and aging systems have stretched the U.S. water infrastructure to its limits. Both the EPA and the American Water Works Association estimate that the investment needed to update or replace existing water and wastewater systems over the next 20 years is in the hundreds of billions of dollars. At the same time, the economic crisis has reduced the financial resources of our nation's municipally owned water and wastewater utilities and eroded sources of public financing.


The municipal bond market, once a major source of funding for water infrastructure projects, remains a viable option for large cities but can be difficult for rural communities to access. A down economy continues to strain the budgets of state and local governments, which has resulted in a few high-profile municipal bankruptcies. As a result, many providers of bond insurance have exited the market. For those that remain, rates have increased so dramatically that it has become unattainable for small communities, and investors have limited appetite to invest in bonds without this credit enhancement.


Click here to view full length article

USA TODAY Analysis: Nation's Water Costs Rushing Higher 

While most Americans worry about gas and heating oil prices, water rates have surged in the past dozen years, according to a USA TODAY study of 100 municipalities. Prices at least doubled in more than a quarter of the locations and even tripled in a few.


Consumers could easily overlook the steady drip, drip, drip of water rate hikes, yet the cost of this necessity of life has outpaced the percentage increases of some of these other utilities, carving a larger slice of household budgets in the process.


USA TODAY's study of residential water rates over the past 12 years for large and small water agencies nationwide found that monthly costs doubled or more in 29 localities. The unique look at costs for a diverse mix of water suppliers representing every state and Washington, D.C. found that a resource long taken for granted will continue to become more costly for millions of Americans. Indeed, rates haven't crested yet because huge costs to upgrade or repair pipes, reservoirs and treatment plants loom nationwide.


Click here to view full length article 

Winterizing Tips for Water Utilities


As we quickly move into another winter season, the question that utilities across the state need to be asking is, "Are we prepared for the bitter cold and the problems that may arise from the weather?" Indiana Rural Water has put together a checklist that can be used across the northern states to identify potential problems or risks due to the cold weather. Utilities should set a deadline for when the checklist needs to be completed. This checklist is meant to be comprehensive, however, utilities are encouraged to modify the list to adapt to their individual community needs. 


 Click here to access Winter Utility Checklist

Current North Dakota Drought Conditions


  North Dakota Drought Conditions 

Four Tips to Identify a Water Leak at Your Home


Conservation is a staple of public water systems across our state and our nation. As stewards of our greatest natural resource, water system managers have made water conservation one of their highest priorities. Even with all the new technology available in the water sector, identifying and correcting water loss is still a daunting task for public water system personnel. An easy way to relieve the burden on water system personnel without neglecting the concern for water loss is by educating your water customers on what part they can play in leak identification. The following checklist can be distributed to your customers to help them save money on their next water bill and save your utility money by reducing water loss.

  •  Unusual green spots in the lawn may be an indication of a leak (especially in dry conditions.

  •  Have you noticed low water pressure out of the tap? This may be an indication of a leak growing in size. If your pressure decreases the longer the water is running, then this is a good indication of a leak. If your sink, tub, or washing machine is taking increasingly longer periods of time to fill, you may have a leak.

  •  Do you have noisy pipes? If you notice humming or singing from your pipes when water is not being used, you may have a leak.

  • We have had a drier than average year so why is the sump pump running frequently? Sump pumps are designed to remove excess ground water during the spring runoff and heavy rain events. During drier conditions, if your sump pump is running more frequently than normal, you may have a leak. 

  • Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendar 

    October 16-18, 2012

    ND Water & Pollution Control Conference

    Grand International Hotel

    Minot, ND


    December 5-7, 2012

    Joint North Dakota Water Convention and Irrigation Expo

    Best Western Ramkota Hotel

    Bismarck, ND


    February 12-14, 2013

    27th Annual Rural Water Expo

    Best Western Ramkota Hotel

    Bismarck, ND

    Contact Information

    ND Rural Water Systems Association
    2718 Gateway Avenue #201
    Bismarck, ND 58503
    Phone: 800-349-6951
    Fax: 701-258-5002


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