January, 2014 - Vol 9, Issue 1

In This Issue
Attendee & Exhibitor Registration Open for Expo 2014
Highlights of Expo 2014
Revised Q&A for Lead Reduction Act
Hydrants Dropped from EPA's Rule on Lead in Water
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Literary Corner: The Snowflake
Upcoming Events

Eric Volk, Executive Director

Lisa Schatz, Finance Manager

Kathy Berg, Admin. Assistant

Chuck Mischel, Op Cert Program

Mike Ritteman, Circuit Rider-East

Ward Heidbreder, Circuit Rider-West
Les Sigette, Wastewater Tech

Rod Stroh, Drought Mgmt Specialist

Andy McDonald, Source Water Protection

Executive Board

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

Geneva Kaiser, Managers Rep.

Keith Nilson, 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.

Attendee & Exhibitor Registration Now Open for Expo 2014 in Fargo




Time is running out to get registered for the 28th Annual Water Expo in Fargo, ND. Attendee and exhibitor registrations are filling up so don't hesitate to visit our website and register yourself or your company for this can't miss event. 


Expo 2014 features the largest congregation of drinking water and wastewater related professionals in the state. The result is a networking experience that is second to none. You are only a click away from starting 2014 off on the right foot.


Click here for registration and conference details 


Highlights of Expo 2014 


Expo 2014 will unofficially open the morning of Tuesday, February 18, with a tour of the GPK Products, Inc. and Northern Pipe Products plants. Don't miss out on the opportunity to tour these state of the art facilities.  

The official opening ceremonies will kickoff at 1:30 PM on Tuesday. We have a distinguished group of speakers assembled to set the tone for Expo 2014. Immediately following the opening ceremonies, we will usher you towards the Crystal Ballroom for the opening of the exhibit hall. The ballroom will be packed with displays, product, services, and most importantly, the people that you do business with. Be sure to take advantage of this great opportunity to renew old relationships and establish new ones while exploring what is new in the water and wastewater industries. Once you have made your initial lap around the exhibit hall, be sure to put your technical prowess to the test in our first ever Meter Change-Out Competition. You may also have the opportunity to visit with your local legislators as we cap off the first day with our Legislative Reception and Exhibitor Appreciation. Don't forget to thank our exhibitors as this conference would not be possible without their help.

Day 2 is where the rubber hits the road. If water knowledge is what you crave, we are your one stop shop. Exhibit hall live demonstrations, the meter change-out final round, prize drawings, operation & maintenance tracks, and development tracks will ensure that you will not leave Expo 2014 empty handed. To culminate the days events, we will be honoring the best in the business at our Awards Banquet. Whether it be in the office or in the field, special recognition will be given to these deserving individuals that provide us with our most valuable resource, safe and reliable drinking water. If you have an individual in mind that you would like to nominate for an award, please follow the link below to give this person a chance to get the recognition that he or she rightfully deserves. We will also be honoring our Corporate Elite and Diamond Sponsors for their dedication and support of not only our association, but their commitment to communities across ND. The final judging of the Water Taste Contest will also take place at the Awards Banquet. Finally, we are excited to announce that we will be continuing the Live Scholarship Auction to benefit the Pat Denne Scholarship fund. The auction would not be possible without all the support and donations we receive from our outstanding members. 

We aren't done with you quite yet. Day 3 offers additional training opportunities for operation & maintenance, management, rules and regulations, and even some driving tips for those lovely winter days in ND. Prior to getting you on the road for a safe trip home, we will be drawing 5 - $100 cash prizes for those that stayed for the duration of the conference. Whether it is the valuable training or the possibility of a nice cash prize, it is well worth your time to stick around for the duration of the conference. 

On behalf of the staff and board members of NDRWSA, we look forward to seeing you in Fargo at Expo 2014!

Click here for all your Expo information 


Revised Q&A for Lead Reduction Act 


The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act was enacted on January 4, 2011 to amend Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) respecting the use and introduction into commerce of lead pipes, plumbing fittings or fixtures, solder and flux. The Act established a prospective effective date of January 4, 2014, which provided a three year time frame for affected parties to transition to the new requirements. Upon signature the Community Fire Safety Act of 2013 will further amend Section 1417 to exempt fire hydrants. In anticipation of these changes taking effect, EPA is providing the following summary of the requirements of the lead ban provisions in Section 1417 and some answers to frequently asked questions related to the amendments to assist manufacturers, retailers, plumbers and consumers in understanding the changes to the law. 


This document, including revised answers to frequently asked questions, is intended to help the public understand the statutory requirements. EPA intends to further clarify and refine these and other issues related to these provisions in future rule making. These FAQs include some recommendations that are advisory only (indicated by the use of the words such as "should" or "encourages").

EPA remains interested in feedback on these FAQs, for refinement of these answers, to respond to new questions, or to determine which issues should be explored in its rulemaking. As a result, EPA may revise or supplement these FAQs from time to time.

Hydrants Dropped from EPA's Rule on Lead in Water 
Jessica Wehrman, The Columbus Dispatch


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has scrapped guidance that would force local governments to replace broken fire hydrants with new, certified-lead-free ones after Jan. 4.

The guidance, which the EPA issued on Oct. 22, had outraged officials of local governments who feared they would be forced to scrap existing stock of replacement fire hydrants and hydrant parts to comply with the EPA mandate. 

The language was issued as part of enforcement of a 2011 law aimed at reducing lead in drinking water, under the premise that people sometimes drink out of fire hydrants during emergency situations.

EPA spokeswoman Caroline Behringer said that the feedback helped the EPA to conclude "that fire hydrants are not widely used as a potable source of water and that the guidance should be revised to exclude fire hydrants if Congress doesn't take action to do so before the January deadline."

Click here for full length article



Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
by John E. Regnier, NRWA
As this may be the last issue of E, J and OS, I had thought I would devote it to an index of past issues.  However, in thinking about what would be most beneficial to our readers and small systems generally , I decided it would be more helpful to have in one spot a description of NRWA's White Paper Library.  Although this library is well documented on the NRWA website, as with most library resources, it is consulted usually only on an as-needed basis. Consequently, it is probably somewhat obscure to the general NRWA membership and it is my hope that the following description based on the website organization, will not only describe the scope of the library, but provide a useful guide for accessing specific works.

To access the White Papers, which include 46 full papers and 7 briefing papers, use the following link http://www.nrwa.org/benefits/whitepapers/TOC.htm.  

  • Using the link will bring up AFFORDABILITY containing 8 papers, all by Scott Rubin, that define affordability, describe criteria to judge affordability and present statistics related to the cost of water and wastewater services.
  • The next section, AFFORDABILITY HEALTH RISK TRADEOFF ISSUES, is an off-shoot of affordability with three papers that discuss the implications of unaffordable regulations, especially adverse health effects that arise when customers must make unhealthy spending choices to keep drinking water available.
  • The third section, BENEFIT AND COST ANALYSIS, has two papers and explores the benefit/cost considerations required by the 1996 Amendments to the SDWA.
  • Following Benefit and Cost Analysis is a section on CLIMATE CHANGE, which is only one white paper effort, but is an exhaustive study of this critical subject and consists of 3 sub-papers.
  • CONSERVATISM IN REGULATION DEVELOPMENT is the following division with four diverse papers covering the Precautionary Principle, URTH, and Enforcement Flexibility.
  • Next is GENERAL WATER ISSUES with 9 papers on a variety of issues. Of particular note in these papers are those related to data reliability and power use in water systems.
  • After General Issues comes STANDARDS AND RISK ISSUES with the largest number of papers, 16, covering a wide range of subjects. Of particular interest may be papers on Violation Data and Regulatory Policy.
  • Next to last is REGULATORY BRIEFING PAPERS which are not exactly white papers but rather short briefing documents on atrazine, coliform bacteria, manganese, metolachlor, MTBE, perchlorate, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Finally is the WASTEWATER section with 3 papers reviewing issues and operation of small wastewater systems.

This library is a unique resource and I urge you to use and maintain it wisely. 


 Literary Corner 
The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty by Kenneth Libbrecht
Photographs by Patricia Rasmussen
As temperatures and wind chill dip to levels that force us indoors for the majority of the day, why not embrace the arctic chill by indulging in a true winter gem. The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty will have you embracing the winter weather once again. Well, maybe not the -50 below wind chill, but you get the point. If you've ever had interest in the science behind the snowflake, this book is well worth your time.
The book features: 
* Nearly 200 snowflake photographs - some of the best snowflake photographs ever taken! 
* Numerous full-page high-resolution images that reveal the minute details of snow crystal design and structure. 
* A richly illustrated "field guide to falling snow" that describes the different kinds of snowflakes. 
* A brief history of snowflake observations and study. 
* A close look at what snowflakes are, how they form, and why they look like they do.
This book may be found at your local library, book store, or by following the link provided below.
Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendar 

Operator Certification Exam Training - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM LOCAL TIME

2/11 - Memorial Hall, 925 Main St, New England MDT

2/12 - Mountrail County South Complex, 8103 61st St NW, Stanley

2/13 - Cobblestone Inn, 402 Hwy 2 E, Rugby

2/25 - Choice Financial Community Room, 38 W 6th St., Grafton

2/26 - City Hall, 651 2nd St, Mapleton

2/27 - City Administration Building, 74 Santee Rd, Lincoln


To register: email your name, system, and number attending to Chuck Mischel at cmischel@ndrw.org.


NDRWSA 28th Annual Water Expo

Ramada Plaza & Suites, Fargo, ND

Feb. 18 - 20, 2014

Click here to register 


NDRWSA Summer Board Meeting & Leadership Retreat 

Rough Riders Hotel & Conference Center, Medora, ND

July 15-16, 2014

Registration coming soon!

Rooms at the Bunkhouse, Badlands Inn, and Rough Riders: 1-800-MEDORA1.

Rooms at the Americinn: 1-701-623-4800

Rooms will be under "ND Rural Water Block" 


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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