Saturday , 25 February 2017

April 13, 2016 E-News

DNR TO STUDY IF FRAC SAND MINING CONTAMINATES GROUNDWATER – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is planning a study to see if frac sand mining is causing heavy metals to leach into the state’s groundwater. DNR frac sand sector specialist Roberta Walls said the agency sampled water used to wash frac sand at 13 mines in western Wisconsin in 2013. They found aluminum, copper, arsenic and lead at elevated levels. “And we are seeing presence of those in the process water ponds,” Wall said, “to the extent and degree (that) those are the types of things that we need to take a closer look at.” The metals appear to be part of the natural makeup of the clay “cement” that holds together certain sandstone formations. The mining process can break up or disturb that clay and Walls said the agency wants to to see if frac sand wash water is carrying those metals into groundwater supplies.

TAX CREDITS PROPOSED FOR LEAD PIPE REMOVAL – Homeowners could receive a tax credit to help pay for removing lead pipes under a bill proposed by a Green Bay lawmaker. The measure is one of two coming from State Rep. Eric Genrich, D-Green Bay, to help families and municipalities eliminate the risk of lead poisoning from their drinking water. Genrich’s other proposal would allow water utilities to use rate-payer dollars to remove the portion of lead service lines that extend on private property between the sidewalk and the house. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has not allowed utilities to use those funds for that use out of fear it would set a precedent for using water rates to fund other upgrades on private property. The state-level proposals come at the same time that Green Bay is considering its own remedies. Roughly 1,700 homes in the city receive their water through lead pipes. The Green Bay Water Utility intends to remove them all, but it needs homeowner permission or a change in state law or local ordinances to gain access to people’s private property.

FINANCING OPTIONS FOR LEAD PIPE REPLACEMENTS – Events in Flint, MI have focused attention on the problems associated with lead leaching into the drinking water from older lead pipes and other lead sources from within the home (such as lead containing solder on copper pipes and older household fixtures).  Because lead may leach into drinking water and be released in scale during system repairs, many communities are considering the best options to ensure the safety of drinking water. Replacing all pipes, joints and fixtures that contain lead is certainly the best option for ensuring a lead-free water supply. Additionally, this solution can be costly for communities and homeowners. In Wisconsin, the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) can finance water infrastructure projects that remove lead pipe materials. For information on funding options based on whether the infrastructure to be replaced is owned by the community or is privately-owned, such as service lines on private property go to

EPA SET TO HOST WEBINAR ON LEAD AND COPPER RULE OPTIMAL CORROSION CONTROL TREATMENT ON APRIL 14 – EPA is hosting a webinar that will offer an overview of the Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Technical Recommendations document. The webinar will also provide illustrative examples that demonstrate how public water systems and states can effectively collect and evaluate the data and determine optimal corrosion control treatment parameters. The webinar will be held from 2:00 p.m to 3:30 p.m Eastern Time. To register, go to

FLOOD PREPAREDNESS WEEK – EPA’s Water Security Division invites you to participate in America’s PrepareAthon! This week’s focus is flood preparedness. Flooding can have devastating public health and economic impacts on communities. Drinking water and wastewater utilities can use EPA’s Flood Resilience Resources to prepare for, respond to, and recover from flooding. For more information, go to

DANE COUNTY AWARDS 2016 ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL GRANTS – Dane county approved $17,087 in grant awards through the Dane County Environmental Council’s Community Partners and Capital Equipment programs, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today. “We can always accomplish more when we work together,” said Parisi.  “By partnering with these communities and non-profits, we have the ability to educate and inspire others, and continue our work to improve and conserve the county’s outdoor spaces.” The grant will fund 16 environmental conservation, restoration, and education projects across the county. Dane County Environmental Council grants award funding to a diverse group of community organizations, school districts, and municipalities. Examples of this year’s projects include prairie and wetland restoration, environmental education, trail improvements, equipment purchases to manage invasive species, and interpretive signage. A list of 2016 recipients can be found at

25TH ANNUAL WATER SUPPLY REGULATORY AFFAIRS SEMINAR – Don’t miss this annual event that is hosted cooperatively with WRWA, MEG-Water, AWWA, DNR and PSC on May 4th in Madison WI. This year’s seminar includes sessions on the Waukesha Great Lakes Diversion Application, DNR Regulatory Update, Impact Fees, PSC Water Rate-Making, Annual Reporting, the Flint MI Water Crisis, National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) Recommendations on Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule, Water Loss Panel, Best Practices to Manage Non-Revenue Water, Methods Used to Allocate Public Fire Protection Costs, Legislative Update and Construction Authorization Panel. For a copy of the agenda and registration information go to

QUOTE – “I don’t need you to remind me of my age. I have a bladder to do that for me.” –  Stephen Fry


“This week’s issue of the Rural Water E-News is sponsored by the following WRWA Corporate Gold Members and Businesses:”

municipalwell american

“For information on WRWA Corporate Gold member benefits and other advertising opportunities, contact Renee at”

 David Lawrence
WRWA Executive Director
(715) 344-7778

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