WRWA ASKS COMMUNITIES FOR FROST DEPTH INFORMATION– With the recent subzero temperatures, WRWA is asking communities & utilities to send current frost depth information to us throughout the winter so that we can create an online database to track frost depths across the state. By sending this information in periodically, it will allow everyone in the water & wastewater industries to check for updated frost depths in their area. Please send frost depth information to firstname.lastname@example.org , and you can check the current listings on our website at www.wrwa.org.
STATE WANTS TO JUMP-START MANURE PROJECT – Faced with mounting criticism over pollution problems from cow manure, Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is turning to a private initiative as a remedy to treat massive quantities of animal waste. State officials could spend up to $20 million in subsidies for systems to clean up manure and harness the waste as a source of natural gas. The initiative is chiefly targeting northeastern Wisconsin and the Lake Michigan basin, where concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, proliferate and the region’s fractured bedrock can create conditions allowing manure to percolate through the soil and pollute groundwater. Runoff from manure also has been linked to algae blooms and tainted wells. Manure pollution has become a growing political issue as the number of large-scale farms have grown from about 50 in 2000 to more than 200 today, according to state figures. Last week, officials released documents that asked farms and companies for proposals for improved manure management that would, among other goals, keep pathogens from animal waste from being spread on farmland. http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/07/state-wants-jump-start-manure-project/96212456/
EPA ISSUES PROPOSAL TO MODIFY CRITERIA FOR “LEAD FREE” PLUMBING PRODUCTS – EPA is issuing a proposal to update existing regulations as outlined in the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act to modify the definition of lead free plumbing products (e.g., pipes, pipe fittings and fixtures) from 8.0 percent lead content to 0.25 percent. The proposal also includes labeling and packaging requirements that will allow consumers to identify plumbing devices that meet the new “lead free” definition. Labeling and package markings can reduce the likelihood that non-lead free products are used in plumbing that is intended for drinking water use. Additionally, the proposal provides information regarding how manufacturers should document that they are meeting these new requirements. EPA will accept comments on the proposal for 90 days after publication in the Federal Register. https://www.epa.gov/dwstandardsregulations/use-lead-free-pipes-fittings-fixtures-solder-and-flux-drinking-water
3 THINGS PARENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LEAD – Lead poisoning is a hot topic in light of the water crisis in Flint, Mich., but parents need to be mindful of more than just their water supply. With Flint the obvious exception, city water is generally well-regulated and tested often. Lead paint in older homes is the most common source of lead poisoning in children. Homes built before 1950 or 1978 either had no lead paint regulations or regulations that were not strict enough. Over time, lead paint chips off of walls and windows. As children play on the floor and put their hands in their mouths, they may ingest lead paint. Children with elevated lead levels may experience low IQ, behavioral problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, memory problems and challenges in speech and language development. High levels of lead in the body can cause fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, anemia and severe neurological problems. In extremely high doses, without correction, lead poisoning can be fatal. Lead poisoning is more concerning for children than adults because children’s brains are still developing. Children up to age 6 are still forming their blood-brain barrier, which works to keep toxic chemicals outside of the brain’s circulation. http://www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/story/news/local/2017/01/10/3-things-parents-should-know-lead-poisoning/96213388/
FUTURE LABOR CHALLENGE A ‘QUANTITY PROBLEM’ – Employers looking for good news on the availability of workers over the next 20 years didn’t get it at the Dec. 21 meeting of the Wisconsin Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Dennis Winters, chief economist at the Wisconsin Department of Work-force Development and a nationally recognized expert on human resource challenges, updated the DATCP Board on workforce trends and what they can expect in the years ahead. “We have a workforce challenge ahead of us,” Winters said. “It’s been labeled in different ways — a skill gap or talent shortage. Quite simply, it’s going to be a quantity problem going forward.” With an aging demographic and births about half of what they were 50 years ago, the number of people available to fill the jobs of the future is shrinking, Winters said. While Wisconsin’s population continues to increase at a slow but steady pace, the civilian labor force has flattened out and could even go negative by 2035, he said. http://www.thecountrytoday.com/front-page/2017/01/03/lt-div-class-libPageBodyLinebreak-gt-Speaker-Future-labor-challenge-a-quantity-problem-lt-div-gt.html
WRWA’s 2017 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE SEMINAR – This annual event brings in experts from state & local agencies, power companies and water & wastewater industries to discuss ways to prepare for and respond to disaster situations. This year’s agenda includes case histories on community response, electrical power safety, emergency disinfection and distribution system hydraulics during large fires. The seminar is being held in Plover on February 15th, to register go to- http://www.wrwa.org/training-calendar/2016-02-17/
4th ANNUAL WRWA ICE FISHEREE – Still time to sign up for sponsors, team registrations and door prize donations for the 4th Annual Ice Fisheree to be held on January 25th & 26th, 2017. With over 110 attendees last year, we’re anticipating another big turnout for this winter’s fundraising event. Anyone interested in being a sponsor can find the sponsorship and registration forms on our website at http://www.wrwa.org/ice-fisheree/. For additional information on this event, contact the WRWA office at 715-344-7778.
QUOTE – “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” – Groucho Marx
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