Water Online

May 2017

Water Innovations gives Water and Wastewater Engineers and end-users a venue to find project solutions and source valuable product information. We aim to educate the engineering and operations community on important issues and trends.

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wateronline.com n Water Innovations Bleeding Blue: Issues, Opportunity Greet New AWWA President EDITOR'S LETTER By Kevin Westerling Chief Editor, editor@wateronline.com 6 A irtime for water industry issues used to be a rarity in mainstream news, but that has changed of late — a development that is not particularly welcome, considering that bad news makes for good copy. ("If it bleeds, it leads.") The long shadow of Flint's lead crisis is still being cast over the industry, compounded by the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2017 Report Card that graded the U.S. a D+ overall (matching its last ASCE grade in 2013), including a D+ for drinking water and a D for wastewater. We had drought, then floods, emerging contaminants of concern — PFOS/ PFOA, 1,4-dioxane, and hexavalent chromium all grabbed headlines — the upheaval of the U.S. EPA, and, in a bit of good news, some federal acknowledgement and action on infrastructure needs. To be sure, water is now a national storyline. Which is all to say that this is an important time for the industry and, by extension, the American Water Works Association, its 50,000 members, and its new president (as of June), Brenda Lennox. After 26 years of service, Lennox recently retired as manager of customer and support services from the Tualatin Valley Water District in Beaverton, OR, and has since joined RH2 Engineering (Bothell, WA) as strategic relations manager. She is, therefore, no stranger to addressing questions or dealing with crises, suiting her perfectly for a Q&A on the state of the water industry in an era of rising consumer concerns and high-profile issues. AWWA advocated strongly for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), which was finally signed into law. What impact do you project, and what is AWWA's next objective on the financing front? It's still very early in the program, so it's difficult to project the impact it's going to have. But we've been working hard to facilitate contact between utilities and the EPA, so that they can discuss potential projects and submit letters of interest. Certainly, the one thing we do know is that WIFIA's leveraging impact is enormous. Of the $17 million that's been made available to seed loans, WIFIA leverages federal dollars, so that for every dollar Congress appropriates, $50 to $60 is expected to be loaned out. That means up to $1.02 billion could be available for loans. That's a lot of capital projects that can begin moving forward. Our hope is that utilities will take advantage this year and demonstrate the need this program addresses, so that we can justifiably encourage Congress to increase funding even more. Lead is another hot-button issue, drawing scrutiny since Flint. What is the current state of America's lead issue in terms of scope and potential for resolution? A recent study that ran in the Journal AWWA showed that there are 6.1 million lead service lines (LSLs) still in use in the U.S. This number is a bit daunting, and it shows that overcoming this problem is not going to be easy. Initially, resolving the problem is going to take strengthening the protections that we 101 Gibraltar Road, Suite 100 Horsham, PA 19044 PH: (215) 675-1800 FX: (814) 899-5587 Email: info@wateronline.com Website: www.wateronline.com CHIEF EDITOR Kevin Westerling (215) 675-1800 ext. 120 kwesterling@vertmarkets.com PUBLISHER Travis Kennedy (215) 675-1800 ext. 122 tkennedy@vertmarkets.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Patrick Gallagher (215) 675-1800 ext. 129 pgallagher@vertmarkets.com PRODUCT MANAGER Bill King (215) 675-1800 ext. 100 bking@vertmarkets.com MANAGING EDITOR Angel Clark (814) 897-9000 ext. 285 aclark@vertmarkets.com PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Lynn Netkowicz (814) 897-9000 ext. 205 lnetkowicz@vertmarkets.com PRODUCTION MANAGER Susan Day (215) 675-1800 ext. 101 sday@vertmarkets.com DIRECTOR OF AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Martin Zapolski (814) 897-9000 ext. 337 mzapolski@vertmarkets.com DIRECTOR OF ONLINE DEVELOPMENT Art Glenn aglenn@vertmarkets.com Reprints, Eprints, and NXTprints The YGS Group (800) 290-5460 VertMarketsReprints@theYGSgroup.com www.theYGSgroup.com ADDRESS CORRECTIONS Send to Water Online at above address, or email circ@vertmarkets.com. Please give old and new address, and enclose or reference your latest mailing label. Copyright © 2017, VertMarkets, Inc.

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