“…for the exchange of information pertaining to the management of water-works, for the mutual advancement of consumers and water companies, and for the purpose of securing economy and uniformity in the operations of water-works.”
Constitution of the American Water Works Association Adopted St, Louis, MO, 1881
Established in 1914, the New York Section is the first and oldest in the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The Section’s history, and that of its parent organization, is tied to concern for the public’s health.
The American Water Works Association
In 1881, 22 men representing water utilities in eight states formed the American Water Works Association. The new group’s purpose was to share information about source water and water filtration systems. This work began against a backdrop of scientific discovery, including research that showed that cities using groundwater or filtered surface water had lower typhoid death rates than other cities.
The portion of the U.S. population served with filtered water increased eightfold in the years between 1900 and 1913; during the same time period, the typhoid death rate plummeted by 55%. In 1914, the same year that New York formed its section of the AWWA, the U.S. Public Health Service adopted the first microbiological standards for drinking water to implement the Interstate Quarantine Act.
The New York Section
The first meeting of the New York Section was held at the Manhattan Hotel on January 20, 1914. Forty-four active members of the AWWA, along with 41 associate members and guests attended. The group chose Allen Hazen as the section’s temporary chair, and American Water Works Association President Robert J. Thompson and Secretary John M. Diven explained the provision in the AWWA’s new constitution that related to forming local sections. Those present then voted to form a section which included members from New Jersey. (New Jersey formed its own Section in 1935).
Section activity eventually expanded beyond the New York City area when Secretary Egbert D. Case suggested and successfully inaugurated meetings in Upstate locations as well as in New York City, thus promoting much wider interest and greatly expanded member services. The custom of a Spring and a Fall meeting each year has continued up to the present time.
From its first meeting of less than 100 members in 1914, the Section — and the water industry — continued to grow. By 1945, the Section’s membership hit the 500 mark; during the 1960s, membership surpassed 1,000. Now, its more than 2,200 individual and organizational members reflect all aspects of the water quality community — operators, distributors, contractors, engineers, government officials, students, and water utilities, large and small.
The Section offers a wide variety of events to appeal to all members, rotating programs throughout the state to facilitate participation. Section programs include recertification credits for anyone with water, wastewater, and professional engineer licenses through training seminars throughout the state, the Spring Meeting and Expo in Saratoga Springs, and the Tifft Water Supply Symposium in Central New York.
The Section’s plans for the future are based on the vision, “using our members’ knowledge and experience to be the most effective resource on drinking water.”
Rates & Finance Workshop
September 14, 2017
FREE WORKSHOP: This workshop will help ensure the financial stability of your water system while providing safe, quality drinking water at fair rates. This has been approved for 6.0 Water hours / 5.5 P.E. hours.
Fall/Winter Training sessions
September 06, 2017
Openings in most locations for the fall/winter training sessions and it's not too early to reserve your seat! Call with any questions: 315-455-2614, ext. 2
Attn: Water Utilities!!
August 01, 2017
EWG has released their public database cataloguing contaminants in water systems for every state. These stats are extremely misleading. The NYSAWWA Water Utility Council and Public Affairs Council are here to support your utilities if you need help with any questions you receive about this database! Call us today at 315-455-2614 or email email@example.com
Here is a link to the report - https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/search-results.php?zip5=10001&searchtype=zip#.WYDMfITyvDC
Report: Public Drinking Water Needs More Protection
June 26, 2017
Incidents of contamination in our public water supplies in recent years have reminded us that strong regulatory oversight is essential to assure the quality and safety of our water. Yet, the current federal-state regulatory structure can leave significant gaps in protections for New Yorkers.
With the President's proposed budget, which would cut the EPA budget by nearly one-third, and the EPA’s reluctance to set standards for certain contaminants with harmful health effects, states and localities have to take the lead in strengthening safeguards for public water supplies and improve our response to contamination.
This week, my office released a report which recommends that State policy makers work toward meeting that challenge by:
• Creating a statewide response plan, with public input, to effectively address drinking water contamination incidents;
• Creating a statewide program that would proactively monitor the health of residents exposed to drinking water contaminants;
• Applying a more precautionary approach for contaminants that are unregulated at the federal level; and
• Broadening the scope of review when identifying emerging contaminants.
The report also recommends that the State and localities fully inform the public of the potential health impacts of water contaminants. New Yorkers support their public water systems through taxes and fees, and expect clean, safe water when they turn on the tap. While both the State and federal governments have done much to ensure that result, further efforts are essential.
Read the report here: http://osc.state.ny.us/reports/environmental/drinking-water-contaminants.pdf
If you have questions, contact Robert Ward, Deputy Comptroller for the Office of Budget and Policy Analysis, at 518-473-4333.
American Public Works Association New York Chapter - Now Hiring
June 01, 2017
American Public Works Association New York Chapter - Now Hiring
Position is for the NEW YORK CHAPTER of the American Public Works Association, a not-for-profit corporation. The Chapter is an educational association and in the conduct of said business desires to have certain administrative services performed by an Administrator.
Legislative Update - Drinking Water Highlights from the recently passed 2018 New York State Budget
April 11, 2017
The $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act for drinking water, wastewater and storm water projects was a bright spot in the budget. We certainly appreciate the funding and support. It is absolutely a step in the right direction. However, with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) projecting a $40 billion investment need over the next 20 years for drinking water infrastructure alone (not including new treatment for emerging contaminants), this type of funding must be continuous for each fiscal year and expanded. Right now the details for the funding administration are pending. The first step is to obtain legislative authorization which has been completed. The actual implementation will probably lag by 6 to 12 months. EFC will most likely develop the application process for the bulk of the funding. We will continue to monitor the process and communicate to our members as this moves along. A complete breakdown of the clean act funding as defined in the legislation is provided in the link.
NYS Governor Signed the Cybersecurity Bill on December 31, 2016
January 03, 2017
S7601 - SUMMARY
Provides for enhanced protection of water supplies from and emergency planning for terrorism and cyber terrorism attacks.
APPROVAL MEMORANDUM ‐ No. 32 Chapter 6
MEMORANDUM filed with Senate Bill Number 7601, entitled: "AN ACT to amend the executive law, the public health law and the environmental conservation law, in relation to protection of water supplies"
Current law requires any water supplier who owns or operates a community water system that supplies drinking water to more than 3,300 people to prepare an emergency plan, including an analysis of vulnerability to terrorist attack, and to submit such emergency plan to the Department of Health. This bill would now require these water suppliers to amend their vulnerability assessments to include an analysis of potential cyber‐attacks and their impact on the water supply.
I fully support the intent of this bill. As drafted, however, this bill contains technical flaws that would make it extremely challenging to implement effectively. In order to ensure full compliance by water suppliers and to safeguard their vulnerability assessments, the Executive has secured a three‐way agreement with the Legislature to pass legislation in the upcoming session to address these issues. On that basis, I am signing this bill.
This bill is approved.
(signed) ANDREW M. CUOMO
AWWA Water Utility Energy Challenge - new Great Lakes competition
December 13, 2016
AWWA and our partners received grant funds through the Great Lakes Protection Fund to develop and administer the WATER UTILITY ENERGY CHALLENGE (WUEC) to reduce energy related pollution emissions (focus on mercury) in water distribution systems. Our team is offering utilities two FREE tools to track emissions and optimize pumping systems. During the Trial Period (Dec 2016-Feb 2017), utilities can use the tools without obligation within their system before applying to be a competitor. We are working to recruit utilities and have them REGISTER for the Trial Period to check out the tools. The competition is scheduled for Apr 2017-Mar 2018, and we expect to have 6-8 utilities compete. First prize is $20,000 and second prize is $10,000.
Technical Advisory - Laboratory Analysis of Drinking Water Samples for Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
September 28, 2016
EPA has recently learned that laboratories have identified different approaches for implementation of EPA Method 537 Rev 1.1 (“Method 537”) for analysis of PFOA.
Understanding Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins
August 29, 2016
Take a look at this great video the Water Research Foundation made on the science behind cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins and a utility perspective on the latest in source water protection, monitoring, detection, and treatment
Researchers find unsafe levels of industrial chemicals in drinking water of 6 million Americans
August 10, 2016
Drinking water supplies serving more than six million Americans contain unsafe levels of a widely used class of industrial chemicals linked to potentially serious health problems, according to a new study from Harvard University researchers.
The chemicals — known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs — have been used for decades in a range of industrial and commercial products, including non-stick coatings on pans, food wrappers, water-repellent clothing and firefighting foam. Long-term exposure has been linked to increased risks of kidney cancer, thyroid problems, high cholesterol and hormone disruption, among other issues.
Final Regulation: Part 4 - Protection Against Legionella
July 22, 2016
Part 4 of the New York State Sanitary Code Protection Against Legionella, became effective on July 6, 2016, and can be viewed in full at http://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/recently_adopted/docs/protection_against_legionella.pdf (beginning on page 11). The regulations were released for public comment on April 20, 2016 and the comments and the Department’s responses can be viewed in the Assessment of Public Comment at the link above, on page 59. The permanent regulations replace the emergency regulations which have been in effect since August 17, 2015.
Monroe County Water Authority Ranked Highest in Northeast for Customer Satisfaction
May 19, 2016
J.D. Power contucted a 2016 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study and New York Section AWWA member, Monroe County Water Authority was ranked highest in the Northeast for Customer Satisfaction!