“…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.”
EPA's Proposed Revisions to LCRR
January 20, 2020
The NYSAWWA Water Utility Council, with assistance from the Regulatory Review Committee and Section members, provided comments on EPA’s proposed revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCRR). NYSAWWA supports EPA’s goal of minimizing, and ultimately eliminating exposure to lead in drinking water through use of properly implemented corrosion control treatment, education of the water consumer and elimination of materials that contribute lead to drinking water. Comments provided to EPA were to help better define the requirements of this very complex rule, and insure the resources are available to public water suppliers to properly implement the rule revisions. NYSAWWA feels strongly that the LCRR must include provisions for having State Primacy agencies lead initiatives in directly achieving goals of the rule such as:
- Outreach and education for health care agencies
- Outreach and education for schools and child care facilities
- Obtaining technical expertise in corrosion control treatment to allow for support in making corrosion control treatment designations
In addition the Council shared general concerns regarding the unprecedented additional workload the LCRR will impose on public water systems.
Small Systems Training
January 07, 2020
Registration for the 2020 Grants program is open. Optimizing Performance & Accessing Funding to Improve Small Systems will be held in Vestal and in Ticonderoga --- seats are limited! RCAP/NYSAWWA Small Systems Operator Training will be offered in Jamestown. Please click here and then click onto the "push pin" over the location you are interested in.
Enhance Awareness of Potential Cyber Threats
January 07, 2020
Attn: Water Utilities!
Enhance Awareness of Potential Cyber Threats
A Message from the New York State Department of Health
Dear Community Water System Operators and Administrators,
As a result of recent international events, and the threat of cyber-based retaliation, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is asking all Community Water Systems (CWS) for increased vigilance for potential cyber events. While there is no specific retaliatory threat known at this time, cyber-attacks have been used as a means of attacking adversaries. Accordingly, CWS are asked to remind all staff of the following simple actions they can take to help protect your utility:
- Refrain from accessing personal email (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo) and/or social media applications CWS computers and networks, especially those which are connected to or provide system operations (SCADA systems).
- Be wary of unsolicited emails, even if the sender appears to be known.
- Use caution with email links and attachments without authenticating the sender; attempt to verify web addresses independently.
All CWS serving more than 3,300 people were required to perform a cybersecurity vulnerability assessment (CVA) and submit their findings to NYSDOH by January 1, 2018. NYSDOH recommends CWS take the following additional actions to increase preparedness:
- Review your cybersecurity vulnerability response plan and cyber-attack emergency response plan.
- Review manual system operation procedures with staff in the event SCADA or other operational systems become non-functional.
- Verify emergency contact information for: cybersecurity or IT staff/vendors, FBI field office and the Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.
The NYSDOH values your ongoing efforts to provide clean, safe water to the residents of New York State under all conditions and appreciates your efforts to address this latest potential threat. If you have any questions, please contact your local health department representative.
Water Utility Alert
November 05, 2019
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.3337C/A.5477C) establishing a clear standard for commencement of an action by a public water supplier once pollution is detected in a public water supply. The three-year statute of limitations for public water and wholesale water suppliers to move forward with legal action against polluters resulting from contamination in a source of water supply will now run from:
- The detection of a contaminate in the raw water of a well or plant intake sample point in excess of maximum levels set by the Department of Health or Environmental Protection Agency, or the date the contaminate is last detected in the raw water or plant intake sample point in excess of such maximum levels; or
- The last wrongful act by a polluter contributing to the presence of the contaminant.
Water Utility Alert - Summary of Requirements of the LCRR and Potential Impacts on Large Water Syste
November 04, 2019
The NYSAWWA Regulatory Review Committee has drafted a summary of the new, or modified requirements of the recently published LCRR. EPA annouced the draft regulation and once published, the 60-day comment period will begin. Items are presented in this summary more or less in the order they appear in the LCRR as proposed. For the full summary, click the link and see page 9 of the 2019 Fall/Winter Aquarius.
New York State NYSAWWA Water Quality Advisory Panel
June 14, 2019
New York State NYSAWWA Water Quality Advisory Panel
The NYSAWWA has formed a water quality advisory panel consisting of water quality and treatment experts from across the state. This panel is available to section members for questions related to water quality and treatment.
To submit your question, login to your account from this website (upper right hand corner) and select - Submit a Water Quality Question.
LHV Engineering Expo - Volunteers Needed for Business Outreach, School Outreach and Social Media Out
January 23, 2019
Volunteer for the Lower Hudson Valley Engineering Expo! Sunday, March 31 at White Plains High School!
2019 Scholarships Now Open
October 29, 2018
NYSAWWA and its members recognize the importance of investing in students as the future of the water industry. NYSAWWA supports students through discounted membership and Operator, Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarship opportunities. Don't miss your chance to apply for our 2019 Scholarships!
Weekly News Update
July 30, 2018
Catch up on this week's Water News.
Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program
May 09, 2018
The Water Quality Improvement Project program (WQIP) funding application period is open May 1 through July 27!
NY Codes, Rules and Regulations - Title: SubPart 5-1 - Public Water Supplies
February 16, 2018
On Thursday, February 16, 2017, the New York State Department of Health held a webinar to discuss the revisions of 10 NYCRR 5-1. This was also published in the State Register for public comment. If you wish to view the webinar you can do so by clicking the link below to play it:
Revisions to 10 NYCRR Subpart 5-1, Drinking Water Supplies (Subpart 5-1) Summary of Revisions- Subpart 5-1 is being revised to incorporate all requirements in order for the New York State Department of Health (NSDOH) can get primacy from EPA for enforcement of the rules, and to ensure that the regulations are consistent with the NYS Public Health Law. • Federal Regulations- incorporating current EPA rules – Lead and Copper Rule – Minor and Short Term Revisions only – Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2 ESWTR) – Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (Stage 2) – Variances and Exemptions • State Regulations- making regulations consistent with revised Public Health Law – Cross Connection Control – Water Supply Emergency Plans • General Revisions – Appendix 5-C and Miscellaneous Revisions to update references and correct errors. Analytical Methods will no longer be in Part 5 but are available from the NYSDOH Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP). Estimated Time Line for Adoption of Revisions to Subpart 5-1 Step in Rulemaking Process Target Date for Completion Submitted to Department of State (DOS) for publication in State Register 01/31/2017, Completed (for publication on 2/15/2017) Notice for Public Comment published in State Register 02/15/2017. Final date for submission of written comments to Department of Health (6 weeks needed for public comment period) 04/01/2017 Approval by Commissioner and Public Health & Health Planning Council 06/08/20171 Notice of Adoption to DOS 06/13/20171 (for 06/28/2017 publication) Notice of Adoption published in State Register 06/28/2017 Submission of Primacy Package for these Rules to EPA Region 2 7/28/2017 EPA Primacy Estimated December 2017 Enforcement No changes to the current enforcement protocol will be made until EPA formally grants primacy for enforcement. The field will be notified when primacy is granted and NYSDOH is responsible for enforcement. Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) Changes to Subpart 5-1 will be made in a separate regulatory and primacy package.
WATER AND WASTEWATER WORKFORCE: Recruiting Approaches Helped Industry Hire Operators, but Additional
January 29, 2018
Water utilities need qualified employees to safely maintain the nation's drinking water and wastewater facilities, and some utilities are having difficulty hiring certified operators—key to running the plants—as well as other skilled workers. Utilities also face an upcoming wave of retiring baby boomers. Federal agencies offer utilities help addressing hiring needs.
2018 Training Registration Open
January 22, 2018
Sessions are closing out -- Don't miss a session because you waited too late! Click onto "Learn More" for registration forms or register online. Don't forget to log-in for your member rates. Call the Section Office with any questions: 315-455-2614 ext. 2
2017 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS PILOT GRANT PROGRAM: REMOVAL OF 1,4-DIOXANE FROM DRINKING WATER
November 02, 2017
In 2015, the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology (CCWT) was founded at Stony Brook University and is supported through funding from the New York State (NYS) Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Department of Health, NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation, and the Bloomberg Foundation. The CCWT’s primary mission is two-fold: (i) to develop affordable, reliable and effective innovative/alternative on-site wastewater treatment systems, and (ii) to develop and commercialize affordable, high performance water quality protection and restoration technologies that are suitable for widespread deployment. Toward this end, the Center is focusing on developing and evaluating methods to remove emerging contaminants from drinking water supplies, with an initial focus on 1,4-dioxane. This effort represents the initial phase of a State-sponsored, multi-year program to proactively address emerging contaminants in drinking water. With this Request for Proposals (RFP), the CCWT is soliciting proposals from water providers in NYS to install and test pilot-scale, advanced water treatment technologies to remove 1,4-dioxane from drinking water.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!