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Tifft Water Supply Symposium

2019 Edwin C. Tifft Jr. Water Supply Symposium

October 2-3, 2019 in Buffalo, NY




Symposium: Wednesday, October 2 - Thursday, October 3

Committee Meetings: Tuesday, October 1 -12:00 - 4:00 pm

No Water. No Beer.: Wednesday, October 2 - 6:30 - 9:30 pm


About the Event:

NYSAWWA began holding this annual two day educational symposium in 1979 in response to a need for more member education following approval of the Safe Drinking Water Act. 


Edwin C. Tifft, Jr. (aka “Ted”) was one of three initial organizers of the symposium. Ted worked for O’Brien and Gere Engineers starting in 1971, and eventually served on their Board of Directors. Following a struggle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Ted passed away in 1995. The symposium was named in recognition of his dedication to the event and the Education Committee.  

Edwin C. Tifft Jr. Water Supply Symposium Materials




Edwin C. Tifft Jr. Water Supply Symposium

Location: Hyatt Regency Buffalo 2 Fountain Plaza Buffalo, NY 14202


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Event Details


Date: October 02, 2019

Start Time: 8:00 am

End Time: 9:00 pm

Seats Available: 208



Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Water Service Industry
Keynote Speaker: Cornelius B. Murphy Jr., Ph.D. - Senior Fellow for Environmental and Sustainable Systems at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry at Syracuse, New York


The United States has an extraordinary asset in the form of our Great Lakes which has more than 20% of the world’s supply of fresh water. We are very much blessed by our water resources although we don’t always use them wisely. I am reminded of the Colorado River watershed, the seventh largest river in the United States, which is conveyed to the Gulf of California by a few culverts under a gravel road. And this river, once called America’s Nile, has 90% of its water taken by western US Cities and farms, filling swimming pools in Los Angeles, generating hydroelectric power to drive the Las Vegas strip and irrigation of arid areas in California to feed the a significant portion of the population of the United States. Southern, California is in the midst of 15 years of draught and is working through the Metropolitan Water District to recycle treated wastewater and working to cut water consumption by 20%.


The current threats to the US Water Service Industry include:An Aging Infrastructure:

  • System loses amount to approximately 1 trillion gallons of our treated water every year.
  • Impacts of Climate Change: It has been estimated that the cost of climate change adaption could be in the range of $448 billion to $944 billion by 2050.
  • Contaminants of Emerging Concern : There are approximately 85,000 chemicals in  US commerce today and 2,500 of these are “High Production Volume Chemicals”. Approximately 45% of the HPV chemicals are lacking adequate toxicological data.
  • Harmful Algal Bloom’s (HAB’s): HAB’s have been reported in approximately 100 lakes, ponds and every year in New York State since the summer of 2017. Blooms range from Long Island to Central New York. The Cyanobacteria are at the heart of the problem, producing Microcystin, a liver toxin and suspected carcinogen. We need to develop solutions to protect our water resources and concurrently develop advanced treatment systems for our potable water treatment plants.


There are solutions to each of these threats. We have to apply the best science and engineering and appropriate the financial resources necessary to protect our most important resource, WATER. I am constantly reminded that “Water is Worth it”. It deserves: Our Passion; Our Respect; Our Effort; Our Health; and Our Future.



A Historic Tour of the Buffalo Water Treatment Plant -

Tour is sold out. Check back at the onsite registration desk for openings. 


12:00 - 1:30 pm

Lunch provided by: Buffalo Water managed by VEOLIA NORTH AMERICA 


Constructed in 1915, the Colonel F.G. Ward Pumping Station is one of the largest pumping stations in the world, delivering over 20 billion gallons of water annually.


Located on the shallowest of the Great Lakes, the Buffalo Water Treatment Plant is largely influenced by the natural process of Lake Erie. With an average depth of only 62-ft., Lake Erie has the shortest detention time. Water remains in the lake for only 2.6 years before it is replaced by fresh water (as compared with 191 years in Lake Superior or 22.6 years in Lake Huron). As the siltiest of the Great Lakes, its bottom consists of fine sand, easily upset during turbulent storms. The combination of its shallowness, short detention time and sandy unstable bottom enables the lake to quickly flush itself of harmful contaminants such as pesticides and other organic waste.


Following disinfection with chlorine, water travels via a 1.25 mile-long tunnel and is gravity fed to the low lift pumping station. Following a process that combines particles together for easy removal, water is filtered and disinfected to remove small particles and reduce the risk of bacteria and other disease-causing organisms. In-house laboratory tests ensure the quality and safety of the water at every stage of the treatment process. Finally, two high-lift pump stations deliver and distribute the treated water via 785 miles of piping network.


A tour of Buffalo's Water Treatment Plant will show:

  • Intake: The source water (Lake Erie) enters and collects in a circular conduit where it drops 60 feet and travels through a 12-foot square, 6,600-foot long tunnel to the on-shore screen house,
  • Screening: removal of large objects such as fish and other debris that can damage equipment,
  • Lab testing: In-house laboratory tests ensure the quality and safety of the water at every stage of the treatment process,
  • Flocculation and sedimentation: chemically treated water is directed to an underground basin where slow mixing via mechanical paddles and settling basins further bind, settle and remove debris,
  • Filtration: after flowing through 40 rapid sand anthracite filter beds, treated water is routed to a 28-million gallon clear well, where it’s stored for distributions, and
  • Following filtration, finished water is gravity fed to the clear well for distribution.


The Colonel F.G. Ward Pumping Station is regarded as one of Western  New York's most historic engineering achievements. At the time, construction of the tunnel was the largest work of its kind ever undertaken on the Great Lakes. Once powered by five colossal, 60-foot steam pumps, the pumping station is now driven by three smaller, efficient 50-MGD electric pumps and two state-of-the-art 20-MGD pumps installed in 2013. 


No Water. No Beer. Networking Event

Join the New York Section AWWA for our 5th Annual No Water. No Beer.® Networking Event. This year the Section will be hosting a beer tasting at Big Ditch Brewing Company.


Wednesday, October 2

Big Ditch Brewing Company

6:30 - 9:30 pm 


Cost - $25 includes beer glass, 2 drink tickets and hors d’oeuvres. 

Register in advance or onsite.


Table Top Exhibitors
Badger Meter
DN Tanks
EJ Prescott
Environmental Training Center
Erdman Anthony
GP Jager Inc.
H2M architects + engineers
Neptune Technology Group
New York American Water
New York Leak Detection
Nussbaumer & Clarke, Inc.
O'Brien & Gere part of Ramboll
Ross Valve
Schnabel Engineering
Sol Systems
Statewide Aquastore





Gold Sponsors



Silver Sponsors



Coffee/Water Sponsors



Breakfast and Lunch Sponsor


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. 


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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!


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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!


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Weekly News Update

July 30, 2018


Catch up on this week's Water News.


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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!


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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.


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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.


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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 


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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.


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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 jenny@nysawwa.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. 


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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. 


Click here for the full job description. 

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.


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NYS Governor Signed the Cybersecurity Bill on December 31, 2016

January 03, 2017



Provides for enhanced protection of water supplies from and emergency planning for terrorism and cyber terrorism attacks.


Download bill text PDF. 




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


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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! 


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