News Briefs: Industry Group Develops Green Infrastructure Training Program

In this week’s news briefs, the Water Environment Federation is working with other utilities groups toward a 2018 debut on a green infrastructure certification program, and a Rhode Island town teams with its utility to take on private-side lead pipe replacements
News Briefs: Industry Group Develops Green Infrastructure Training Program

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The Water Environment Federation and DC Water recently announced that another 46 people have completed training and earned certifications under the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program. More than 100 people in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., have now completed the program.

WEF, DC Water, and other utilities groups have worked over the past year to develop the program, aimed at establishing best-practice standards for green infrastructure.

“The overwhelming interest in the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program has confirmed the need to train people to work in this growing segment of the water sector,” says WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “Through the program we have a tremendous opportunity to promote the implementation of green infrastructure projects and develop a skilled workforce for the betterment of our communities, economy, and environment.”

More training will be held in the fall as part of the pilot phase of the program. It’s expected to be rolled out nationally in 2018. Visit for more information.

Source: press release

Municipalities Receive State Support on Asset Management
New York has committed $3 million to a pilot program that pairs municipalities with an engineering firm to help them better manage their sewer systems.

“Gov. Cuomo continues to invest in updating and upgrading New York’s water infrastructure to keep our communities healthy and economically vibrant. This pilot program is an example of the depth of the state’s investment,” Basil Segos, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), said in a statement.

The pilot program includes 10 municipalities and will last three years. In that time, the DEC, the state Environmental Facilities Corp., and the engineering firm Barton & Loguidice will work with the municipalities on enhancing their asset management plans.

DEC solicited volunteers for the program in 2015. More than 80 municipalities applied, and DEC chose 10 that represented a wide range of systems in order to learn more about how asset management works in different areas of the state. The agency will use the information gathered during the pilot program to finalize its asset management guidance.

Source: Livingston County News

Denver Utility Plans to Raise Dam to Boost Storage Capacity
Denver’s water utility has the OK from the Army Corps of Engineers to raise the Gross Dam by 131 feet and nearly triple the amount of water it stores

The Army Corps of Engineers granted the $380 million project a permit under the federal Clean Water Act earlier this month. The project still needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to increase the dam’s hydropower capacity.

The reservoir’s storage capacity would increase by 77,000 acre-feet, enough to supply 154,000 typical households for a year.

Source: Associated Press

Joint Effort Between Town and Utility Takes on Lead Pipe Issue
A Rhode Island town is teaming with the utility that serves it to head off any issues with lead service laterals.

North Providence is committing $270,000 in federal grant funds for the replacement of residents’ private-side laterals. Providence Water is committing $350,000 to replace the remaining part of the lateral on the public side.

“This is an attempt to address this before it becomes an issue,” Mayor Charles Lombardi told the Providence Journal. “Everyone read about Flint. We are trying to think out of the box. This is not a crisis, but we are trying to be proactive.”

There are 563 residences in the town served by lead lines. Lombardi says the goal is to replace 60 of them this year, and continue to apply for grant money annually.

Providence Water’s inability to spend ratepayer funds on private property has slowed lead service line replacement, a problem that the grant funds the town is providing helps solve.

“As the mayor expends the grant money, we identify the homes. Any home that they are going to be replacing private side, we are replacing public side service,” Rick Caruolo, general manager of Providence Water, told the Providence Journal.

Caruolo says there are about 24,000 properties in its system served by private-side lead pipes, and if other communities can do what North Providence is doing on the private side, the utility will take care of the public-side pipe.

Source: Providence Journal


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