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Newsletter #19 for April 6, 2011


Your participation helps the SmallWaterSupply.org community grow and thrive!

How We Can Build Community

For those of you that get our newsletter, we are assuming you’ve also nosed around our website enough to be familiar with what it has to offer. One piece that hasn’t taken off like we have hoped is the forum. We started a forum for the sole purpose of building community among the operators and technical assistance providers that serve small systems.

Our hope is that everyone will see the value in such a community and participate actively as they can. Without going into too much detail, it’s a place where you can ask questions, find answers, give us suggestions and ideas, or ask your peers about situations you are experiencing that maybe someone else has already went through. It's a welcoming arena where every question is a smart one and we're here to help you figure things out!

There are two places where you can really help grow the forum. One is to give us feedback. Under the general tab, there are a number of questions about the website. Letting us know how we are doing helps us focus on your wants and needs. The other is to share experiences. Operators come to our site, and go to the web in general, looking for answers.

Our thought is that the best people to provide those answers are their peers, other operators who have been through similar situations. So, if we ask a question like, “please share a bad experience you have had”, I know if you have been an operator very long, you’ve had to deal with some kind of crisis or situation that you can share, especially what you did to solve it and what things to avoid if you find yourself in the same boat. As they say, there is no substitute for experience, so by sharing our experiences, everyone can benefit.

Please take a look and consider joining our growing list of registered users. There are videos at the bottom of our homepage that explain how to register and how to navigate the forum. We only ask you to register so that we can ensure the forum is a safe place to ask questions and so you don’t have to worry about being bombarded by vendors. Only we have your email address and contact info, and we don’t share it with anyone.

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Don't miss this week's series on succession planning!

Recently on our Blog...

1. Succession Planning: Why It's Worth It
Find out what succession planning is and why it should be on even small system's radar in this first post of a special series.
2. Workforce and the Really Small System
An editorial on the state of small communities, the infrastructure crisis and the value of water.
3. Use Google Places to Help Customers Find You
Learn how this simple and free service from Google can help you improve customer relationships.
4. The Ten Attributes of Effective Utility Management
Discover the essential qualities sustainable systems share and resources for developing those features in your community.
5. Red Flags Rule: What You Need to Know
Basic facts about the Red Flags Rule, how it protects people from identity theft and how systems can comply.


Weekly Reading for April 5, 2011

Each week we'll provide a collection of our favorite links we know you'll love too!

1. PR tips to get more news coverage - Helpful nuggets every community could use to increase public awareness of local utilities.
2. Questions about, water, Japan and radiation - AWWA provides some reassurance and helpful links regarding the effects of Japan's nuclear situation.
3. Downloadable videos cover water sampling procedures - AWWA's Technical and Educational Council produced four short videos covering critical water sampling procedures.
4. Water infrastructure repair needs better technology, analysis says - Industry report says repairs lack innovation though advancements are helping to improve problem detection.
5. Utilities had similar report in 2004, EWG says - Some are concerned that a study from seven years ago already identified hexavalent chromium in US water supplies.

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Asset Management 101 for Systems

USEPA is hosting a free webinar training on the basics of asset management next Wednesday, April 13, 2011. Asset management involves managing infrastructure capital assets to minimize the total cost of owning and operating them, while delivering the service levels customer's desire. You can register for this webinar or check out their other upcoming webinars.


What You Need To Know About Us

SmallWaterSupply.org is a free service, grant-funded to support small community water and wastewater operators with comprehensive resources and information in one easy-to-use place. We also serve the 800+ training, primacy, and technical service organizations, by helping operators get to their information. We aren't buying, selling, or advertising anything.

You can call us at 1-866-522-2681 (M-F 9-4pm Central) if you need assistance.

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