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Newsletter #38 for August 16, 2011

Are Contract Operators Changing The Face Of The Profession?

We have been talking about an operator shortage for a number of years now. Increasing competition for part-time contract operator positions really bring into question what is happening with many of the part-time positions that become available. Has the profession found a way to deal with fewer operators already? Are contract operators getting out of hand in some cases by taking on more than they can handle because of the financial benefit it provides? In today's blog post, we look at some recent happenings that address these issues.

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How NOT to Run Your Water Supply Like a Business

It doesn't matter how big or small the town, stories like that of Chicago suburb Crestwood, IL make us sad. An indictment filing this week implicates the former water department supervisor and the former operator in knowingly using a well contaminated with vinyl chloride and dichloroethylene for more than two decades. Though there is no definitive link, one study found that cancer rates in Crestwood are "significantly elevated."

This part of the story particularly caught our eye:

"Former Mayor Chester Stranczek, who led Crestwood for nearly 40 years and boasted that he ran the village of 11,000 like a business, is not mentioned by name in the federal indictment."

While we trust that justice will be served, running your community like a business means valuing the trust that your public, your customers place in you. Good honest work is the American Way, this is not.

Read more...

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Weekly Reading for August 16, 2011

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

1. 'Exceptional Drought' Record For United States Set In July - Drought expected to bring continued widespread impact to water resources across the US.
2. Turning a water tower into a home - Sometimes you just need a little novelty in your day. What better way than to celebrate the water tower as architecture.
3. RCAC Loan Fund Provides Range of Loan Products for Western Rural Water Systems - RCAC offers short to long-term loans for facilities that primarily serve low-income rural communities.
4. Retiring Staff Taking Their Knowledge With Them - This article from power-grid magazine was forwarded to us by a colleague at AWWA with the comment, "Different industry, same issue". We all need to develop a way to share what we know before we leave.
5. Congratulations to our newsletter editor, Jennifer Wilson, who is at home with new daughter Emily. (That's why we have a Friday newsletter this week.)

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How Should Perchlorate in Drinking Water Be Regulated?

EPA has initiated the process to develop a national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR) for perchlorate. If you are or represent a small public water system serving 10,000 or fewer persons, you may be eligible to serve as a Small Entity Representative (SER) on the Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel for this regulation. Read more...

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Recently on our Blog...

Simple Tools for Simultaneous Compliance Help - Two helpful tools for addressing unintended consequences of treatment before there is a problem.
Stuff We Love: Asset Management for Small Systems - We love this simple factsheet that makes sense of asset management for operators.
Planning Ahead Improves Water and Wastewater Services - Planning ahead can help you implement practices that save money.

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About SmallWaterSupply.org

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