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Newsletter #52 for November 22, 2011

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Feedback from an Operator

We sent all of the operators in Illinois some information about SmallWaterSupply.org and asked them a few questions about their system, jobs, and status. We received a letter back from a small community operator who we think speaks for many of his peers. Here is what he wrote:

To Whom It May Concern:

As water systems age and decay – like the operators are – you see many small systems that can’t afford to rebuild, expand, or pay decent wages to decent people. Small communities find themselves then stuck between keeping their own system going with duct tape and baling wire or rebuilding with huge rate increases to a declining population and a dead employment market.

Another option is to “give up” and let the evil big shots come in and take over – also with a big rate increase. I understand how bad a smell that thought is to a small town that feels like they are giving up part of their town to outsiders. Often, its way to late to keep it from happening – and forward planning, along with action that mirrors it – could avoid the pain.

As for my system – I look forward to evolving from expansion to efficiency. We want to serve everyone within the confines of our charter, and be not only a vital provider – but a good neighbor as well. How about lobbying for – in lieu of construction grant money – which is dying – debt forgiveness based on area economy conditions and violation-free operation? Nothing would help us operate in a rate-reducing schedule like working strictly on our own cash. Sure wish my government would try that.

We appreciate your letter, Kevin!

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Weekly Reading for November 22, 2011

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

Seeking The Next Wave Of Water Professionals - A plant superintendent answer questions about the state of the water industry and its workforce.
Liquid Assets Documentary Nearing Completion - Liquid Assets: MN will be a Minnesota-specific follow-up to the national Liquid Assets documentary produced by Penn State University.
Back to Basics: How to Increase Pump Motor Efficiency - This column is dedicated to exploring the key motor efficiency issues that are under the pump user’s control.
Water + Infrastructure = JOBS - An environmental advocacy group released a report that estimated water and wastewater infrastructure investment could create 1.9 million jobs in the United States.

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Recently on our Blog

Results from our Pilot Intern Program - Lessons learned from our small system summer internship pilot program.
Market Your Community with YouTube - Learn a simple technique for promoting the value of water in your community.
Stuff We Love: Water Towers - Find out how a simple website honors an important component of water infrastructure.

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Upcoming Free Webinars

November 29 - 5 Tools for Drinking Water Quality
sponsored by PAX Water Technologies

December 1 - Reducing Operating Costs with Energy Use Assessments and Auditing
sponsored by USEPA

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About SmallWaterSupply.org

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 if you need assistance.

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