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Erin Martin from the Central Region and Earl McKinney from the Northwest Region won reelection to the WARWS Board of Directors at the 26th Annual Association Business meeting held on April 21. Later that day during the Spring Board of Directors meeting, the board elected the following board members to leadership positions. Erin Martin was elected President of the Association Board of Directors; Chuck McVey was reelected Vice President; Ron Overson was elected Secretary/Treasurer and Earl McKinney was reelected as our NRWA National Director.

Former longtime President Loren Crain removed his name from consideration for the Presidency requesting a break and time for personal commitments. Loren remains a Director of the Board of Directors.

We want to Thank Loren for his many years of service as President of the Association. His nearly 24 years of service to the Association has helped us grow and mature as an organization. His leadership paved the way for our little group growing from 1 circuit rider in 1989 to a staff of 9 today. From the humble beginnings of about 100 people attending the first annual Spring Training Conference in 1991 to over 550 industry professionals attending this past weeks 26th annual conference, Loren has given his time and treasure to the Association. As Loren said, “this is not goodbye, just taking a break from leadership”.

Forester Network - http://foresternetwork.com

 Posted By Laura Sanchez On February 22, 2017 In Water Efficiency Weekly,Water Sources

More than 100 people contracted Legionnaires’ disease from 2014 to 2015 in Genesee County, Michigan. Of those, 12 have died. As more evidence becomes available, officials at the Center for Disease Control are learning the full extent of this devastating outbreak—and are using genetic testing to pinpoint the source.

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services has focused exclusively on McLaren-Flint Hospital as the culprit, ordering the hospital to turn over any information related to Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. Michigan state officials have gone so far as to call the incident the “largest healthcare-associated Legionnaire’s outbreak known” in the United States. But recent studies have found that the hospital may not be culpable.

Molecular testing by the CDC in late 2016 established the connection between a water sample taken from McLaren-Flint hospital and three samples from patients who were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. The only problem is that one of the individuals was never treated at the hospital.

Therefore, experts suspect that Legionnaires’ was at high levels throughout Flint’s water system during the time in which the city used the Flint River as its source of water without treating it to make it less corrosive to lead pipes and plumbing. It appears that lead exposure wasn’t the only damaging outcome of the water crisis in Flint. It also most likely contributed to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

“The presence of Legionella in Flint was widespread,” Dr. Janet Stout, a research associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh told MLive . “The (laboratory) results show that strains (of the bacteria) were throughout the water system.” Amy Pruden, a Virginia Tech professor studying Legionella in Flint water, found Legionella levels up to 1,000 times higher than normal tap water in Flint. She and fellow scientists hypothesized that the interrupted corrosion control and associated release of iron, nutrients, and depleted chlorine residual in the distribution system may have lead to high levels of Legionella. StormCon [2] 2017 will be held in Bellevue, WA at the Meydenbauer Convention Center, Aug. 27–31. Save $65.00 and register now [2] to earn educational credits; learn in sessions, workshops, and interactive tour formats; network with other attendees from around the world; and see technology from 185 exhibiting companies.

The study [3] also indicates that finding a patient whose bacteria matched the McLaren-Flint Hospital strain without having been hospitalized there “suggest(s) that same strain may have been elsewhere.”

“Despite the fact that dozens of Legionnaires’ disease cases have been reported in patients that have had absolutely no contact with our facilities, and despite the growing consensus among public health and infectious disease specialists that the city’s use of the Flint River as a water source is the prime contributor to our community’s Legionnaires’ disease epidemic, the state refuses to broaden its perspective and hold itself and others accountable for the inaction of prior years,” the hospital wrote in a released statement.

Complicating the matter is the discovery that public health officials first identified the Flint River as a potential source of the city’s Legionnaires’ outbreak as early as 2014, but city, county, state, and federal officials never told the public until more than a year later.

In fact, MLive reports that “Public health officials from Genesee County, the state of Michigan, and the federal government all worked on a notice to tell the public about a massive Legionella outbreak in in the Flint area in 2015 but shelved their plans before delivering the warning.”

Hundreds of Flint residents will live with the consequences of this gross negligence—the medical bills, the damage to their bodies, and the absence of loved ones—for a lifetime. It is our responsibility to examine the incident and ensure that history never repeats itself. What protective policies can be put in place to prevent similar circumstances in the future?

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