WEF will host a no charge webcast on Wednesday, May 4 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm EDT on Stormwater and Public Education: Meeting the Public Education Requirements of the Municipal Stormwater (MS4) Permit. With innovative, low cost approaches to effectively communicate the required messages, this webcast aims to help small to mid-size municipalities meet the newly-required public education and outreach components of the NPDES/MS4 Stormwater permit. Participants will learn from experts who have successfully implemented regional, local, and neighborhood approaches for public education and outreach. Participants will walk away knowing how to identify target audiences and develop specific education programs aimed at helping the public understand how their behaviors impact stormwater pollution. [Read more]

On March 24, 2011, the State Water Resources Control Board released for public comment draft Waste Discharge Requirements for Sanitary Sewer Systems (SSS WDR).  If adopted, the proposed SSS WDR would replace the existing statewide SSO WDR (Order WQ 2006-003.)

Written Comments are due May 13, 2011 at Noon.

SSSWDR Comments submitted by CWEA and clean water partners

A State Water Resources Control Board workshop will be scheduled at a future date, most likely in June.

The proposed revisions represent a major departure from the program that has been successfully implemented under the SSO WDR.  The water quality associations and local government associations are drafting comprehensive comments on the proposed SSS WDR.  But we also need your help.

Please send a comment letter on behalf of your agency requesting that the State Water Board significantly scale back the proposed SSS WDR and allow the programs and progress begun under the existing SSO WDR to be fully implemented, since many of these programs involve capital improvements that will take time to be put in place.

Please use this as an opportunity to tell your agency’s story.  Let the State Water Resources Control Board know about the funding and staff resources that have been invested in your collection system, the programs you have implemented (FOG, Spill Response, Cleaning, etc.) or improved under the SSO WDR, and how the number/ volume of SSOs entering surface waters has been reduced as a result. [Read more]

When those April showers get going, whatever doesn’t soak into the ground runs off roofs and yards, down streets, into storm drains, and then directly into rivers, lakes, creeks, and other local water bodies. If that runoff is polluted, it’s most likely because of little things people commonly do (or not) every day that add up to big water pollution in their communities–and ultimately around the world. In the spirit of Earth Day, the Water Environment Federation suggests five things everyone can do to help keep stormwater from polluting our water resources all year long.

· Don’t dump anything down storm drains, including leaves, trash, and grass clippings. Storm drains are for rain only!

· Pick up after your pet. Don’t let harmful bacteria contaminate local water.

· Reduce fertilizer use. Use natural fertilizers according to directions.

· Recycle Motor Oil. Also, fix cars and lawn equipment that leak oil.

· Recycle Household Waste. Follow directions on household products for proper use, disposal, or recycling.

Remember, if you don’t want it in the water, keep it out of the storm drain!

Internationally acclaimed mountain climber Jake Norton’s climbed some of the most stunning peaks around the world, helped discover the remains of George Mallory on Everest, and guided others to reach the summits of their dreams. Beginning on Earth Day 2011, Norton’s attempting to do something no climber’s yet done so more people throughout the developing world realize their fervent dream of drinking safe water and having improved sanitation.

By summer 2014, Norton’s hoping to be the first to have climbed the Triple Seven Summits, or the three highest peaks on each continent. Along the way, Norton’s using each step to call attention to the close to one billion desperate for safe drinking water and the 2.6 billion without adequate toilets. [Read more]

The OCWD Board voted to move forward with construction of the 30 million gallon per day (MGD) Initial Expansion of the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS). The overall budget is set at $156.2 million and the project will create an additional 31,000 acre-feet per year (AFY) of new water supplies to serve north and central Orange County. This would bring the total production of the GWRS to 103,000 AFY, enough water for 850,000 people. Construction is estimated to be completed in September 2014. [Read more]