Water Environment Federation update on Ebola and the wastewater sector:
To address the concerns and questions from the water sector, many water and public health organizations, including the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), have been seeking reliable and credible information on Ebola. While currently there is limited data on the fate and transport of Ebola in wastewater collection systems, developing protective precautions is prudent. To that end, these organizations have been in contact and conversation with appropriate federal agencies on the issue of wastewater worker safety and the inactivation of Ebola by wastewater treatment processes.
During a conference call, organized by WEF on Oct. 16, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared that CDC has prepared and is conducting an internal review of an interim guidance. The guidance, Interim Guidance for Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Ebola Cases in the United States, will address basic hygiene practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) use and disposal actions that should be taken.
Specifically this guidance will provide guidance and protocols for
- workers who perform sewer maintenance,
- construction workers who repair or replace live sewers,
- plumbers, and
- workers who clean portable toilets.
CDC stated that this review would expedited and indicated that guidance could be released as soon as late October. As CDC is the lead federal agency for Ebola containment and prevention, the best ongoing resource for information is www.cdc.gov/ebola.
In the meantime, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has some general guidance available on workplace safety and health related to Ebola at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ebola.
WEF will communicate any updates as soon as CDC releases the guidance or any new information becomes available.
Join the California Association of Sanitation Agencies for two free training sessions to focus on the development of standard operating procedures (SOP) for the receipt and management of hauled in organic waste for co-digestion at POTWs, and the regulatory status of such action.
The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) provides leadership, advocacy and information to members, legislators and the public, and promotes partnerships on clean water and beneficial reuse issues that protect public health and the environment.
The Executive Director’s Message covers the meetings of CWEA’s State Board of Directors on your behalf after each quarterly Board meeting. This issue highlights our September 9 Board meeting in Sacramento, CA.
Track your Contact Hours on myCWEA.org
Board members were the first to test out the new functionality on our new online service platform, myCWEA.org, that tracks your CWEA contact hours for state and regional events. In addition, our CWEA certificate holders can see these contact hours automatically applied toward their certification continuing education requirement. Check it out on your own member profile, or read more about these new services and how you can access your contact hours here in the eBulletin.
Our Members Are Worth Celebrating
What an honor it is to serve as your CWEA President. Much like WEF’s “Water’s Worth It” campaign, I believe CWEA Membership is Worth It.
Since joining CWEA in 1992 I’ve seen wonderful improvements in the services CWEA provides its members. My first certification test was taken with pencil and paper and was only offered twice a year. With the implementation of computer-based testing, it is now offered at your convenience in more than 50 locations across California.
The recent implementation of myCWEA.org has taken us to a new level allowing easier online registration for state events, an improved member directory and the ability to see the contact hours you earn at CWEA educational events all in one place.
The San Francisco Bay Section’s Professional Development Committee will be holding a one-day seminar on Emerging Technologies in the Wastewater Field. A wide range of innovative topics are planned including advances in wastewater disinfection, anammox de-ammonification, energy and chemical optimization, producing biodegradable plastics from biogas, and 3D scanning of existing facilities. Operators, maintenance staff, supervisors, engineers, students and others are invited to attend. The seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at Hs Lordships Restaurant in Berkeley (off of University Ave, towards the bay). For more information, contact Suzanne Huang [email protected] or 415-243-2150) or Chathu Abeyrathna [email protected] or 925-335-77694). Registration is required by 4 PM on October 29, 2014. To reserve your spot, send registration info to Linda Leong at [email protected]. Please see the flier for more information.