Warm Hands Warm Hearts

heart_snow_arms_mittens_11095_1680x1050RCAP Solutions is collecting hats, mittens, gloves and scarves throughout the month of November for families in need.

Your generous donation will provide local children and families in our SafeStep domestic violence housing program with a little extra warmth this holiday season.

Donated items can be handmade or purchased.

All items will be distributed to local families in early December.

For more information, contact Emily Farrand, Chief Human Resources Officer, 978-630-6647, efarrand@rcapsolutions.org.


Items can be donated at the following locations:

Gardner Office: 205 School Street, Gardner, MA (4th Floor)

Worcester Office: 12 East Worcester Street, Worcester, MA (2nd Floor)

Property Manager Office at any of our properties:

Atwood Acres: 66 Dudley Road, Townsend, MA

Bolton Country Manor: 600 Main St., Bolton, MA

Cottage Street Apartments: 198 Harrington St., B5, Athol, MA

Groton Commons: 74 Willowdale Road, Groton, MA

Hapgood Apartments: 25 Cheney Street, Athol, MA

Hubbardston House Apartments: 1 Old Princeton Road Cut-Off, Hubbardston, MA

New Horizons Apartments: 20 Benson Ave., Worcester, MA

Rockdale House Apartments: 63 School St., Northbridge, MA

Slater Estates: 96 Slater Street, Webster, MA

Townsend Woods: 70 Dudley Road, Townsend, MA

Take the #SafeStepForward Challenge

#SAFESTEPFORWARDWe Believe in a Better Future

Providing Safety and Stability for Domestic Violence Survivors and their Children, through Housing and Case Management



Take the #SafeStepForward Challenge today!

This initiative will help us provide our families with the essential items they need to start a life free from domestic abuse.It costs approximately $2,000 to furnish a SafeStep home. We are looking to raise at least $5,000 to support these families.

A $25 donation could give a child in the SafeStep program hats, mittens and scarves that would keep them warm throughout the cold New England winter or a $50 donation could provide a SafeStep mom with a monthly bus pass to get to her job. Any donation amount gives the essential items families need while transitioning into healthy homes at the end of the two year program.

DonateAfterTweet EditedSSF you accept our challenge to donate, go to Facebook and Twitter and post about your contribution using the hashtag: #SafeStepForward . Monetary donations can be made through our website. Make your donation now, click the “Donate” button to visit our donate page.

Items NeededPurchase items needed for survivors and bring them to our headquarters at 12 East Worcester Street in Worcester, MA or to our corporate offices located at 205 School Street in Gardner, MA. We can also pick up  donations, just call 978-630-6714 to schedule a pick-up time. Click the “Items Needed” button to see a list of items needed.


2000px-Recycle001.svgDonate electronic waste that will be recycled through Planet Green Recycle. A box of 20 electronics for recycling translates to $50 dollars that will help a SafeStep family. Drop-off e-waste at our recycling boxes at headquarters at 12 East Worcester Street in Worcester, MA or at our corporate offices at 205 School Street in Gardner, MA. *This recycling event will continue after the #SafeStepForward challenge.


amazon smile

Conveniently donate to our program while shopping on AmazonSmile, just select RCAP Solutions as your non-profit and .5% of your purchase cost will go to RCAP Solutions programs.




Finally, don’t forget to tell everyone you made a difference! After you donate, post it to your Facebook and Twitter pages using our #SafeStepForward post.

“I helped a local family take a #SafeStepForward by donating $          to RCAP Solutions!


About SafeStep

This year, SafeStep provided twenty-four adults and forty-seven children with safe homes. These families entered our program in search of a new beginningSafestep 4, fleeing their partner and the physical and emotional abuse inflicted upon them.

SafeStep is a transitional housing program that helps survivors build stable lives through counseling, education, and employment. Our case managers work with each family providing them with the tools they need to succeed. Our families, who are referred from homeless shelters throughout the area often flee their abusers with little or nothing to call their own. With your help, we can provide them with the tools needed to take a safe step forward and build a stable and better life.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAM-with-Purple-RibbonRCAP Solutions is one of only a small number of agencies in the Commonwealth that administers the SafeStep program, offering housing and case management for families that have survived domestic violence.  This 24-month scattered site transitional program, provides families with safe, temporary housing and the opportunity to learn the life and financial skills necessary to create a new and healthy life with their families. For more on the SafeStep program, please click here.

As part of an initiative to increase community awareness about domestic violence, we will be participating in the WYCA‘s ceremony proclaiming Domestic Violence Awareness Month, followed by a free community fair, featuring local agencies that provide opportunites for local families, with a focus on domestic violence services and low income household needs. We invite you to join us at this important community event.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Ceremony: 3:30 PM, Fair: 4:00 – 6:00 PMpurple logo

YWCA, 1 Salem Square, Worcester

For more information, please review the Community Fair Flyer

Testimonial from a Partner in Maine

I want to thank you for all the assistance RCAP Solutions has provided to drinking water and wastewater operators in the Train-the-trainer-training-to-achievestate of Maine.  Each year our future industry leaders benefit from the wonderful “Asset Management” and “Emergency Preparedness” presentations given by Art Astarita during our Management Candidate School.  His practical approach resonates well with this audience.  Art and Rebecca Reynolds have also been great in their willingness to travel to less populated areas like Calais, Rockland and Presque Isle, Maine.

In early 2015, drinking water and waste water operators in Calais and Fairfield also benefited from the “Math Basics” workshops provided by Mia McDonald.  It is tough to positively engage operators in a math training program. However, the students in Mia’s two classes had many favorable comments such as: “Instructor was great! She explained herself well… Will help obtain my Grade III License… Will use this math to help with future problem solving… Dosing pumps and chlorine demand and the formulas will be helpful”.

It is so important that RCAP Solutions takes such high caliber training to the less populated communities in the far reaches of Maine.  Such training saves the operators in both the cost of travel and also in the cost of time away from their facilities.

As the Training Coordinator for JETCC, I also work closely with the certification officers for Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). I am always confident that the RCAP training we offer will be welcome by those agencies and recommended for the operators.

Thank you for sharing your resources with Maine’s Water Pollution Control Personnel!


Leeann Hanson, Training Coordinator
Joint Environmental Training Coordinating Committee
Scarborough, Maine

RCAP Solutions Staff Receive National Awards


Award recipients Sukhwindar Singh, Josefa Torres-Olivo, and Art Astarita.


Robert Stewart with Sukhwindar Singh.

Robert Stewart, Executive Director for the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) presented three RCAP Solutions Employees with prestigious national awards during the RCAP annual conference last year in Madison, Wisconsin.


Sukhwindar Singh, Director of Education and Training was inducted into the RCAP National Hall of Fame. Inductees into the Hall of Fame are recognized for having made significant positive contributions to RCAP in the course of their work over the years as a long-term Technical Assistance Provider or Regional coordinator who works directly with communities. Sukh has been with RCAP Solutions for 21 years and brings unique expertise, training and skills useful in a variety of leadership, training and community settings.  She has primary oversight ensuring that all training deliverables/funder requirements are met.


Josefa Torres-Olivo with Robert Stewart.

Josefa Torres-Olivo, District Director for Puerto Rico was the recipient of The Bill French Bridge-builder Award, given to an RCAP staff member who has been successful in building their state RCAP program, whether in reputation and credibility or in funding. She has advanced her state program to a higher level of operations through new and enhanced relationships with funding and primacy agencies or other partners, new services offered to communities, and new grants or contracts obtained. This award is named for Bill French, one of RCAP’s founding members who leveraged the RCAP program to build a strong and well-respected agency, and is given to a recipient who has successfully advanced their state program to a higher level of operations. Josefa was recognized for enabling her program to cross over barriers, leading the program along a road to realize its vision, and bringing the plan to fruition. Josefa has been with RCAP Solutions for 20 years, providing technical assistance on water and wastewater issues; assisting in the planning, developing, and organization of rural communities; providing expertise for the implementation of community source water protection and ground water improvement for rural low-income water systems; and has worked cooperatively with local, state, and federal government agencies to enhance community systems compliance.


Art Astarita with Robert Stewart.

Art Astarita, State Lead for Maine, received The Outstanding Service Award, given to an RCAP staff member who repeatedly goes above and beyond the call of duty in serving his communities, building their capacity and helping them achieve the outcomes that are critical to their future health and development. Art was recognized as a staff member who gives more than 100 percent in the service of his communities and whose commitment and dedication to RCAP’s mission is obvious to all. Art is a geologist and joined RCAP Solutions 17 years ago. He provides technical assistance to small water and wastewater systems throughout Maine and New England.  This includes environmental assessment reports, GPS and GIS mapping, aquifer contaminate analysis, writing funding applications, grant administration, conducting system financial analysis and asset management training.  He has helped to secure funding on numerous water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects.

Case Study – Nitrate Contamination Causes Identification and Abatement

By James P. Starbard M.S., REHS/RS, Program Resource Specialist, RCAP Solutions5538107e1c883.image

RCAP Solutions was contacted by the Property Manager of a U.S. Housing and Urban Development owned property which houses elderly and disabled individuals. The Property Manager had just received a “Do Not Drink Order” from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health due to high nitrate levels and was seeking RCAP Solutions Assistance.

RCAP Solutions Specialists met with the community’s Property Manager and reviewed the Do Not Drink Order and the requirements set forth in it, one being that a Title 5 Inspection (septic system inspection) be performed. The RCAP Solutions Specialist is a licensed Title 5 Inspector and agreed to do the inspection for the community. The initial septic inspection found no visual signs of failure or malfunction including the septic tanks and the leach field area. During this inspection it was also noted that the community had no room to move infrastructure as they did not own their whole Zone 1, the wastewater components including the leach field are in the Zone 1 and many wetland/surface water features surround the community.

Not seeing any issues visually, the investigation of the septic system continued with the pumping of all septic tanks and inspection of them empty. Again, no cracks or voids were witnessed and a cause of the nitrate spikes remained a mystery. Exploring the possibility that the wellhead may be compromised leading to the nitrate spike a camera inspection was performed and showed so issues.

Focusing back on the septic system, all wastewater pipes were inspected using a camera, again no pipe breaks were witnessed. One wastewater pipe of greatest concern ran within 30 ft. of the wellhead and was pressure tested, holding a constant pressure for fifteen minutes indicating no issues.

Spring came to Massachusetts and the snow melted, revealing a sign of septic failure in one of the leach field trenches. The trench in question was already green and all the land around it was still dormant, showing that the trench had failed.

The community hired an Engineer and working with a septic system contractor and the RCAP Solutions Specialist the leach field was uncovered for inspection. It was discovered that the leach field was not installed according to the engineer plans and did not meet Massachusetts codes past or present. As a result, the septic trench showing failure was receiving 80% of the wastewater flow while the other 9 septic trenches received little to none.

The septic system leach field was repaired to meet the specifications of the original as-build plan and tested to ensure equal flow to each of the septic trenches. The failing septic trench was turned off by installing a valve and was given time for the soil to regenerate as planned.

In the coming months the community saw a dramatic drop in nitrate levels in their drinking water from a high of 23.1 mg/l before the septic repairs to a low of 4.9 mg/l leading to a brief lifting of the “Do Not Drink Order” by the MASS DEP. However, at some points the nitrate levels fluctuate almost seasonably and sometimes exceed the 10 mg/l threshold, leading to the “Do Not Drink Order” being re-implemented. The failing septic trench was turned back after a number of months off and is working as designed showing the soil did indeed regenerate itself.

Currently RCAP Solutions Specialists are working with the community on options for either Nitrogen Reduction Treatment retrofitting of the septic system or filtering treatment in the drinking water system to bring nitrate levels permanently below 10 mg/l, as all infrastructure in place appears to be working as designed and relocation of components is not feasible due to land constraints.

Investigation of a drinking water contamination issue like nitrate without a clear cause and effect involves a lot of monitoring and exploration. At no time was any bacteria contamination found during weekly water quality samples despite the evidence that the septic system did have an effect on Nitrate levels. All of this work was done under the oversight and approval of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the local Board of Health.

Community Resources Program Update, Fall 2015

Scott Mueller, Chief Rural Affairs Officer & Director of Community Resources, RCAP Solutionswater-conserve

Perhaps one of the most important activities and investments a community can make is providing safe, efficient, and sustainable infrastructure for its residents.  In fact for many rural communities a water system or wastewater system can be the single most expensive investment it makes for itself.  Along with these also are affordable housing, electricity, safe transportation routes, and telecommunication opportunities.  In this day and age many communities are looking at all of these as basics for community life and economic betterment.  Without water and wastewater disposal two of the critical elements necessary for a safe and clean community life needed to prosper are missing and due for some challenges.  Can you imagine living in a location where there was no drinking water?

All these activities require proper planning and a critical understanding of the system to insure that they not only operate correctly but also provide the intended opportunity and or sustainment of a healthy environment.  With the availability of water in many of our states coming into question those that do have access to clean water it is becoming more and more, perhaps, one of the most important resources a community has.  And they are looking to protect it along with finding ways to sustain its availability and quality.

RCAP Solutions has been a long standing leader towards this end in providing such counseling and technical assistance to rural communities across our region which covers 9 north eastern states and 2 territories [ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY, PA, NJ Puerto Rico and USVI].  Our experienced staff which is located in each state focuses on assisting those small rural communities in need trying to promote their locality and provide a safe environment to live.  Whether it be working with a specific community issue or developing a new infrastructure system they have the experience to assist you with your effort.  Most always these are challenging efforts which cost significant dollars and there is an ever growing maze of regulation and process that needs to be navigated.  We can help.

This year we are pleased to say we have funding available to assist eligible communities.  Whether it be direct technical assistance, or training provided to you or your project team, we would enjoy hearing from you and seeing how we may assist.  In those cases where communities are not eligible for assistance under our federal and state funding guidelines, we also offer an affordable approach to gaining this assistance and are more than happy to discuss your needs.

We wish every community the best in the upcoming year and to find out more about our services please contact Scott Mueller, Director of Community Services and Chief Rural affairs officer at 315-482-2756 or email smueller@rcapsolutions.org.

Regional Ideas for CUPSS’ Repair & Replacement Cost Schedule

Arthur Astarita, Maine State Lead, RCAP Solutions, Inc

RCAP Solutions’ experience has shown that small-sized systems (<3300 connections), have a wide-range of ways to document the need for capital improvements.  Typically, the superintendent has a list showing improvements including costs that is used to plan proposed upgrades.  This “mental list” is generated and updated when events arise but does not contain a comprehensive look at the entire system and its’ financial health.  It is not holistic view which is required to assure the system is operated in a long term and responsible manner.  Conducting a collaborative infrastructure assessment through an asset management planning process produces a thorough document that can be utilized by the utility* and shared with the town or even regional economic development groups.

RCAP Solutions has been conducting asset management processes with five water utilities in Oxford County Maine (Figure 1).  These water utilities are relatively close geographically; the largest towns of Mexico and Rumford are separated by a bridge over the Androscoggin River.  The five towns are part of the nine-town River Valley Region of the Western Maine Economic Development Council (WMEDC-RVR).  The River Valley Region has a population of about 13,250.  “Public” water is delivered to about 12,000 people or 90% of the WMEDC-RVR population.  The drinking water for the residents of the four remaining towns is sourced by private wells.

The hub of this region is Rumford, the largest community and home to the largest employer, Canadian based Catalyst Corporation’s Wood Mill.  At the end of 2014, the mill employed 800 workers; within 5 months they laid off 50 people.  The mill is the critical economic lifeblood of the area.  The Rumford Water District* realizes about 30% of their revenue from the mill whereas the surrounding water utilities have many indirect benefits. A study by the Maine State Office of Policy and Management (OPM) of population trends between 2010 and 2030 predict a population decline of 33% WMEDC-RVR (http://maine.gov/economist/projections/index.shtml). Such estimates should weigh heavily on the regions’ towns and possible coping mechanisms should be activity discussed.

Figure 1:  Oxford County Water Infrastructure Asset Management Project showing the five core towns and the four other towns comprising the River Valley Region of the Western Maine Economic Development Council.

Figure 1: Oxford County Water Infrastructure Asset Management Project showing the five core towns and the four other towns comprising the River Valley Region of the Western Maine Economic Development Council.

RCAP Solutions’ project work for Andover and Canton Water Districts included creating a digital map of each system; the other three systems (Dixfield, Mexico, Rumford) already had digital maps.  The tables from digital map layers provided a raw inventory for critical water equipment such as hydrants, valves, distribution pipe, source, treatment and storage. Individually, each system carried that inventory into a spreadsheet containing questions including name, location, condition, installation date, life expectancy, criticality of failure and replacement cost.  Each utility completed an asset management plan (AMP) using EPA’s CUPSS software.  A quick view of each utility is shown in Table 1.


Table 1: Quick View of Utilities in this study (More details can be seen in the respective utility’s asset management plans-not included.  State of Maine MHI is $48,453

Table 1: Quick View of Utilities in this study (More details can be seen in the respective utility’s asset management plans-not included. State of Maine MHI is $48,453

Historically, most of the water utilities’ asset replacements, specifically valves and pipes, are driven by the State Department of Transportation and/or towns’ public works schedules.  If roads, culverts, sidewalks or bridges are on State or Town schedules for repaving, the water utilities are then consulted.  This silo scheduling creates interruptions with the water sectors’ normal replacement plans; it can also lead to replacing assets that have not reached their full useful life expectancy; payment for such pre-spending is the responsibility utility customers or town residents*.

Using the asset management process, the utilities can generate a repair/replacement (R&R) cost schedule.  Here, items can be grouped by decade or by logical project task(s).  This information is perhaps the most important and critical step in reaching effective utility management.  This report initializes priority and emphasis on improvement types along with the cost of those upgrades or maintenance activities.  The R&R cost schedule is critical, concise and organized. The information can be shared with decision makers overseeing the system, town, region and state. This sharing leads to enhancements to planning infrastructure improvements.  Such cooperation will improve cooperation between utilities, towns and state along with sharpening the budget process for everyone.

As Table 1 shows, the median household income (MHI) of the project towns are below the state MHI, thus they qualify for grant assistance from increasingly competitive (and dwindling) federal and state programs.  Historically, each water utility hires an engineering firm to scope the necessary capital improvements.  Individually, they submit funding applications and separately bid-out construction.  Consequently, they compete and are “ranked” against each other at two very important projects stages: funding and construction.  In this project example, the collective utilities total distribution pipe is 76 miles.  The amount of pipe, which generally relates to the amount of total assets, pales when compared to large and very large water systems.  Accordingly, if these small, geographically close utilities are treated as “one system”, economies of scale are visible.  Hiring one engineering firm for design and one construction company enhanced by bulk purchases of similar pipe, hydrants, valves, etc. could create cost savings on total collaboration-wide project.

To demonstrate an example process of collaboration between these five water systems, RCAP Solutions pooled each system’s asset management information into one CUPSS project.  The combined analysis shows 2200 assets worth $76.8M; 727 assets are at high risk. The CUPSS software produces a capital improvement schedule which can be exported for spreadsheet analysis.  A twenty-year improvement plan in five year increments can be presented.  Figure 2 shows the collective twenty-year CIP for the five utilities. These twenty-year expenses represent only 18% of the total collective replacement value.  The first ten years of capital costs by utility are shown in Figures, 3 and 4.

Figure 2: Oxford County Collaborative CIP Study – 20 Year CIP 2014-2034- 18% of the Total Collaborative Value

Figure 2: Oxford County Collaborative CIP Study – 20 Year CIP 2014-2034- 18% of the Total Collaborative Value


Granted each system has different scales of improvement costs. Some utilities need to review asset attributes in order to “smooth out” the overly large cost requirements in certain 5-year periods. However, costs to the collaborative are transparency and can be preserved by prorating costs along with factoring the capital expense with each utility’s revenue contribution to the collective.

Figure 3: Oxford County Collaborative CIP Study – 1st Five Years 2014-2019- 8% of the Total Collaborative Value

Figure 3: Oxford County Collaborative CIP Study – 1st Five Years 2014-2019- 8% of the Total Collaborative Value

Figure 4: Oxford County Collaborative CIP Study – 2nd Five Years 2020-2024- <1% of Total Collaborative Value

Figure 4: Oxford County Collaborative CIP Study – 2nd Five Years 2020-2024- <1% of Total Collaborative Value

A financial analysis of all five water utilities shows that perhaps jointly, they could accomplish the needed capital improvements.  The revenue expenses are shown in the following graphics and tables indicates that for the two year period of 2012 and 2013 there was a collective $1.7M surplus.


After individually funding the necessary utility reserves: emergency (~25% of operation expenses), debt service along with replacement of short-term assets (asset with <15 year life expectancy), a portion of a utility’s surplus could be collective pooled for capital improvements to create an economy of scale.  Of course, what certain projects are good of collaboration versus unique upgrades specific to an particular utility must be crafted.

This collaboration aids the water utilities’ sustainability and helps the economic development of the River Valley Region.  Improved infrastructure attracts businesses.  Using the existing framework of the WMEDC-RVR can help streamline planning amongst utilities, towns and regional groups. Given the OPM’s declining population projections and one pivotal declining employer in the RVR, it is RCAP’s opinion that the utilities and towns needs to 1) prepare for a lower revenue stream, 2) prudently accomplish as much infrastructure repair/replacement as possible, 3) collaborate in purchases and conducting infrastructure projects and 4) consider consolidating administrative operations.

As governmental subsidies decline, it is increasingly becoming apparent that small rural utilities must develop a holistic business plan which focusses on asset management in order to operate the system in a sustainable manner.  It is the long-term asset reserve that is financially critical and challenging.  However, it seems that individually, no one system can save reserves to significantly “buy down debt” of these expensive capital improvements while keeping customer rates reasonable.  If major employers decline, a ripple effect occurs to the revenue available; expenses increase for the ever declining population base.  Collectively working together could be a solution.

Fly-In Review and Legislative Update

RCAP Solutions staff members were in Washington DC for our annual conference, promoting the work we do in rural communities across the northeast. RCAP Solutions is part of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, a network of six regional organizations that provide technical assistance and training for water and wastewater systems in small rural communities throughout the U.S. Pictured below is Mia McDonald, Drinking Water Specialist and Brian Scales, Chief Development & Govt. Affairs Officer with Senator Elizabeth Warren.

RCAP Solutions staff members were in Washington DC for our annual conference, promoting the work we do in rural communities across the northeast. RCAP Solutions is part of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, a network of six regional organizations that provide technical assistance and training for water and wastewater systems in small rural communities throughout the U.S. Pictured below is Mia McDonald, Drinking Water Specialist and Brian Scales, Chief Development & Govt. Affairs Officer with Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Ari Newmann, Director of Policy Development and Applied Research, RCAP

Each year, a contingent of RCAP staff and rural community leaders come to Washington, DC for the RCAP network’s annual Legislative Fly-In. The purpose of the fly-in is to educate members of Congress and the administration about the services that RCAP performs for their rural constituents and remind them of the importance of federal rural development programs. Despite a late-season snowfall that forced the closure of most of the federal government, this March we were able to meet with the offices of more than 100 legislators as well as Congressional committees and federal agencies.

The event helped build support on the Hill for rural development programs and for technical assistance for those programs. In the weeks following the fly-in, RCAP circulated a letter in the Senate supporting funding for technical assistance for rural water and wastewater systems that was signed by a bipartisan group of 12 Senators. A similar letter in the House of Representatives garnered 42 signatures from across the political spectrum. As Congress contemplates funding bills later this year, this strong show of support across party lines will help to ensure that funding for these programs continues.

Throughout the week members of Congress and their staff expressed the desire to hear more about how RCAP and federal community development programs are helping their constituents. In order to maintain support for these programs, it is imperative legislators continue to hear how they benefit the people they represent, and Congressional recesses provide a great opportunity to do so. Every few weeks, Congress is out of session so they can return to their home states and spend time visiting and meeting with constituents. These breaks are a great time to reach out to your Senators and Representative to try to schedule them for a visit to your community. Groundbreakings and ribbon-cutting ceremonies provide great opportunities for photo-ops which members of Congress love, and which give them an opportunity to learn about the great work that is being done throughout rural America as a result of the federal programs that they oversee. Even if you’re not planning a big event, your legislators may be interested to see the improvements your community has made as a result of the availability of water or wastewater service. Showing them the value of these programs to rural America will help keep our communities front of mind when they return to Washington and will generate support for our projects and programs.

Case Study – Glendale Water Association, Glendale, RI

Mia McDonald, Technical Assistance Provider, RCAP Solutions

Jesse Smith Memorial Library, Glendale, RI

Jesse Smith Memorial Library, Glendale, RI

The Glendale Water Association is a small, private water supplier that consists of one well, one pump and thirty residential service connections in a small neighborhood in Glendale, a village of Burrillville, Rhode Island.  The homes and water system were originally constructed in the 1950s by the U.S. Army as housing for the military families.  It is now managed by the Association, whose members are composed of resident volunteers. A recent change in board membership left the remaining and new members to inherit a failing well pump, broken backup generator and a current rate structure that cannot support the needs of the system.  A crash course in sampling protocol got the system the attention of the Rhode Island Department of Public Health, who directed RCAP Solutions to assist the system.

RCAP Solutions Specialists are working to assist the system to achieve compliance and get connected with the resources to successfully manage the system going forward. They have facilitated multiple meetings between the board, primacy and residents to repair the well pump and obtain an evaluation of the current status and future needs of the system. RCAP Specialists will continue to work with the Glendale Water Association in planning for asset management and with a restructure of the rate system.

Due to the ongoing relationship between RCAP Solutions and the Glendale Water Association, RCAP was able to assist when a time-intensive waiver application came due. As volunteer board members have full lives outside of their board responsibilities, it became apparent they did not have the time or resources to complete the required Synthetic Organic Chemicals Waiver Application required by the Rhode Island Department of Public Health. The Association was already actively working with an RCAP Solutions Drinking Water Specialist, who was able to spend the time needed to map land uses and conduct landowner outreach to determine which chemicals are in use in Glendale’s wellhead protection area. RCAP Solutions is continuing to work with the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Management to finalize the sampling requirements for the next three years for the system. Once determined, these requirements and their associated costs shall be incorporate into the new rate structure. If the waiver is not completed, water systems are then required to complete the full range of sampling with no waiver, in some cases up to $625 per quarter for small systems.

It is the long term relationship with these rural water systems that allows RCAP Solutions Community Resource team members accomplish long term, sustainable results.