I want to thank you for all the assistance RCAP Solutions has provided to drinking water and wastewater operators in the state 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
Mia McDonald, Technical Assistance Provider, RCAP Solutions
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.
The Calais Water Department welcomed RCAP staff to their facility to perform the Basics of Operator Math training.
Fourteen operators from eight different systems attended the training and received 3.75 training contact hours from the State of Maine. The training was well received by operators with different levels of math knowledge. The operators each brought different strengths and were often helping each other during practice problems.
Mia McDonald, a technical assistance provider in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island with RCAP Solutions, led the training and was assisted by the State Lead for Maine, Art Astarita.
Ms. McDonald brings over fifteen years as a math tutor, as well as a lifelong love of math given by her math educator parents. Mr. Astarita was able to connect with systems to begin new relationships with RCAP Solutions to offer assistance with future trainings, locating funding sources and asset management.