Perhaps the most “onerous” task for the board of any Group A community water system is the preparation of the Small Water Systems Management Program that is required by the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 246-290-105). In fact, there is nothing really complicated about putting together a SWSMP …. but it covers so many aspects of operating and maintaining a water system that board members feel swamped …… and that leads to putting off the task until the Office of Drinking Water conducts a Sanitary Survey and discovers that the required document isn’t complete or doesn’t exist at all.
At the beginning of this year, our WIWSA Board of Directors decided to do more than encourage our members to complete their SWSMPs. We are using our quarterly members’ meetings to concentrate on each of the three components of the SWSMP: Chapter One, Managerial Capacity, Chapter Two, Technical Capacity, and Chapter Three, Financial Capacity. We dedicated our June meeting to explaining each element in Chapter One and we provided copies of the 82-page Guide for completing a SWSMP (DOH Document #331-134), along with suitable loose-leaf binders. The enthusiastic response from our members showed that we are on the right track.
We are dedicating our next quarterly members’ meeting on September 19th (5:00 – 7:00 pm at the Sno-Isle Library in Coupeville) to explaining each element in Chapter Two, Technical Capacity. Our board members will be joined by local technical experts in making presentations on: Source Water Adequacy, Water System Operations and Infrastructure Adequacy and we will provide a panel to answer questions. We know that some of our members do not yet have copies of the Guide (or the binders) so we have ordered more to distribute at this meeting.
Our meeting in June on Managerial Capacity lived up to expectations and we feel confident that this meeting on September 19th will be just as helpful and informative.
Warm regards, Jim Patton, President WIWSA