Draft Year 26 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan

Comment Period Open Until June 3

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Draft Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Intended Use Plan (IUP) for the Twenty-sixth Federal Capitalization Grant. DWSRF is a federal/state partnership program whose purpose is to (1) provide loans to public water systems for capital improvements aimed at increasing public health protection, and (2) provide a source of funds for other Safe Drinking Water Act activities. The DWSRF Draft IUP is available May 3, 2022, on the DWSRF webpage.

The Draft IUP is the state’s request for set-aside and project loan funds to administer the loan program. It provides information on the status of the state’s DWSRF program and explains:

  • How the state will process and allocate approximately $69 million in the Project Fund portion of DWSRF.
  • Criteria used in determining construction project loan eligibility and prioritization.
  • Prioritized project list from the 2021 DWSRF Construction Loan Cycle.

The Draft DWSRF IUP is subject to a public review and comment period. The deadline to comment on the Draft DWSRF IUP is June 3, 2022. Send comments or questions on the Draft DWSRF IUP to us via email at DWSRF@doh.wa.gov or at the address below.

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Office of Drinking Water
P.O. Box 47822
Olympia, WA 98504-7822

Thank you,

DWSRF Team 
360-236-3089

Applications for the 2022 DWSRF Construction Loan accepted October 1 to November 30. Find information on the DWSRF webpage.

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Consolidation Feasibility Study Grants  

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program will be accepting Consolidation Feasibility Study Grant (CFSG) applications June 1 to June 30.  These grants can be used to study the feasibility of a consolidation project and the maximum award per project is $50,000.  Applications are submitted using the DWSRF on-line system, WALT.  The guidelines for this program, application worksheet (included in the guidelines), and WALT Users Guide are available on the DWSRF Webpage.

A CFSG Program Overview webinar will be held May 25 and a follow up Q&A session on June 15, both from 10am – Noon.  The webinar link is available on the DWSRF Webpage.

Please forward this email to anyone who may be interested. Please send any questions of concerns to dwsrf@doh.wa.gov.

Free EPA Webinar: Building Resilience & Adapting to Climate Change Impacts

Free EPA Webinar: Building Resilience & Adapting to Climate Change Impacts (govdelivery.com)

Free Workshop, Earn Credits!

April 20, 2022
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
GoToWebinar Introductory Session Webinar

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative is providing a series of free webinars for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater (water sector) utility owners and operators, as well as other water sector stakeholders. These webinars focus on building resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as the identification and implementation of adaptation options, and utility infrastructure financing.

Register by April 19  

To earn credits, you must register, attend the entire two-hour webinar, and complete a survey after.

Learn more, see agenda, and future sessions.

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Construction Loan Cycle

Washington State
Department of Health Office of Drinking Water

November 17 we’ll hold our last webinar for the 2021 DWSRF Construction Loan Program.  Join us for our MS Teams meeting from 10 AM to noon. The meeting link is available on the DWSRF Webpage.

Submit your application using the DWSRF on-line system, WALT. The program guidelines, application worksheet, EZ-1 Form, and WALT Users Guide are available on the DWSRF Webpage.  Application deadline is November 30, 2021, at 11:59 pm.

NOTE:   Pre-registration is required to access WALT. If you’re already in the WALT system, no action is needed. For WALT Pre-registration, please email dwsrf@doh.wa.gov.

If you have questions aboutContactPhone
Application or attachmentsSara J. Herrera360-236-3089
Cultural/Environmental ReviewScott Kugel509-329-2117
Scope of Work and EligibilityCorina Hayes360-236-3153
Scope of Work and EligibilityErika Lindsey360-236-3096
Scope of Work and EligibilityNick Fitzgerald509-329-2213
Underwriter / Loan Unit ManagerMike Copeland360-236-3083
Contract ManagerEloise Rudolph360-236-3124
Contract ManagerDennis Hewitt360-236-3017
Contract ManagerBrittany Cody – Pinkney360-236-3047

Customer Service Hours

  • November 25 – 26, Closed in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • November 29 – 30, 8am – 5pm

Please forward this email to anyone who may be interested. Thank you.

2022 Drinking Water Week Nominations Now Open!

Washington State
Department of Health Office of Drinking Water

Are you proud of a water system?
Do you know an outstanding waterworks operator?
Does someone you know in the drinking water industry do an amazing job?
Honor them during Drinking Water Week!
Nominations now open through February18, 2022.

Anyone can nominate someone in the water industry for an award. Fill out the Drinking Water Week nomination form online.

Some of the categories we use are below. Sometimes, we adjust categories for special situations.

Above and Beyond. Recognition for going above the normal call of duty and/or to provide assistance to neighboring water systems.

Commitment to Excellence. For those who continuously strive for excellence in providing safe and reliable drinking water.

Grace Under Pressure/Perseverance Under Adversity. For handling a crisis well, or for persevering under consistent challenges.

Lifetime Achievement. Reserved for those who are retiring.

Most Improved. This award is typically presented to water systems that overcome a bad situation and now provide excellent service.

Operator of the Year. To recognize an operator for their dedication and commitment. They also help educate and mentor others in the water industry, lending help and knowledge where needed.

Most Innovative. Presented to water operators/systems/organization that come up with innovative solutions for challenges they face. For more information visit our Drinking Water Week webpage

ODW Updates: PFAS and Staffing

Washington State
Department of Health Office of Drinking Water

PFAS Update: We are excited to announce that after four years of hard work and coordination with utilities, communities, and other state and federal partners the Washington State Board of Health approved updates to Drinking Water Regulations for Group A Water Systems Chapter 246-290 WAC.

These updates helped clarify processes by which the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) addresses unregulated contaminants in public water systems. It also establishes PFAS state action levels (SALs) that require water systems to test for PFAS compounds and report to the state and their customers if PFAS detections exceed SAL concentrations.

These rules support public health by ensuring testing is completed at specific utilities across the state to understand risk areas to customers. It also supports utilities impacted by PFAS by using science-based rulemaking that enables:

  • Ecology to address contamination by establishing cleanup standards and legal mechanisms in place.
  • DOH to gather information for potential state maximum contaminant level (MCL) determinations in drinking water, establishing levels at which utilities must treat the water.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this process, making this rule better. Due to comments received, we made many rule improvements through clarifying language, including processes to establish MCLs and SALs. We also updated the Lab Rule (WAC 246-390) and coordinated closely with Ecology to ensure DOH rule language aligns with Ecology efforts.

We are working to fund PFAS testing for utilities. We are also working with EPA on the details for laboratories to provide test kits very soon to water systems that volunteered for sampling. We don’t expect to find additional systems with detections over the SAL, but we won’t really know until we test.

Staffing: Our hope to get back to our normal work schedules did not develop as we wanted. We continue to support our agency’s first priority: the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

We again ask for your patience. Many of our staff members are still engaged in COVID-19 response activities. The pandemic has changed a lot in a short time. Staff members retired or left to pursue other dreams. We are reassessing our work environment, including continuing to telework, looking at changing office space, and moving to a paperless environment. We are also dealing with mental fatigue and supporting our staff to take time off to recharge.

We continue to provide coverage of essential duties, such as responding to drinking water emergencies. Routine business is happening at a scaled back pace. Planning and design reviews, pre-plan meetings, sanitary surveys field visits and reports, technical assistance, and complaint response are all taking much longer. There are delays in sending out reminders, late notices, and invoices. Emphasis has been on acute compliance; other violation letters are delayed. Data entry and management are delayed. We continue looking for opportunities to support our operators with limited resources. We acknowledge that our overall level of service is not what it used to be. We ask for your patience and commitment supporting the mental and physical health of our drinking water community, knowing your regulatory requirements, and not waiting to communicate with our office. If you need support or tools, please reach out to our office staff. We want you to know we’re doing our best to support you and our common mission of “Safe and Reliable Drinking Water.”

Welcome New Leadership! (from DOH Office of Drinking Water)

Washington State
Department of Health Office of Drinking Water

Hello Drinking Water Partners:

I hope this message finds you, your families, and utilities well.  This summer flew by and as we move into fall, I want to update you on the Office of Drinking Water’s recent hiring. We have recruited for the five open leadership positions in the office since this summer. Four of these positions have filled, and new faces will be starting in the office soon. We are still in the midst of the Field Operation Manager recruitment and hope to have someone on board in that position permanently by the end of the year. For now, please join me in welcoming Holly, Kay, Corina, and Brad.

ODW Director: I’m excited to announce Holly Myers will be the new Office of Drinking Water Director beginning November 16, 2021. Holly joins ODW after working as the Operations Manager for the state Department of Ecology’s Office of Columbia River since 2019. Before her recent work at Ecology, Holly was the Environmental Health Director at Yakima Health District where she oversaw environmental health regulatory programs including drinking water, on-site sewage disposal systems, solid waste facilities, water recreation, and food safety. Her career also includes working at Kittitas County Public Health as an Environmental Health Supervisor and at the City of Yakima Wastewater Treatment Division, writing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. In 2018 Holly volunteered with Friendly Water for the World to train people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to create bio-sand water filters, for clean and sustainable drinking water. Holly’s experience shows her devotion to public health and we are excited about the leadership and engagement she will bring to this role and our agency.

ODW Deputy Director: Kay Rottell has accepted the Deputy Director position permanently, a position she has been filling since June 2021. Kay has been with DOH since 2007 serving in various environmental public health positions. She has been with ODW for the last seven years in the Southwest Regional Office. Prior to working at DOH, Kay spent seven years as an Environmental Specialist at the Benton-Franklin Health District. Kay’s experience shows her commitment to public health and in ensuring safe and reliable drinking water. We are excited to see Kay step into this new role at ODW. 

SRF Manager: Corina Hayes will continue as the new State Revolving Fund Manager. She became permanent in this position on October 16, 2021. Many of you know Corina from her work with the Source Water Protection program she has been leading for several years. Some of you may also know her from when she was a planner and the SRF point person in our Southwest Regional Office. Corina comes to her new role with a wealth of private, local, and state experience. She will be leading our team in providing low-interest loans to utilities for infrastructure needs, coordinating with utilities and federal and state partners as we work together to continue to provide safe and reliable water for the people of Washington state.

Policy and Planning Manager: I am excited to welcome back Brad Burnham to the Office of Drinking Water as the new Policy and Planning Manager beginning November 1, 2021. You may remember Brad from when he previously worked in the ODW as a policy coordinator. For the last six years, though, he worked in the Office of Health Professions as a program manager and then as executive director. We are excited to have Brad’s ODW drinking water policy experience and his experience with other divisions at DOH.

Thanks for all your patience as our Office of Drinking Water works through this transition. 

Sincerely, Joe Laxson

Imagine a day without water

Office of Drinking Water Icon

Washington State
Department of Health

Office of Drinking Water

Hello Drinking Water Partners:

We all know that water is essential, reliable, and invaluable. Without water our communities would not thrive. Most of your customers don’t think about what happens behind the scenes when they turn on the tap. You do. You know that the infrastructure you’re in charge of is vulnerable to aging, vandalism, and natural disasters. 

October 21 is national Imagine A Day Without Water. We encourage you to participate through social media posts, a news release article, or any other way you can think of. 

We have free graphics and bill stuffers you can print yourself or order from us for free on our Water System Marketing Resources webpage.

Our DWSRF webpage offers information on funding and loan cycles, emergency loan information, and asset management training. You can also learn about successful projects on our DWSRF Profiles webpage.

We all know that safe water runs on sustainable infrastructure. Sustainable infrastructure depends on the public’s belief in the safety of our tap water. We can’t have one without the other.

Sincerely,

Kay Rottell