WIWSA President’s Message


March, 2017

As the members of our association know, our “bread & butter” has been in helping our members understand and comply with federal and state regulations governing the purveyance of safe drinking water.  We have employed the opportunities provided by our quarterly meetings to introduce our members to state regulators and to explain the details of subjects like Small Water System Management Plans, the Responsibilities of Water Boards and Developing Financial Capacity.

Now, we have a new drinking water-related situation here on Whidbey Island that argues for making explanations available to our members.  That situation has to do with the unintentional exposure of some wells to certain man-made chemicals that are components of the fire- fighting foam used over many years by our resident Naval Air Station.  Although much about this situation has already been published in our local newspapers, we know that many of our members are expressing curiosity, if not anxiety, and would appreciate the opportunity to learn more from officials who are actively engaged in defining this problem and dealing with it.

We are dedicating our first quarterly meeting in 2017 to a seminar-type exposition at which representatives of the U.S. Navy, the State Office of Drinking Water and Island County Environmental Health Department will be available to explain their perspectives and to answer questions about findings thus far and plans for remedial actions.  An engineer with credentials in treatment techniques for the removal of contaminants from drinking water will also be present. This members’ meeting will be held at the Race Road Fire Station and will begin at 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 16th.  I hope to see you there.

Warm regards, Jim Patton, President