COVID-19 Update

FRWA News , National , State ,

This page is dedicated to keeping water and wastewater systems informed on the latest developments concerning the Coronavirus.  Please visit daily to find out how uitlities througout Florida are dealing with the emergency as well as policies, directives, and mandates that affect systems.  For your convenience we have FRWA Information, a number of links, and articles related to the coping with this emergency situation listed at the bottom of this page.

Thermometers Available Through FEMA

In addition to other equipment FEMA has pushed thermometers to the State Emergency Operation Center, and they are in the process of being pushed to each individual county EOC. That being said. per logistics all the Water Utilities need to do is contact their County Emergency Operations Center Emergency Manager and ask for them. If they need more than the county has, then they can order as many as needed and be reimbursed. I am forwarding the vendor list we have been using in logistics for these items. 

Vendor

POC

Email

Phone

RS Hughes

Brian Riedel

briedel@rshughes.com

904-642-6493

Safeware

April Tuttle

atuttle@safewareinc.com

407-883-9103

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Mike Botet

mike.botet@thermofisher.com

407-808-0604

Fastenal

Josh Darby

jodarby@fastenal.com

850-545-3946

Grainger

Bradley Bynum

Bradley.Bynum@grainger.com

850-274-6698

Amazon

Michael Hogarth

michogar@amazon.com

571-400-5320   

 FEMA article regarding thermometer distribution to States:

https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/05/26/distribution-infrared-thermometers

Masks Available Through FEMA

EPA/Federal Government has provided cloth masks free of charge to be distributed to critical infrastructure employees. There are five (5) masks available to each of your employees.  For your convenience, the masks are being distributed at locations throughout the state.  All you have to do to receive the masks is complete a form and go to the site that is most convenient for you.  

Bonita Springs

Daytona Beach

Destin

Gainesville

Jacksonville

Orlando

Palm Coast

Pinellas County

Pompano Beach

Tallahassee

The current crisis is affecting water and wastewater systems thoughout Florida.  Recent enacted COVID-19 legislation did not include funding for water utilities.  We understand that there will be additional Congressional action, and are asking you to join us in requesting that the urgent need is addressed in the fourth COVID-19 response legislation.  For your convenience, FRWA has developed a form letter for you to send to your representatives in Washington.  Click here to copy and paste the body of this letter onto your letterhead and forward to your representative.  


In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Florida Rural Water Association suggests that utility systems think about, consider and possibly develop a plan to suspend water account disconnections due to non-payment. Like all of our member systems, FRWA wants to ensure that all customers have access to clean drinking water and wastewater services and are able to practice good hygiene by washing their hands frequently.

Many utilities around the United States are announcing suspension of service cutoff until the end of the pandemic. While plans and policies differ with the individual utility, discussion should center on options that allow customer service to remain in place but keep a systems water utility revenue intact. 

These options might include:

  • Institute an agreement with the customer to suspend payment for a set number of months and have the bill spread out and added to the bill over the (six) months following:
  • Institute a minimum monthly payment for duration of pandemic;
  • Average the past three (six) months water bills to set a minimum payment for duration of pandemic;
  • Referrals to other agencies in the area that assist with utility bills (charities, religious organizations, local assistance programs);
  • Ask customers if they will help pay extra on their monthly bills to assist those who cannot pay
  • Give customer 15 days past cutoff date to contact utility and make arrangements to pay through some option
  • Encourage customers to avoid paying bills in person and to consider using alternate payment methods.

As a reminder, this would not be a cancellation of any combined utility bills and customers should be encouraged to continue paying their bills promptly while offering alternative payment options during the public health emergency. Systems should also take care to not create unreasonable and precedent setting expectations.

As always, FRWA is interested in assisting water and wastewater systems with every phase of the water and wastewater operations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can provide you with any assistance.

As a tool for our members, FRWA has developed a short Drinking Water and Wastewater SOP template for your use that are available under the FRWA Information column.  Anything we can do to help our systems prepare for the worst case, even though we hope and pray they never have to use, it is always good to be ready.

As always, FRWA is interested in assisting water and wastewater systems with every phase of the water and wastewater operations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can provide you with any assistance.

FRWA INFO

Considerations in Providng and Accepting MA in Pandemic

Joint Florida Water Utility Associations Letter

Letter to Request Federal Assistance to Water Utilities during the COVID-19 Crisis

Outreach to Utility Labs

Large Building Water System Startup

Large Builiding Water System for Commecial 

Utility Access Letter

Everyday Heroes - Dedication to Water and Wastewater Services

Video Assist Calls for Volunteer Operators

Laboratory Backup Plan

Guidelines for the Implementation of Operational Assistance

Certified Labs

DW SOP Form for Small Systems

WW SOP Form for Small Systems

Tips for PreventionTopics to Consider

Pandemic Flu Presentation

 

THE LATEST NEWS

FEMA Webinars: COVID-19 and Hurricane Season Planning Considerations
White House, GOP push coronavirus relief talks to late July, sources say (CNBC, June 11)
Weekly Update: DHS Response to COVID-19 (DHS, June 8)
EPA Prepares for 2020 Hurricane Season Amid COVID-19 (EPA, June 9)
EO on Accelerating the Nation’s Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Emergency by Expediting Infrastructure Investments and Other Activities (White House, June 4)
Exclusive investigation on the coronavirus pandemic: Where was Congress? (The Hill, June 8)
Many US cities still waiting to receive federal coronavirus relief aid (CNBC, June 3)
COVID-19 Doesn't Slow Conservation Efforts as Brevard Zoo Completes Work On Brevard's Living Shoreline | Space Coast Daily

How What You Flush Is Helping Track The Coronavirus | WRVO

Can COVID-19 Spread Through Sewage? | Science - Smithsonian.com

St. Augustine tests its water for COVID-19 | Action News Jax

Officials send letter outlining priorities to tackle PFA

Magna issues boil order after raccoon was found in water tank

Coronavirus Traces Found in Massachusetts Wastewater at Levels Far Higher Than Expected

Chlorine producer meeting increased demand from nervous water plant operators

City water disconnections blamed on ‘miscommunication’

Temporary Advisory for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Reporting in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Delaware Rural Water Association Answers Call to Disinfect COVID-19 Exposed Facility

Google vs. 1926(b) Territorial Protection in Rural Texas:

Jane Fonda Admonishes Local Communities Who Disconnect Water ServiceJ

63 Members of Congress in Introducing Federal Ban on Water Shutoffs During COVID—19 Crisis

Legislation Considerd in Congress as part of Next Relief Legislation

Stevens, Michigan Delegation Members Urge Governor Whitmer to Support Small and Mid-Sized Cities

Request to Treasury to Distribute CARES Funds as Quickly As Possible

The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CARES Act, Title V): Background and State and Local Allocations

The CARES Act

Coronavirus in Florida: EPA says tap water safe during COVID-19 outbreak

Utility disconnections suspended across south Florida

FloridaLegislature gets mixed reviews on environment bills; coronavirus makes money iffy

 
 
 
 
 

Nation’s largest water supplier isolating staff over virus 

COVID-19 causes states to rethink compliance 

Trump agencies steadily push rollbacks as pandemic rages 

Stimulus package excludes financial relief for water sector

Coronavirus is FEMA's biggest disaster ever, and it threatens to swamp the agency

 
 
 
 
 

EPA Announces Enforcement Discretion Policy for COVIX-19 Pandemic

Volunteer Network Rescues Small Alabama Water System with Operator under Quarantine

SRWMD ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT CHANGE TO RIVER COST-SHARE FUNDING APPLICATION DATE TO JUNE 16, 2020

Toilet paper shortage clogs sewage

Senate Approves $2 Trillion in Emergency Relief for

CoronavirusUSDA Rural Utilities Service, Water and Environment Programs declare Circuit Riders Essential ServiceCoronavirus Florida:

'Flushable' wipes are not safe to flush | Herald Tribune

SFWMD offices close | Okeechobee NewsUtility Disconnections Suspended Across South Florida

 

 

LINKS OF INTEREST

EPA Letter to the Governor

Executive Order No 20-91 Essential service and Activities During COVID-19

NRWA COVID-19 Webpage

USDA Rural Development COVID-19 Response

What Treatment Professionals Need To Know 

Pandemic Flu Scenario

Pandemic Flu Checklist

FDOH - What You Need to Know

CDC - Situation Summary

Business Continuity Planning for Water Utilities

Pandemic Impacts to Lifeline Critical Infrastructure 

Risk May Be Elevated for wastewater workers