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CWWA Committees Updates

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CWWA Committees are one of the most important resources for the Association and our members. They help advise staff on technical issues, give invaluable input on federal legislation and initiatives, and even help direct the program for our National Conference and Window on Ottawa.

For Committee members, it offers a fantastic network of water professionals working in the same focused area of expertise. It is the best way to engage with the Association and derive value from your organizations membership.

To join any of CWWA's technical Committees email: kparisien@cwwa.ca

A goal for 2018 is to feature more frequent updates on CWWA Committee activities in the e-bulletin. In the meantime here’s a summary of activities in 2017.

Energy and Water Efficiency Committee:
Research:
The committee is sponsoring and leading two research projects. Both started with national surveys, one on pump efficiency and the other on high water users.

WaterSense:
Our Committee is working with Alliance for Water Efficiency on how best to react/respond to EPA funding cuts to the WaterSense program. CWWA raised this issue at WEFTEC in Chicago at a meeting of international executive directors as something we might tackle collectively with the appliance industry.

Food Waste Grinders:
The committee has taken on the challenge of developing a formal position for CWWA on the issue of food grinders, but they recognize that this will require a multi-committee effort to include the wastewater and biosolids committees.
 
Wastewater Committee:
Wastewater Effluent Regulations:
Our Wastewater Committee continues to communicate with Environment Canada, but there has been little interest at their end to review or renegotiate. We have supported individual communities in their direct discussions with the Ministry. As the 2020 deadline approaches quickly, it is becoming clear that some communities will need some flexibility.

Flushable Wipes Efforts:
CWWA, with our partners at MESUG (Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group), continues to be a key player in the efforts to reduce or eliminate the damages caused by wipes entering our wastewater systems. They are working on a formal position for CWWA. CWWA and MESUG have also launched an effort to develop a Canadian Standard that can eventually be enforced. Such an effort entails significant costs and requires funding. An appeal has been made to municipalities across Canada to contribute to the effort and a special restricted fund has been created at CWWA to collect and oversee the use of these funds for the project.

INDA has adopted revised Code of Practice. We have been involved over the last two years with the wipes manufacturers and sellers, represented by their trade organization known as INDA, while the wastewater industry is represented by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA). We were able to work with INDA toward a new Code of Practice that brings their labeling ahead significantly. While we support their new labelling, we as the wastewater sector could not be signatories as the report still refers to flushable wipes and their own Guidance Documents. Efforts to amend their Guidance Document failed as we could not reach a consensus on dispersibility demands and testing verification.
http://www.inda.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Code-of-Practice_Communicating-Approprioate-Disposal-Pathways_June-2013-FINAL.pdf

Meanwhile, our effort with MESUG to develop an International ISO standard was stalled for similar reasons around dispersion and testing. From that effort has arisen an international coalition of the wastewater sector to develop an international position statement. The group is known as the International Water Services Flushability Group (IWSFG) and has received the official endorsement of many countries, associations and municipalities (including many of our CWWA members). This group is meeting in London, Ontario October 5th and 6th. See more about this at http://iwsfg.org.

Drinking Water Committee
Lead Guidelines:
The committee provided comments to Health Canada concerning dramatic changes to permissible lead levels under the national drinking water guidelines. CWWA also participated in the review and submission to Health Canada from the Canadian Affairs Committee of AWWA. While we certainly support reducing lead, we are concerned for fair, consistent sampling and for appropriate time and funds to implement such new standards.

We are also submitting comments to a federal committee considering a Private Members Bill (M-69) from MP Bill Bratina proposing a federal study on lead in drinking water and what role the federal government might play. We expect a fuller report in December.
 
Meanwhile, our CWWA Drinking Water Committee leading an effort to create ONE position on lead in Canada with partners at AWWA and CWN.

Climate Change:
The Climate Change Committee represented by its Chair, Hiran Sandanayake is part of the Steering Committee for the National Roundtable on Flood Risk. The committee si also organizing the Urban Water Management Workshop on November 6th in advance of the NWWC in St. John’s. Hiran has also been an advisor to Public Safety Canada on a review of federal programs on drought and flooding and CWWA will be part of Minister Goodale’s Roundtable in Regina November 16th.

Security & Emergency Management:
The Committee continues to participate in the development and review of the National Project on Water Sector Resilience . This national survey was conducted in partnership with Public Safety Canada and Dalhousie University. The report will be finalized by December 31, but much of the results presented at the NWWC in St. John’s.

The committee also participated at the Multi-Sector Network Meeting organized by Public Safety Canada on October 26th and will be representing CWWA at the National Cross-Sector Forum to be held on December 7th

Biosolids:
While the biosolds committee has been quiet for a couple years, they are getting reorganized. The committee, with a lot of support from Metro Vancouver will look to gather relevant resources and develop educational materials for all of us. We will be looking for your support.

Utility Leadership:
This is our newest committee and they have been identifying their key issues, namely: Financing/Funding/Pricing; Communications; Asset Management & Sustainability; and Workforce Development & Management.
 

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