SOUTH DAKOTA ASSOCIATION OF RURAL WATER SYSTEMS
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SDARWS COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
FREE CLOTH FACE MASKS FOR WATER PERSONNEL
South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems (SDARWS) and Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (SDWARN) has worked with EPA and FEMA to secure a limited supply of cloth facemasks for water sector personnel. SDWARN is partnering with SDARWS to help distribute these cloth facemasks. Because supplies are limited, systems can request a maximum of two masks per utility personnel. Masks will be distributed based on need and prioritized in counties most impacted by COVID-19.
SOUTH DAKOTA WATER AND WASTEWATER UTILITY SYSTEMS,
Effective immediately, South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems (SDARWS) will be following the National Rural Water Associations’ federal guidelines and limiting on-site visits by our field staff. If your system has an emergency, please contact the SDARWS office or field staff immediately. We will evaluate the situation and if deemed necessary a Circuit Rider, Wastewater Technician or other Field Staff will make suitable arrangements to come to your facility and provide hands-on assistance. If it is a non-emergency, you are encouraged to call, we will continue to offer remote assistance and advice.
SDARWS is here for our members during these trying times with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time our offices will be closed to the public (doors locked), but still functioning Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm (CDT) we will continue to receive phone calls at 605-556-7219 and to check and respond to emails. We will continue to monitor any changes of the COVID-19 pandemic and adhere to additional federal, state and local directives as they are issued and understood.
In closing, we remind everyone that it is your responsibility to keep your family, neighbors and fellow South Dakotans safe by following all Federal, State and Local guidelines dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the avoidance of group gatherings and the practice of social distancing.
Thank you and stay safe!
SDARWS is taking COVID-19 (Coronavirus) very seriously and feel it is a serious concern to our membership and other organizations as well. We will endeavor to pass along the most up to date information as it becomes available to us. Our National Association is doing the same and below is the most recent statement from NRWA on the matter:
The National Rural Water Association continues to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and recommends all water and wastewater utilities review the best and latest information on the following trusted websites:
At this time, existing safe management techniques in both drinking water and sanitation apply to COVID-19. Extra measures are not needed. In particular, disinfection treatment processes will facilitate a more rapid die-off of the COVID-19 virus. Provision of safe water, sanitation, and hygienic conditions play an essential role in protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Frequent and proper handwashing is one of the most important prevention measures for COVID-19. Good and consistently applied hygiene in communities, homes, schools, workplaces, marketplaces and health care facilities will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of COVID-19.
This outbreak continues to evolve and information changes daily. Similar to past viral outbreaks of this magnitude, COVID-19 is something to be taken very seriously. NRWA will continue to monitor the situation and is following the guidance of leading health authorities. Any impact to technical assistance, training programs, meeting and/or conferences will be posted prominently at https://nrwa.org/initiatives/covid-19/.
The National Rural Water Association (NRWA) is the country’s largest public drinking water and sanitation supply organization with over 31,000 small and rural community members dedicated to drinking water quality, environmental protection and public health protection. Safe drinking water and sanitation are generally recognized as the most essential public health, public welfare, and civic necessities.
In addition to the foregoing, NRWA has also made available a template to “Continuity of Operations Plan” (COOP) for Water Systems during an Influenza Pandemic. The template is broadly written but contains some good information for systems to study and utilize if it becomes necessary. You can find the COOP template here: https://nrwa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Influenza-Pandemic-Continuity-of-Operations-Plan-Template.pdf
EPA COVID- 19 Drinking Water and Wastewater Website: https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater
Incident Action Checklist for Pandemic Events: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/pandemic_iac_final_032620_508_fillable.pdf
Incident Action Checklists for Water Utilities: https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/incident-action-checklists-water-utilities
SDARWS COVID-19 Related Cancellations
2021 ANNUAL TECHNICAL CONFERENCE CANCELED
The South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems (SDARWS) regretfully announces the cancellation of the 2021 Annual Technical Conference (ATC), which had been scheduled for January 12–14, 2021. The SDARWS Policy Committee met on Friday, October 16, 2020 (via Zoom), to discuss the future of the conference. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to cancel the ATC for 2021. This decision did not come lightly. After all of the evidence was presented, the Policy Committee felt there were significant issues and obstacles to overcome. It was conceded that cancellation was the safest, clearest, and most sensible option available. We understand the ATC's impact and value on our membership – our water and wastewater professionals, and our industry members. We are deeply disappointed that we are unable to host the event this coming January and fervently hope that COVID-19 will be behind us soon. For now, we look forward to gathering back together on January 11-13, 2022, for a spectacular ATC.
SDARWS Board of Directors
In these uncertain times, we would also like to remind everyone that it is your responsibility to keep your family, neighbors and fellow South Dakotans safe by following all Federal, State and Local guidelines dealing with group gatherings and social distancing.
CORPORATE SPONSORS OF SOUTH DAKOTA RURAL WATER
Office Hours: M-F 8:00am - 4:30pm
203 W. Center Street | PO Box 287
Madison, SD 57042
605.556.7219 (p) | 605.556.1497 (f)
301 Seaton Circle | PO Box 815
Spearfish, SD 57783
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