SOUTH DAKOTA ASSOCIATION OF RURAL WATER SYSTEMS
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
SDARWS & SD RURAL WATER CENTER BOARD & COMMITTEE MEETINGS
April 1-2, 2020 - Red Rossa/Clubhouse Hotel, Pierre
In consultation with SDARWS President, Ron Gillen and due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 (aka “Coronavirus”) and out of an abundance of caution; the South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems and the Rural Water Center are CANCELING the Board and Committee meetings scheduled for April 1 & 2, 2020 in Pierre. We are working with an online system for conducting meetings and training in the interim, but that system will take some time to perfect and roll out, and would likely not be ready to test on a full board meeting by the 2nd of April. Items that require immediate attention will be brought before the Executive and/or Policy Committee(s) as deemed appropriate. It’s possible as well, that interim Committee meetings may serve as a launching pad for testing and utilizing the video conferencing service we are working with "ZOOM” Conferencing, the same system used by many public universities in SD to provide online instruction. SDARWS will proceed with posting Board packets and reports to the Online Community. You will receive a notification when those documents are available for download, but to reiterate, the meetings associated with those reports and packets have been canceled.
Any reservations made through the Rural Water room block for the nights March 31 - April 1 have been canceled for you. If however, you need a room at the Clubhouse of either of those nights for a purpose outside of the now canceled board/committee meetings, you will need to contact the Clubhouse at 605-494-2582 and make new reservations.
RURAL WATER EXPO
April 22-23, 2020 - Rapid City Ramkota
The Rural Water EXPO Steering Committee has made the decision to cancel the 2020 Rural Water EXPO, held at the Rapid City Ramkota due to the unprecedented circumstances with COVID-19. We look forward to working with you on future Rural Water events.
Anyone who has paid for a booth or attendee registration will receive a full refund. If you have made overnight sleeping room accommodations due to this event, please contact your hotel to cancel those reservations. The Ramkota’s front desk number is: (605) 343-8550
SDARWS FISHING TOURNAMENT
April 24-25, 2020 - Outpost Lodge, Pierre
The Rural Water Warriors Fishing Tournament committee made the decision to cancel this year's tournament due to the unprecedented circumstances with COVID-19. All paid registrants will receive a full refund. If you have made overnight sleeping room accommodations due to this event, please contact your hotel to cancel those reservations. The Outpost Lodge’s front desk number is: 605-264-5450. Questions can be directed to tournament director Mike Moeller at 605-270-4989, or VIA EMAIL
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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SOUTH DAKOTA ASSOCIATION OF RURAL WATER SYSTEMS