Providing abundant, low cost, high quality water/wastewater service to their customers used to allow utility providers to be somewhat invisible. The bills were small and systems could grow easily and inexpensively without significant regulation and control. With the ever changing political climate, increasingly stringent land use, water quality and environmental regulations and higher cost of providing service, consumers are becoming better informed about the operations of their utility providers.
The following information outlines the areas where Cedar River is working daily to protect the interest of our customers.
American Water Works Association (AWWA) This international organization sets standards for water quality and utility operations, provides public information and offers classes to maintain employee certifications. The AWWA works directly with the EPA, Congress and environmental groups to represent the interests of water utilities. The president of AWWA is from Portland and should be very familiar with the impacts of the recent listings under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and should help bring increased national attention to ESA related issues that impact the Northwest.
Consumer Confidence reports (CCR’s) These are annual reports required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued by water suppliers to their customers informing them of the chemical content, corrosiveness, purity and testing history of their drinking water.
East King County Regional Water Association (EKCRWA) This is an association of municipal water suppliers located to the east of Lake Washington that provides regional water planning services and that are pursuing the North Bend aquifer as a new regional water supply source.
Environmental Protection Policies and Best Management Practices (EPP’s and BMP’s) These are self imposed rules of operation prepared in coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service, and U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. They should reduce the environmental impacts of utility operations and offer some legal protection from third party lawsuits as a result of the ESA listings in the Puget Sound area.
Growth Management Planning Council (GMPC) This is a board mandated by the Washington State Growth Management Act that coordinates regional growth, develops policies regarding extensions of water and sewer service and the protection of environmentally sensitive habitat from development activities.
King County/Metro (KC) This agency is not only the general purpose government with jurisdiction over the unincorporated parts of King County, but also provides wastewater treatment services to approximately 36 municipalities by contract which expires in 2036. Regional wastewater supply planning services provided by Metro (KC) includes sitting of a third Lake Washington basin treatment plant, water re-use, and funding for ESA related salmon restoration projects.
Metro (K/C), Inflow and Infiltration study (I&I) The purpose of this study is to reduce inflow and infiltration into sanitary sewers and create additional treatment capacity in the County’s sewage treatment plants. Repairing sewer systems, and reduction of inflow and infiltration is less expensive than building larger treatment plants. This study may result in private property owners having to remove their downspouts and footing drains from the sanitary sewer system.
The Saving Water Partnership (SWP) The partnership, made up of Cedar River Water & Sewer District and its 18 water utility partners, has set a six-year conservation goal: reduce per capita use from current levels so that the SWP’s total average annual retail water use is less than 105 mgd from 2013 through 2018 despite forecasted population growth. For 2015, the Saving Water Partnership met the goal, using 96.9 mgd despite a record hot summer. Visit the Saving Water Partnership website to learn how you can further help conserve water as well as take advantage of money saving incentives and rebates offered by the Partnership.
Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts (WASWD) This is a statewide association whose members are water and sewer special purpose districts and consultants. They have pooled their efforts to represent the industry before local and state government, educate the public, provide employee and management education to enable an overall increase in productivity, reliability and accountability in service.
Washington State Auditors Office The State Auditor examines the financial records, resolutions, minutes, policies and procedures of districts on a routine basis.
By actively participating in these organizations, Cedar River’s Board of Commissioners and management team can best implement changes that are beneficial to the long term water and wastewater services of our customers and ensure regulatory compliance. Cedar River’s Board, management and staff endeavor to be responsible stewards of your utility payments.