Government Affairs Update August 2022

gov't updatePFAS, Biosolids, and Drinking Water
As the waste industry awaits new federal guidance, states are developing regulations and laws on how to manage PFAS in everything from packaging to clothing to biosolids. Learn more.

State governments have adopted new PFAS regulations, increasingly targeting contamination of biosolids and wastewater. Learn more.

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A Message From Your Managing Director

marie schmidtHello! I am thrilled and honored to join PNCWA as Managing Director. I will be taking on day-to-day operations of the organization with the support of Association Management Inc. (AMI), so that PNCWA leadership can focus on strategic priorities.

Water has always been a fascination of mine, as I’m sure it’s been for you. I have a bachelor's degree in environmental science and a master's degree in water resources, both from University of Idaho. Over the last decade, I worked for the University of Idaho in the Coeur d’Alene Community Water Resource Center providing water outreach throughout north Idaho. I am excited to shift my attention to a broader audience throughout Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. I bring extensive experience in community education, collaborative partnerships, and project management to this position, and I am eager to work with all of you in PNCWA’s commitment to sustain healthy watersheds for future generations.

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President's Message August 2022

Rob LeeAs I write this, we’re less than a month away from our conference. We have around 500 people registered, including many folks who weren’t able to attend last year and a number of new attendees. It’s going to be awesome!

But I also write this with some sadness, as this marks the last official President’s message before my term ends. I’m grateful to our membership who entrusted me with the incredible honor and tremendous responsibility of serving as Board President. I’m so incredibly proud of our Association, our board, our committee chairs and volunteers, our regions and sections. There is so much great work going on, more than any single person could possibly fathom.

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A New Way to Visit the Exhibit Hall


Exhibit Hall tours are a great way to learn about solution providers featured at the conference this year. The tours will place during the Exhibit Hall breaks on Tuesday morning (9:30 to 10:15 a.m.) and afternoon (2:45 to 3:30 p.m.). Check the technical program at the conference for the final schedule, meeting location, and CEU eligibility. A preliminary list of vendors is provided on our website, and the Emerging Technologies Committee extends our gratitude to all the exhibitors who showed interest in participating. See the list of participating companies below.

Preliminary Exhibit Hall Tours

Tour Category Technology Manufacturer
Pumping Systems ABS Contrablock Plus Sulzer
  Barnes Envie3 Chopper Pump Barnes
  Hidrostal Screw Centrifugal and Prerostal Hidrostal
  Hydromatic Grinder pumps Hydromatic
  Pump Monitoring Tools Fluke

Collection Systems CIPM (cured-in-place manhole)
fiberglass/PVC liners
CIP Construction Technologies
  SL-RAT: Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool InfoSense
  Triton+ Flow Monitor and ECHO level monitor ADS Environmental
  Magnesium Hydroxide (ALKA-Mag+) IER
  Sherwin-Williams Linings/Coatings Sherwin-Williams

StormSensor StormSensor
   stormBLOX™ SiC Rapid Storm Treatment
   ADS Triton+ Flow Monitor and ADS ECHO
level monitor
ADS Environmental
   KSB KRT and Amarex product line KSB
   Storm King Hydro International

Treatment     Duron UV Technology Wedeco/Xylem
  Packaged Treatment Systems AWC Solutions
  GritCleanse™ fluidized bed grit washer Hydro International
  ABS HST Turbocompressor Technology Sulzer
  Blue Wale Micro Bar Screen Or-Tec

Omnivore High Solids Digestion Anaergia
  Electro-osmosis dewatering ELODE
  Biosolids Treatment Technologies Ovivo
  Fournier Rotary Press Fournier
  Prestressed Concrete Modified Egg
DN Tanks

Ozzy Cup™ Screen Ovivo
  Cloud SCADA Platform XiO
  Bioforcetech Bioforcetech
  Anaergia PyroSys Anaergia

Welcome to Marie Schmidt, New Managing Director

marie schmidtThe Board of Directors conducted a thorough search, and we are pleased to welcome Association Management Inc (AMI) and specifically Marie Schmidt as PNCWA’s new managing director.

Marie earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a master’s degree in Water Resources, both from the University of Idaho. She previously worked as the Outreach Specialist for the Community Water Resource Center at the University of Idaho in Coeur d'Alene for 10 years. Marie has extensive experience organizing community outreach programs, developing K-12 watershed curricula, facilitating lake management stakeholder meetings, managing volunteer water quality monitoring, fostering collaborative partnerships, and instructing stormwater and erosion control workshops. Marie lives in Spokane, WA with her husband, two children and golden retriever, and she’s happiest with her feet in a river. Please join us in welcoming Marie and AMI to our PNCWA family, and feel free to drop them a line at [email protected].

President’s Message July 2022

Rob LeeOur mission is to be the premier association in the Pacific Northwest dedicated to educating and connecting members. As we head into our next annual conference in September in Spokane, I’m excited to report that PNCWA is in great shape to accomplish that mission.

As a volunteer-led organization, we’ve had to make some difficult decisions over the last few years (huge shout-out again to Adam McClymont and Haley Falconer for your leadership!). Those decisions have led us to where we are today. PNCWA is currently in one of the strongest financial positions of its existence, and that has enabled us to bring on staff to help manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. We believe PNCWA will be better able to fulfill its mission by shifting operational responsibilities away from volunteer leaders and enabling volunteers to focus on strategic leadership and thinking. It’s a huge step for the organization and for all who are involved in PNCWA. See more below for an introduction to Marie and AMI.

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Save the Date: Women of Water Summit

women of water

PNCWA is hosting the next Women of Water Summit in person at Seattle University’s Campion Hall on Thursday, October 6. Hear from women leaders in our industry speak to their passion for water and interest in protecting our environment, which led them to pursue fulfilling careers in the water industry. Open to all, the summit is a networking event including lunch and dynamic speakers. Look for more information in about one month.

Stormwater + RSJ Learning Hour

Join the Stormwater Committee and Racial & Social Justice Subcommittee (RSJ) learning hour on Thursday, August 25 at 12 p.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Mountain. Jule Schultz from the Spokane Riverkeeper will discuss their efforts as a nonprofit to advocate for the Spokane River while working hand-in-hand with the local tribes.
Passcode: Stormwater

Conference Service Event
Make sure you register for the upcoming PNCWA Annual Conference and sign up for the service event on September 11. Join fellow professionals and the Riverkeeper in downtown Spokane to clean up the Spokane River.

Lunch from local food trucks: 12-1 p.m.
River cleanup: 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Committee Spotlight: Stormwater

Historic Flooding in Yellowstone National Park
By: Shannon Kronz, EIT, Brown, and Caldwell

The beginning of the 2022 water year led to drought conditions throughout the Pacific Northwest region. In April, southwest Montana and surrounding areas experienced higher than average precipitation, which led to increased snowpack in the Yellowstone River watershed. A few months later, between June 10 and13, an atmospheric river brought 0.8-5 inches of rain to the Absaroka and Beartooth mountain ranges, located northeast of Yellowstone. The significant amount of rain from the atmospheric river also caused the snowpack to melt, which, combined, was equivalent to 4-9 inches of rain. The large quantity of precipitation caused historic flooding downstream on the Yellowstone River [1].

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Government Affairs Committee Update July 2022

gov't update

Discharge Monitoring Report – Quality Assurance Study Program:
Major and selected minor permittees under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program are required to participate in the annual Discharge Monitoring Report – Quality Assurance (DMR-QA) study program. DMR-QA evaluates the analytical ability of the laboratories that perform self-monitoring analyses required by their NPDES permit.

If you’re required to participate in DMR-QA, you must report results for the analytes listed in your permit, provided that they are also included in the DMR-QA study analyte list. Not all of the analytes listed on your NPDES permit may be included in an individual DMR-QA study, and you may voluntarily report additional study analytes not listed in your permit.

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EPA Water Workforce Initiative

Currently, water utilities face challenges in recruiting, training, and retaining employees — exacerbated by the fact that roughly one-third of the water sector workforce is eligible to retire in the next 10 years. Additionally, as the technologies used become more advanced, there is a growing need to train and employ water protection specialists with specialized technical skills. “America’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative” reflects a commitment by EPA and their federal partners to work with all water sector stakeholders to ensure that the workforce is strong, diverse, and resilient, and attracts talented individuals from many different backgrounds. This initiative serves as a catalyst for developing a robust, highly skilled, and sustainable water workforce for the 21st century. Check out the resources EPA has available for the water sector.

Government Affairs Committee Update June 2022

gov't updateWashington State Legislature gave Ecology’s Water Quality Program one-time funding in the 2022 legislative session to investigate and recommend an alternative for a nutrient trading structure. Ecology will manage the contracting process and is currently recruiting and selecting a consulting firm to do this work.

Proviso language: $350,000 of the general fund — state appropriation for fiscal year 2023 is provided solely for the department to recommend one or more draft structures for nutrient credit trading that could be used to efficiently and quickly achieve nutrient discharge reductions for point source dischargers covered under the Puget Sound nutrient general permit. By June 30, 2023, the department must submit a report to the appropriate committees of the legislature consistent with RCW 43.01.036 that summarizes the draft structure or structures and describes a tribal consultation and a stakeholder engagement process to solicit feedback on the draft structure or structures and any necessary statutory changes and funding.

President’s Message June 2022

Rob LeePacific Northwest, summer is upon us! After one of the wettest springs on record, I’m excited for what summer brings — time off with family and loved ones, baseball games, barbecues, and longer days. Summer also brings one of the busiest times in our industry, with construction projects humming along and the consistent need for planning and design improvements and upgrades to our vital infrastructure.

PNCWA is an organization founded on volunteers from within — folks who live and breathe the issues facing our wastewater industry on a daily basis. Each and every board member, committee chair, section leader, and volunteer represents not only us, but you and all of our membership. And that ensures that the education, programming, networking, and advocacy coming from PNCWA meets those challenges we all face head-on.

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PNCWA2022 Registration Now Open

Register Now

Register Now!

If it’s been awhile since you’ve stopped by our annual conference site, make sure you do soon! Thanks to our Planning Committee and volunteers, we have several updates to share.

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Run for Water 2022

Run for Water

Please join us for a beautiful 5k run/walk along the Spokane riverfront and help us turn the tide of the world’s water crisis by supporting Water For People. Water For People has already helped millions of people across 9 countries gain access to clean water, sanitation solutions, and hygiene education, and they continue to empower local communities and governments to invest in long-term water and sanitation solutions for lasting change. Click here to register. 

After the run, local food trucks will provide lunch for all participants from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

  • Event: 5k run/walk
  • Date: Sunday, September 11
  • Start Time: 11 a.m.
  • Starting/Ending Location: Forestry Shelter in Riverfront Park (run/walk will be a 5k loop)
  • Entry Fee: $35

Stormwater Committee News and Happenings


Summer vacation is on for the Stormwater learning hour. We’ll resume after summer break, so watch for future announcements of events to come.

Plan to join fellow stormwater professionals in a river cleanup event on September 11, 2022 at the PNCWA annual conference. It will be a full day of fun in Spokane, with Water For People kicking off the day with a fun run, lunch in the park, and working with the Riverkeeper to clean up the Spokane River. Look for the signup as part of fall conference registration!

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Meet the 2022 InFLOW Participants

InFLOW is a PNCWA initiative that strives to identify promising students and young professionals from underrepresented groups who are interested in careers in the water industry. They participate in a year-long virtual program that culminates in the in-person annual conference. Each month, we highlight our participants, like Madison Whitlow-Hewett, as they share why they’re excited about this year’s program.

Madison-Whitlow-HewettMadison Whitlow-Hewett
Clean Water Services
Westhaven Community Services District

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Sustainability Facility Spotlight - Puyallup Water Pollution Control Plant


The Puyallup Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) is an MLE activated sludge treatment plant with an average flow of 5 MGD. In the winter, the peak wet weather flow jumps up to 20 MGD. The WPCP discharges into the Puyallup River, which is a salmon bearing stream and has important historical and economic concern to the local Puyallup Tribal Nation. Because of these concerns, the WPCP has a very strict copper limit, and nutrient removal has been the goal for 20 years.

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RS&J Subcommittee Newsletter - May 2022

The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee May newsletter contains links to resources on Asian Americans Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month. The goal of the newsletter is to highlight diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and collect multimedia resources and book recommendations to advance learning and awareness of history, perspective, and action for environmental, racial, economic, and social justice.

The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e., essays, books, podcasts, etc.); membership organization RSJ/DEI programming (i.e., agencies, consulting firms); projects with RSJ elements; and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick at [email protected] with your ideas and suggestions.

President's Message May 2022

Rob LeeI’m writing this as I look out of my office window at the relentless rain we’re experiencing this spring (at least west of the Cascades). Yet I cannot help but marvel at what spring brings us: a reminder of new life. Flowers start to bud, trees bloom, birds return and sing to us in the mornings. And those relentless rains? They’re a reminder of the essential industry that we’re all in — protecting the critical waterways that are the backbone of our lives here in the Pacific Northwest.

I’m giddy with excitement for this new season. Our board met in person this past month as a mid-year check-in about the health and direction of PNCWA, and I’d love to share a few things with you all:

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