An Open Letter From An Operator

Hello everyone, my name is Jeffrey Fish. I recently accepted the first “Operations Specialist” position created by Commonwealth Engineers. Commonwealth established this position to provide operator assistance and better collaboration from an operator’s perspective on projects, thereby improving long-term operational success. Operators have an influential voice, and Commonwealth is making sure we have a seat […]

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Water and Wastewater Workforce – the Impending Challenge Part 5 – With Challenge Comes Opportunity for Improvement!

Given the impending challenge and historical benefits of long-term broad concept partnerships between municipalities and their engineering consultant, Commonwealth has decided to expand our service offerings to include Operations Assistance. Commonwealth’s intention for offering this service is to reduce the cost of operating and maintaining water and wastewater utilities, trouble-shoot and resolve more complex operational […]

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Water and Wastewater Workforce – the Impending Challenge Part 4 – The Consulting Engineer & Contract Operator; a Historical Disconnect.

Commonwealth Engineers, Inc. (Commonwealth) has been providing water resource planning, design, construction administration, inspection, and regulatory compliance services for communities throughout the State of Indiana for over 45-years. Over this time, we have serviced many Indiana municipalities (large and small). Commonwealth has long-standing and on-going relationships with many of our partner municipalities. But, far too […]

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Water and Wastewater Workforce – the Impending Challenge Part 3 – Why is Having an Experienced and Diligent Water & Wastewater Operator So Important?

EPA authorizes most states to have primary enforcement responsibility “Primacy” for the Safe Drinking Water Act and authorizes most states to operate their own clean water discharge permitting program.  Per EPA regulations, states are to have inspection programs for these utilities.  Of the two-hundred-eighty-four (284) Community Drinking Water System inspections recently completed in the State […]

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Certified Validators are Here! Water Loss Audits – 2020 Updates and Validation Requirements

All metered community water systems are required to perform annual Water Audits and “Validated” Water Audits in every even-numbered year. The first Validated Water Audit is due on August 1, 2020.  Commonwealth has attended the inaugural training session and now has 2 certified Water Auditors and Validators to assist you with both the assembly of the […]

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Water and Wastewater Workforce – the Impending Challenge Part 2 – When did Finding a Certified Operator Become so Difficult?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected that 8.2 percent of existing water and wastewater operators will need to be replaced annually between 2016 and 2026 (Source: https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/689621.pdf). Limited information is available to determine whether retirements, or other workforce needs, are affecting drinking water and wastewater utilities’ abilities to comply with the Safe Drinking […]

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Water and Wastewater Workforce – the Impending Challenge Part 1 – The Water & Wastewater Utility Operator

According to a 2016 Government Accountability Office study (Source: https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/687261.pdf), there are approximately 52,000 drinking water and 16,000 wastewater utilities in the United States. These utilities vary widely in the number of people they serve, but the majority serve fewer than 10,000 people. Water and wastewater utility operators are required to run the equipment, control […]

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Flora, Indiana Water Treatment Plant Open House

On October 18, 2019, the Town of Flora, Indiana had an open house for their new and improved water treatment plant.  At this open house, they were able to educate high school engineering students from Carrol Consolidated School Corporation as well as the 6th-grade class.  With help from Commonwealth Engineers, Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission, Indiana […]

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Water Loss Audits – 2020 Updates and Validation Requirements

In 2016 water utilities across the State participated in a “WhyFi Water Audit” through the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA). This audit was intended to allow for a statewide assessment of water loss throughout our utilities.  552 utilities participated in this data collection initiative resulting in the IFA published a report titled “Evaluation of Indiana’s Water […]

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EPA Proposes Revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR)

Lead and copper enter drinking water primarily through plumbing materials. They can be problematic since exposure to these chemicals may cause health problems ranging from stomach distress to brain damage. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) to reduce exposure from drinking water in at-risk communities and […]

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