A Successful Community Approach to Lower Flood Insurance

A Successful Community Approach to Lower Flood Insurance

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12), which sought to reform the nation’s nearly bankrupt National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by ending federal subsidies for insuring buildings in flood-prone areas, led to changes in how the NFIP determined flood insurance rates. Congress later modified BW12 through the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. [...]

Successful Public/Private Partnership in Inverness, Florida

Successful Public/Private Partnership in Inverness, Florida

The City of Inverness, Florida is home to more than 7,000 residents. In 2006, the relatively small city undertook an ambitious plan to upgrade its secondary treatment facility into a SCADA-monitored, tertiary-treatment facility that that would produce public-access reclaimed water and save 700,000 gallons of water per day. The City wanted to ensure service would [...]

February 17, 2015
Modern Water Demands Require Smart Rate Setting

Modern Water Demands Require Smart Rate Setting

Water utilities today face enormous demands. As Americans, we consume more water than any other nation in the world while paying much less than most other developed countries. Standards for water quality continue to rise, but users’ rates historically have not, leaving the cost to utilities themselves or local governments. Water is undoubtedly our most [...]

Posted in: Water
February 5, 2015
Is My Facility a Good Candidate for Combined Heat and Power? [Free Whitepaper]

Is My Facility a Good Candidate for Combined Heat and Power? [Free Whitepaper]

Eight percent of electric power generated in the United States comes from Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, which saves users over $5 billion each year in energy costs, according to the Department of Energy. However, there is the potential in this country to do a lot more. Countries such as Denmark, Finland, and the [...]

Posted in: Energy
January 29, 2015
Efficiency at the Energy-Water Nexus Offers Savings for Utilities

Efficiency at the Energy-Water Nexus Offers Savings for Utilities

The need for collaborative energy and water efficiency efforts has been recognized for at least the past couple decades, but is more important now than ever. The energy-water nexus, where energy and water needs intersect, can be a beneficial area for utilities to focus on, as it contributes to overall environmental health and savings for [...]

Posted in: Energy, Water
January 15, 2015
How to Maintain a Safe Synthetic-Turf Field

How to Maintain a Safe Synthetic-Turf Field

It is a common misconception that synthetic-turf fields do not require much in the way of maintenance. While maintenance is reduced when compared to what is necessary for natural-grass fields, it cannot be eliminated. I recently published an article on this subject in Parks and Rec Business magazine. In the article (titled, “Safeguard Your Assets”) [...]

Posted in: Environment
January 13, 2015
The Economic Benefits of Infrastructure Investment, Part I: Making the Case

The Economic Benefits of Infrastructure Investment, Part I: Making the Case

It is abundantly clear that our nation is not making adequate investments in infrastructure. As noted previously by another writer here, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave U.S. infrastructure a cumulative grade of D+. The ASCE estimates that an investment of $3.6 trillion is needed by 2020 to fund maintenance [...]

Preparing for Change: Assessing Infrastructure Vulnerability

Preparing for Change: Assessing Infrastructure Vulnerability

Climate change is a looming concern for many municipalities and utilities nationwide, particularly those in coastal areas. Infrastructure near coastlines is most immediately vulnerable to rising sea levels, and some states are predicted to lose large amounts of wetlands as water encroaches farther inland than it has in recent history. Extreme weather intensifies the already [...]

Posted in: Environment, Water
December 8, 2014
Outsourcing Can Save Overextended EHS Departments

Outsourcing Can Save Overextended EHS Departments

With all the demands on an organization’s time, it makes sense for certain functions to be outsourced. For areas like facility maintenance, outsourcing is an obvious choice, but many don’t consider outsourcing Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) programs. Research institutions, healthcare companies, and universities, among others, incur substantial costs from maintaining their EHS programs each [...]

November 18, 2014
Rate Setting Strategy Provides Long-Term Benefits to Utilities

Rate Setting Strategy Provides Long-Term Benefits to Utilities

For many communities, the only time much thought is given to utilities is when there’s a problem. If a utility performs its services seamlessly, it goes unnoticed. The ability to do this depends on adequate funding. Many utility programs are still being funded by local property tax, but this system is proving unsustainable; as improvement [...]

Posted in: Water
October 23, 2014