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E-Splash February 2014 - Chair Report
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash - February 2014

Chair's Report
John Van Arsdel

Greetings to all my fellow ISAWWA members. Yes… winter is here and another new year has been ushered in. It is during this time that we see changes, not just in the weather but also in ourselves. Interestingly enough, life is what happens while you plan for your life. The same happens in the world of water.

Recently, my water heater began indicating it was on its last couple of gurgles, so I decided to take a pre-emptive strike and change it out before my wife told me it had died. On Christmas Day, I was blessed with having to clean the major drain lines leaving my house. I got a great personal close up view of the "Total Water Concept” very quickly, in a matter of a few short days. My furnace decided after that to give an additional small measure of grief on the Sunday before the New Year with an igniter going out (yep… a $20 part that the big box hardware stores don’t carry) so a call to a local furnace guru had to be made on a chilly Sunday.

In the world of water we are challenged with making decisions that impact lives every day. Disaster preparedness is one of the many issues that have to be dealt with. My personal experiences, as mentioned above, despite having a pre-emptive action for the water heater, knowing what to do with a main drain issue, and having quick access to get a $20 part replaced even at a premium call out labor price, is nothing compared to what others recently had to deal with in Washington, Illinois and other locations when a tornado forever changed the lives of many in the matter of a few seconds. I did think of these folks while I dealt with my small troublesome issues. I never complained, moaned, or even cursed my luck. You see, life happens while you are planning for your life. It can change so fast with lasting results. My heart goes out to those who lost so much.

The Total Water Concept will be demonstrated in March at our WATERCON ’14. Here we will be providing the largest annual water conference in the State of Illinois. The joint conference will have a myriad of sessions to attend for continuing education, as well as the expanded exhibitions. There will be plenty of opportunities to network with other water professionals, watch or participate in water events testing the knowledge of operators and managers alike. Bring some money to be able to participate in the Water for People Silent Auction as well as the cash rich 50/50 raffles. Several hundred dollars could very easily find you! Attendance at this event should be a goal of any water/waste water professional. The benefits of attendance will provide plenty of incentives to continue attending year after year. Please join us for a great experience that you will surely remember!

This has been a time for me to reflect a bit on what the ISAWWA has accomplished in the past year.

 We adopted a strategic plan setting some ambitious goals for the organization. Those plans include the Total Water Concept much in line with the AWWA Association.

  • All the committees have set new goals and objectives.
  • Membership levels have been holding above the national averages.
  • Water for People has been revitalized, with Dennis Ross taking the reins. When Dennis asks for help, please give.
  • The Education Committee has set a full schedule of classes and sessions for operators.
  • The Water Efficiency Committee has set up the Water Efficiency Award.
  • The Distribution Committee has outgrown their 1-day conference location and will have this year’s daylong event at a new location.
  • The Source Water Committee assembled a response to the proposed IDNR Fracking rules.
  • Northern Illinois University Students completed their study of our Section and provided some new concepts on how to better push the ISAWWA message. This was a huge effort!
  • MAC Committee is continuing to do a bang up job with WATERCON.

I know I missed a lot of other items. We have a well-oiled machine that operates very efficiently with our staff. With their help there will be plenty of new opportunities in ’14 for everyone to be part of. Some of those include:

  • Assistance with party planning for our own John Donahue who will take the office of AWWA President in Boston at ACE ’14.
  • Planning for ACE ’16 in Chicago.
  • Participation in any of the many committees that we have. Please do not hesitate to join in. These committees do a lot of work but have a lot of fun doing it.
  • Distribution Committee will have their one day event.
  • T-CON will show everyone how to take full advantage of technology.
  • Water for People will bring back their golf outing.
  • Possible changes in the District Trustees. I will let Chris Ulm talk about that in his column.

It seems that the year has raced by so fast. I know that as I reflect on the "lessons learned” for the year, I can certainly be thankful for the full support of the Board, the professional staff, and especially the membership. Without the membership, we would not have anything. I have been truly blessed to be able to have served as Chair for such a great group of talented water professionals. You folks really need to understand just how great you really are. Lots of you consider yourselves to be "ordinary folks”. If that is the case, we have so many ordinary folks doing extraordinary tasks every day, treating water, delivering water, and collecting and treating waste water. What a great "Total Water Concept”!

Next year promises to have great potential. Please become active in our organization.


Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Splash Summer 2015 PDF (8.83 MB)  more ] Administration 7/6/2015
SPLASH ADVERTISING_2015 PDF (2.12 MB) Administration 11/18/2014
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