Small Systems Committee
Jon Meyer, Chair
Hydraulic fracturing has become a hot topic in recent years after it became known that, after hydraulic fracturing in the State of New York, some residents' water actually became flammable! The oil & gas industry has slowly been moving westward, and has been leasing mineral rights in the State of Illinois in recent years; especially in the southern portion of the State where the New Albany shale is located.
The controversy with hydraulic fracturing is the injection of contaminants, such as fuels, into the ground, leading to the potential for groundwater contamination by these fluids as well as the oil and gas that are released due to this process. This is an especially sensitive issue for small water systems in the State whose primary source of water is generally groundwater.
Because hydraulic fracturing is exempted from the Clean Water Act, in April, 2012, the U.S. EPA issued a Memorandum of Agreement among the U.S. Departments of Energy and Interior and U.S. EPA about Collaboration on Unconventional Oil and Gas Research. The U.S. EPA expects to release a progress report of this study this year, and a final draft report for peer review and comment in 2014. Until then, you are encouraged to visit the national AWWA Small Systems website and click on the links regarding hydraulic fracturing to stay informed regarding this issue as well as to view the other tools and issues presented on this page.
The Small System Committee is continuing to plan for WATERCON 2013, and will continue its Small Systems track on Operators Day. This track is geared towards more "nuts-and-bolts” training, and we hope those of you who attend will enjoy the program.
All of my fellow committee members deserve credit, and over the coming issues of Splash I would like to introduce you to each of them. This month, I would like to highlight Mr. Steve Wilson who is a groundwater hydrologist with the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). Steve has worked with the ISWS since 1983, completing projects generally focused on the Mahomet Aquifer and arsenic problems in small community and non-community water supplies. Steve also manages the website http://www.smallwatersupply.org/. This website provides users with free resources and support for water and wastewater operators. He holds a BS in Agricultural Science and Agricultural Engineering and MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Steve is a member of the National Ground Water Association, the Illinois Rural Water Association, and the Illinois Section of the AWWA. In addition to serving on the Illinois Section Small Systems Committee, he also serves on AWWA's Small Systems Outreach Services Committee and is a Trustee for the AWWA Small Systems Division. I would like to thank Steve publically for the effort, time, and commitment he has made into helping make this Committee enjoyable and successful.
Please visit our page on the new ISAWWA website for more information regarding the Small System Committee. If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-780-7754.