EPA Tools and Resources Webinar: Monitoring Cyanobacteria with Satellites

EPA science in action

On Wednesday, November 15th from 3:00pm to 4:00pm (eastern), EPA will host a webinar to share information about how the use of satellite technology is now advancing to be used for water quality monitoring in lakes and reservoirs. During the webinar, EPA scientist Blake Schaeffer will highlight how federal agencies (EPA, NASA, NOAA and USGS) are collaborating to use real-world satellite applications that support environmental management of US lakes by quantifying cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) and related water quality parameters. This webinar will also discuss how provisional satellite derived cyanobacteria data and three different software tools are available to state environmental and health agencies for review and testing as part of the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN). State environmental and health agencies, tribes, communities, researchers and others interested in learning about ways to monitor cyanobacterial blooms are encouraged to attend. REGISTER HERE

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Hypoxia Task Force 2017 Report to Congress Highlights Nutrient Reduction Progress

hypoxiaThe Hypoxia Task Force has released its 2017 Report to Congress on the actions the federal, state, and tribal members have taken toward the goal of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) and shrinking the size of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. This is the second biennial Report to Congress, after the first one in 2015. It was developed and released in accordance with the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments (HABHRCA) Act of 2014. The Reports to Congress describe the progress made through activities directed by the Hypoxia Task Force toward attainment of the goals of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008 to:

  • Target vulnerable lands and quantify nutrient load reductions achieved through federal programs, subject to future appropriations.
  • Implement state nutrient reduction strategies, including targeting vulnerable lands and quantifying nutrient reductions.
  • Expand and build new partnerships and alliances with universities, the agricultural community, cities, and others.
  • Track progress towards the interim target and long-term goal, with intent to understand whether the current actions are appropriate to meet the goal.

The report does include basic information about nutrient impacts on drinking water sources and treatment, as well as specific challenges and actions the MARB affiliated states are taking to address them. To view the report and learn more about the Hypoxia Task Force, visit EPA’s website.

HABHRCA Report Submitted to Congress

Harmful Algal Blooms Report cover

On August 24th, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) submitted the “Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research Plan and Action Strategy: An Interagency Report” to Congress.  The report focuses on the relationships between federal partners and their stakeholders, and the challenges, concerns, and needs related to HABs and hypoxia, and their impact on Great Lakes regional interests and communities.  The report broadly recommends the following:

  • Improving comprehensive conservation planning;
  • Expanding ecological forecasting and modeling for HABs and hypoxia across the Great Lakes;
  • Refining and developing methods for detecting HAB-related toxins found in the Great Lakes;
  • Developing unified messages on the causes, risks, and mitigation efforts on HABs and hypoxia; and
  • Expanding and integrating information on current and potential future social and environmental impacts of HABs and hypoxia in the Great Lakes.

This report is the second step for fulfilling the requirements of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) legislation after the publication of the February 2016 assessment report.  This new report is attached to this article and will be posted on NOAA’s HABHRCA page in the near future.

Register Now for the ASDWA CWA-SDWA Webinar: Creative Uses of Clean Water Funding for Drinking Water Benefits

judy-reservoir_498x335

Date:  Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Time:  1:00 to 2:30pm (eastern), 10:00 to 11:30am (pacific)

REGISTER HERE

On August 29, ASDWA will host a Clean Water Act – Safe Drinking Water Act (CWA-SDWA) webinar entitled, “Creative Uses of Clean Water Funding for Drinking Water Benefits.”  The purpose of the webinar is to build on the efforts of ASDWA, ACWA, GWPC, and EPA to share and promote CWA-SDWA coordination activities across state and EPA water programs.  State, interstate, tribal, and federal water programs, water utilities, technical assistance providers, and anyone else who would like to participate is encouraged to attend.  During the webinar, presenters from the Virginia and Washington Drinking Water Programs and the Skagit Public Utilities District (in WA) will share how they collaborated with their state Clean Water Programs and other partners to creatively use some non-traditional funding routes to benefit their drinking water utilities, including one very small and disadvantaged water system.

June 22 AWRA Webinar on Online Source Water Quality Monitoring for Drinking Water Applications

awra june 22 webinar

This Thursday, the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) is hosting a free webinar about EPA’s guidance document entitled, “Online Source Water Quality Monitoring For Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems.”  During the webinar, Steve Allgeier of EPA will discuss the systematic process for designing an effective online source water monitoring system to help detect water quality incidents (e.g. spills and harmful algal blooms), optimize treatment processes, and characterize long-term trends.

Date:  Thursday, June 22, 2017
Time:  1:00pm (eastern)

Webinar participants will learn best practices on how to:

  • Identify source water threats and assess risks
  • Select water quality parameters and monitoring locations
  • Design water quality monitoring stations
  • Design information management systems to support data analysis
  • Develop procedures to respond to unusual source water quality conditions

Seating is limited – Register here!

 

WRF New Cyanotoxin Webcast Series to Start this Month

WRF HABs

The Water Research Foundation will kick off a new series of three webcasts this month to share the latest information and resources about cyanotoxins in drinking water.  All of these webcasts are being offered free of charge and are open to the public.  Following are the webinar topics, descriptions, and registration information.

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Development of a Risk Communication Tool Kit for Cyanotoxins

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

3:00pm – 4:00pm (eastern)

Register Online

This Webcast is designed to provide listeners with the necessary knowledge to develop and deliver effective cyanotoxin risk communications (WRF project #4697). Listeners will learn about specific attributes of the cyanotoxin risk management framework that can create potential communication barriers, for example the complexity of the EPA health guidance and the uncertainty inherent in monitoring and testing timing and protocol. Listeners will also be introduced to the linguistic research carried out during the project, which was used to develop recommended health advisory/alert language.

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Evaluation and Optimization of Cyanotoxin Analytical Methods

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

3:00pm – 4:00pm (eastern)

Register Online

This webcast will explore the results of Performance Evaluation of Methods for the Analysis of Cyanotoxins (project #4647). The goal of this project is to compare the Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA (Method 546) ADDA-ELISA methods and EPA Method 544, “Determination of Microcystins and Nodularin in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)” and investigate the inconsistencies between the methodologies as well as the precision and accuracies within each method. The findings for this project will be published in 2018; however, valuable preliminary findings will be shared during this webcast.

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Treatment Approaches for Managing Dissolved and Intracellular Cyanotoxins

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

3:00pm – 4:00pm (eastern)

Register Online

This webcast will highlight the effectiveness of conventional and advanced treatment processes for managing intracellular and extracellular cyanotoxins while minimizing unintended consequences. In addition, a summary of the Hazen-Adams CyanoTOX model v.2.0 will be presented. Case studies will be used to illustrate how the model worked at various utilities and will be used to provide a basis for evaluating treatment options.

EPA HABS Webinar on Treatment, Communications, and Management

EPA HABS

On Tuesday, June 27th from 2:00pm to 3:30pm (eastern), EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) will host a webinar entitled, “Harmful Algal Blooms: Treatment, Risk Communications Toolbox, and Management Plans,” as part of the EPA Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar Series.  During the webinar, EPA presenters will:

  • Share information about multiple EPA tools that facilitate proactive planning for harmful algal blooms, including the support document Recommendations for Public Water Systems to Manage Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water and the Cyanotoxin Management Plan Temple and Example Plans.
  • Provide a brief overview of drinking water treatment options for cyanobacteria and their toxins, focusing on the impacts of permanganate addition to suspensions of toxin-producing Microcystis aeruginosa, followed by powdered activated carbon addition.

Register for the webinar here

New State Water Agency Practices for Climate Adaptation on EPA’s Website

New state water agency practices for climate adaptation are now available on EPA’s website.  The compilation of these practices is the result of a collaborative effort by ASDWA, the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA), the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM), and EPA’s Office of Water.  ASDWA would like to give a big “thank you” to those states that contributed to this effort both this year and last year.  New state practices this year come from Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington, and we would like to add more in the future.  Two of the practices that should be of particular interest to state drinking water programs include New Hampshire’s Drinking Water Program Climate Resilience Program, and Oregon’s Harmful Algal Bloom Strategy.  For more information and to view the practices, visit the EPA website HERE.

Three New Water Story Map and Visualization Tools

SWC Nutrient Story Map:  The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) has launched a new interactive highly-visual Nutrient Story Map as part of its Learning Exchange.  This Story Map includes a variety of information about nutrient pollution problems and harmful algal blooms, as well as source water protection challenges and nutrient reduction success projects taking place across the country (see related article).

USGS Water Use Visualization:  The USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program has developed a new “How Much Water Do We Use?” data visualization tool  that highlights USGS data from 1950 to 2010. The visualization highlights how water is used differently in the east versus west half of the country, and shows water use trends for thermoelectric power, public supply, irrigation, and industrial withdrawals. An accompanying press release can be found HERE.

EPA Water Progress Story Map:   EPA has launched a new “Protecting America’s Waters” interactive, multimedia story map to highlight the progress made to protect America’s waters since 2009. This story map features the most prominent accomplishments within the following areas: clean water protection; drinking water safety; water infrastructure; community assistance; climate change resilience; and science and innovation. The story map is a snapshot of EPA’s ongoing efforts toward clean and reliable water.

 

Draft Human Health Recreational Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Cyanotoxins Published by EPA

EPA has just published and is now accepting comments on its draft human health recreational water quality criteria for the cyanotoxins microcystin and cylindrospermopsin.  These are the draft recommended concentrations of microcystins to protect human health while swimming or participating in other recreational activities in and on the water. Once final, states can consider adopting these criteria into their water quality standards and using them for Clean Water Act purposes. Alternatively, states can use these same values as the basis of swimming advisories for public notification purposes at beaches. The draft criteria and/or swimming advisories are based on peer-reviewed, published science and methods. EPA is also providing information on the latest science on human health effects from exposure to cyanotoxins, discussion of other governmental guidelines for recreational waters, and information on incidents involving exposure of pets and other animals to cyanotoxins.  EPA is accepting comments on the draft criteria document for 60 days.

For more information and to view the draft criteria, visit EPA’s website.  For questions, please contact Jamie Strong at strong.jamie@epa.gov.