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COVID-19 Resources

 

Texas Rural Water Association is committed to supporting rural water utilities across the state during this time of uncertainty.  Water systems play a vital role in public health and Texas Rural Water Association is here to help systems put measures in place that ensure seaml­­ess operations during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.



Click Here to Browse Updates/Links 

 


 

 

Clean, affordable, and accessible water service is fundamental to public health and thriving communities. Water systems must commit to a future where everyone can rely on safe water service.

 

Click here to endorse the principles of recovery and relief for water.

 


National Rural Water Association's Coronavirus Update from CEO Sam Wade [Click Here]
April 7, 2020


 

Texas on Tap Consumer Magazine:
In times of uncertainty, it's important to reassure customers. It's not too late to sign up to participate in our next issue of Texas on Tap — we'll handle it all, you just provide any custom messaging (if any) you'd like included. This issue will feature: 

  • Your Texas Water Supply is Safe Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak
  • What Not to Flush - Disinfectant Wipes
  • Abandoned Private Water Wells; Cybersecurity During a Pandemic
  • Water System Employees Deemed Essential During COVID-19 Crisis
  • Consumer Confidence Reports

 

 

Coronavirus/COVID-19 discussion forum

Log in with your username and password to connect with each other, share ideas, protocols and response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

Click here to join the conversation!


  1. We ask that all participants remain respectful to other members at all times and that all posts should be professional and courteous. You have the right to disagree with your fellow community members and explain your perspective; however, you may not attack, insult or belittle fellow participants.
  2. Keep the discussion on topic. Messages posted in the wrong topic area will be removed by moderators and placed into a correct thread if necessary.
  3. No spam or advertisements. Any automated messages or promotions will be deleted by moderators.
  4. Don't post any sensitive information in the forum. If you would like to share personal information, do it with another user directly, not in the forum.
  5. Please remember that this is a resource and information sharing group created so our member systems can help and support each other during this trying time. If you have any questions, please reach out to a moderator.

 


 

All new resources will be posted here.
Please send new, relevant information to editor@trwa.org

 

This page was last updated on April 7, 2020. 

 

 

Legal Resources

 

Operational  Resources

 

Regulatory Resources

Essential Worker Letters for Your Employees

Updated 4/3/20: Water utilities should be proactive in providing their essential employees with documentation of employment in the event they are stopped on their way to or from work by officials enforcing shelter-in-place orders.  The EPA has developed this template letter that systems can customize for each essential staff person.
 

 

COVID-19 and Water Utilities: FAQ


Updated: April 1, 2020
Funding for water systems, how best to conduct business, elections, and annual meetings during these uncertain times; relaxation of the Texas Open Meetings Act to allow for telephone/videoconference meetings.

 


Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave

 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 

 

Coronavirus Legal Update for Members


Governor Paves Way for Districts and Cities to Postpone Elections; Coronavirus Economic Relief Bill Heads to President Trump’s Desk for Signature

 

Employment Law and COVID-19
A helpful guide for employers striving to maintain a healthy workplace while conducting their vital business operations + an analysis of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.


New Federal Paid Leave Laws
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, Emergency FMLA for School Closures or Lack of Paid Childcare, Tax Issues Relating to Both New Types of Paid Leave

 

The Power of Partnership for Public Water Systems

During this uncertain time, it is especially important to consider the power of partnership to aid in your daily scope of work. Please consider what resources you could share with a neighboring system, and vice-versa (chemicals, operators, knowledge). Read our latest blog post to learn more!

 

NRWA Rural Water Issues Advisory

  • Senate Fails to Pass Initial Procedural Vote on $1.6 Trillion Economic Stimulus Legislation
  • State Rural Water Associations Coordinating Temporary Water Operator Resources for
    Communities Experiencing Personal Shortages and Coordinating Mutual Aid Agreements with
    Neighboring Communities
  • Federalism’s Limits Tested During the National Emergency
  • Americans Coping With the Coronavirus Are Clogging Sewage Systems
  • and more!


Coronavirus Readiness for Water Utilities


Water systems play a vital role in public health and Texas Rural Water Association is here to help systems put measures in place that ensure seaml­­ess operations during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.


American Water Works Association Recommendations

Information on postponing water shutoffs

 

TXWARN Mutual Aid Assistance
Accordingly, TRWA's partner the Texas Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (TXWARN) is compiling a pool of certified water and wastewater operators who might be available to provide emergency on-site assistance to other systems.

 

AWWA Webinar
Utility Actions to Sustain Operations During COVID-19

 

EPA Updates/Resources
The agency is taking these important considerations into account as we all continue our work to protect human health and the environment. Accordingly, EPA has issued a temporary policy regarding EPA enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic:

 

PUC Halts Utility Shutoffs during COVID-19 Emergency

In case you missed it in our Weekly Pipeline on Friday, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) issued an order on Thursday, March 26, 2020, which bans disconnection of water and power service by privately owned utilities and requires them to put customers on deferred payment plans.  The order lasts until the governor’s ongoing disaster declaration is terminated. 
 
Although it only applies to investor-owned utilities, water supply corporations, districts, and cities are also encouraged to voluntarily implement similar measures to avoid negative press and possible legislative repercussions in the future. 
 

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19

USDA-Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including a relaxation of certain notice and onsite inspection requirements for borrowers with loans from the USDA Rural Utility Service (see page 2 of attached PDF).


TCEQ Occupational Licensing Update

Expiration of Occupational Licenses
TCEQ is extending the expiration dates of all occupational licenses expiring in March and April of 2020 by 30 days.  In addition, TCEQ is aware that occupational license holders may be having difficulty completing their continuing license holders are encouraged to seek online training opportunities, when possible.

Exams
In the interest of safety, paper exams have been cancelled through May 2020. In addition, CBT testing is not currently available. Therefore, TCEQ is extending the validity of new applications until testing is available. If you have an approved application on file, you will not be required to reapply and pay the application fee again. For other questions or concerns, please email licenses@tceq.texas.gov.

TCEQ will continue to monitor the situation closely and modify this policy, as necessary.

TCEQ Guidance for Public Water Systems

Information to assist public water systems to minimize impacts due to the COVID-19 outbreak.


EPA: Coronavirus and Drinking Water and Wastewater
EPA is providing this important information about COVID-19 as it relates to drinking water and wastewater to provide clarity to the public.

 

CDC: Water Transmission and COVID-19

Drinking Water, Recreational Water and Wastewater: What You Need to Know


 

 



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