The Ohio Rural Water Association (ORWA) Executive Director Joseph Pheil recently released the association’s 2018 Quality of Life Recap report stating, “We are extremely proud to announce that throughout this past year we remained diligent to our mission, and we did it to the tune of nearly $3 million for our Rural Ohio water and waste water systems.”
Additionally, based on federal funding for the year of about $600,000, ORWA provided on its own a net total of over $2.2 million. Clearly, ORWA’s grant management is excellent.
This final total is a true testament to the determination, skills and services ORWA provides, as the association fought through staffing issues in 2018, and developed great new services, such as templates for Asset Management Programs, and most recently, the integration of GIS mapping capabilities for smaller Ohio systems.
The ORWA staff spent much time in 2018 helping with compliance of new legislation that requires all water systems in Ohio to have an Asset Management Program. ORWA developed and is sharing an asset management template to assist and guide small rural systems with these new requirements.
Additionally, toward the end of 2018, ORWA developed the capability to provide GIS Mapping for member systems, which many do not have the available funds or staffing expertise to create or pay for on their own. ORWA estimates that their GIS Mapping assistance will save each individual system about $12,000.
Since 1976, ORWA has provided free onsite technical assistance to rural communities with water and wastewater systems throughout Ohio. Today, they continue to expand the base of benefits they provide to its members. Their system members provide water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.01 million Ohioans.