Archive | Wastewater RSS for this section

Office of Community Services highlights MAP’s work in South Dakota

The Office of Community Services (OCS), an Office of the Administration for Children and Families, recently highlighted MAP’s work, funded by OCS, in Coleman, South Dakota.

“The City of Coleman, South Dakota, requested MAP assistance to help address discrepancies in water records, water main breaks and areas of stagnant water.  The city’s current water meters had become obsolete and unserviceable. MAP helped the city develop and submit the State Water Plan Application and funding applications.  MAP helped secure funds for additional meter and water main projects and they will help the City of Coleman repair and/or replace all the water mains in the entire community.”

“With funding from ACF’s RCD program, MAP continues to work with the community as part of the Water Main Project and helps to ensure that the people of the City of Coleman have a safe, secure and clean water and wastewater infrastructure.”

To read the article in its entirety click here.

If your community is in need of water or wastewater technical assistance, visit our website,, for more information.


Wastewater treatment: The technical parts explained for non-technical people

RCAP’s A Drop of Knowledge October issue on wastewater treatment is out! To read the issue click here, and to subscribe to the e-newsletter click here.

Minnesota’s Infrastructure – in trouble??

An article by Jeremy Dennison recently published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune brings to light the fact that “Most sewer and sanitation systems last between 30 and 50 years.  Many of Minnesota’s are as old or older, and they could fail at any point.”  The work that MAP does in Minnesota communities, as well as our eight other states, deals directly with helping to fix this very issue.  Why wait for these systems to fail?  Let’s act now.  Click here to read the article in its entirety, and if you’re a small community in need of assistance, visit the MAP website to see how we can help.

Major Advance Made in Generating Electricity From Wastewater

A recent news release announces that Engineers at Oregon State University have made a breakthrough in the performance of microbial fuel cells that can produce electricity directly from wastewater, opening the door to a future in which waste treatment plants not only will power themselves, but will sell excess electricity.  Researchers say this could eventually change the way that wastewater is treated all over the world, replacing the widely used “activated sludge” process that has been in use for almost a century. The new approach would produce significant amounts of electricity while effectively cleaning the wastewater.  This could have an impact around the world, save a great deal of money, provide better water treatment and promote energy sustainability.  The findings have just been published in Energy and Environmental Science, a professional journal.

Click here to read the news release in its entirety.

Do you find this as exciting as we do?  We would love to hear your comments!

A Solution to our Nation’s Water Crisis?

San Diego Wastewater Pilot Plant

The United States is facing a water crisis.  We use more water than the system can naturally replenish, and we abuse the supply we have.  Water touches every aspect of your life from drinking water to the manufacturing of every day products.  While we can’t “make” more water, there is one solution to water shortage problems that addresses issues of both quality and supply:  recycling wastewater.   A new pilot plant near San Diego and a national “NEWater” program in Singapore show it’s practical to turn wastewater into water that’s clean enough to drink.  Yet, in most of the world, we are resistant to do so.  Why?  While recycled water may be a smart and clean way to manage our water supply, our primitive instincts are more programmed to fear the murky water hole than to worry about climate change, new contaminants and population growth.  We should think green, but we can’t help thinking brown.  In the following video, Paul Rozin, does an excellent job explaining why we feel fear and disgust when addressing this issue:  (Some material excerpted from New York Times article “Taking the Waste Out of Wastewater” by Jessica Yu, published April 21, 2012)


Energy Use Assessment Tool Available from the US EPA

A few weeks ago MAP staff conducted an energy audit in Windsor, MO.  The completed audit will contain recommendations for reducing energy costs in their city offices and water and wastewater utilities.  Let’s face it – in this economy, we’re all looking for ways to save money. has posted information on their blog about an easy-to-use tool developed by the US EPA to help small-to-medium sized water and wastewater systems conduct a utility bill and equipment analysis to determine their individual baseline energy use and costs.  This is a great first step before conducting a full-scale energy audit.  You’ll also find a handout you can download that explains Understanding Your Electric Bill, as well as information about an upcoming US EPA webinar that will help you to find out how your system can become more energy-efficient by using this simple tool.

MAP Staff Visit Pine Ridge Reservation

MAP Staff at Pine Ridge Reservation

MAP has assisted the Oglala Sioux Lakota Tribe with numerous water, wastewater and solid waste projects.  Yesterday, MAP staff visited the Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing Authority, the newly renovated Pine Ridge lagoon system, and the lagoon system at Wounded Knee.

Pine Ridge is located in southwestern South Dakota and is the second largest reservation in the United States in area; approximately 3400 mi2.   The reservation has very little economic development and receives a majority of its income from leasing of agricultural land.  Currently, the Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing Authority is seeking federal assistance to renovate the Wounded Knee wastewater system.  This system’s stabilization ponds were constructed in the late 1960’s and early ‘70’s.  The ponds do not discharge wastewater/effluent.  The interior liners of the ponds have been compromised and no longer function.  As a result, the ponds hold little or no wastewater and allow most of the wastewater to escape to the local groundwater with little or no treatment.  As a result the lagoon system has fallen out of EPA compliance.  Pine Ridge has 16 wastewater systems.  A study in 2007 showed many of these systems are in need of some level of renovation.

A Job American’s Can’t Live Without

Recently, Reader’s Digest posted an article “10 Jobs Americans Can’t Live Without.” Lo and behold, water/wastewater treatment plant and system operators fell second on the list! As an organization that dedicates itself to the well-being of communities, specifically in the water and wastewater fields, this did not come as a surprise. However, it never fails to surprise me how many people take water and wastewater (your toilet flushes and the waste miraculously disappears) for granted.

I’ve had the privilege to work with some water/wastewater operators and technical assistance providers here at MAP, and every one of them is extremely proud to assist the communities they work in, ultimately supplying that community with safe drinking water. A quick overview of what an operator does can be found here.

If you are interested in a rewarding career that offers job security and personal satisfaction, check out Work for Water and! These sites will equip you with the necessary information to begin your career in the water and wastewater fields.

MAP staff participates in Energy Audit

Today, ten MAP staff are in the community of Windsor, MO, population 2,901, conducting an energy audit. Scott Strahley, from the Ohio RCAP, is assisting our staff with this energy audit to enable MAP to assist other small communities going forward. This audit will provide Windsor with recommendations for reducing energy costs in their city offices and water and wastewater utilities.

MAP staff and the City Operator examine a lift station at the Windsor lagoon.


Serving rural communities since 1979

RCAP Solutions News

Resources for Communities and People

Rural Futures Lab

Serving rural communities since 1979

%d bloggers like this: