Helping Small Communities for more than 30 years
Morgantown, WV— For nearly 25 years, the National Drinking Water Clearinghouse (NDWC), a signature program of the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) at West Virginia University, has helped thousands of small, rural communities with their drinking water, wastewater, environmental training, infrastructure resilience, and utility management needs—leading them to solutions to the problems they face.
Recent news stories illustrate why such a service is important—not only to West Virginia but to the country as well. Early in January 2015, West Virginia Public Broadcasting published a series about last year’s chemical spill into the Elk River in southern West Virginia. Thousands of gallons of a toxic chemical, known as 4–Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM), which was used to process coal, spilled upstream from a water treatment plant serving the state capital, Charleston, and surrounding areas. Around 300,000 West Virginia residents were left without potable water.
California continues to make headlines with its persistent state of drought. According to the Washington Post, it hasn’t rained yet this year in the state. The National Weather Service says that hasn’t happened in 165 years.
In August 2014 an algae-induced water emergency in Toledo left the metro region’s 500,000 customers with unsafe tap water for three days. Runoff from area farms and lawns, as well as wastewater treatment plants feeds the algae bloom in Lake Erie—which remains a problem for the city today.
These kinds of water crises happen daily. And WVU’s NDWC is here to help.
“The public has become increasingly aware of climatic impacts to the environment and the importance of infrastructure security,” says Gerald Iwan, director of the NESC. “They also realize the damage that industrial contamination associated with energy development can cause as well as the cost and dangers associated with an aging water and wastewater infrastructure. People want answers to the most pressing water problems of today. Problems that impact our small rural systems to an even greater degree due to their limited resources.”
The NDWC can help small, rural systems and communities with many issues. Our staff of environmental specialists, engineers, certified operators, writers, editors, and trainers is here to guide you through the latest technologies, regulations, and industry developments. We use this understanding to sort through journal articles, public relations media releases, personal interviews, and many other information sources so we can provide you with objective information and assist you in making intelligent decisions that affect your communities.
For more information about the NDWC, visit our website at http://nesc.wvu.edu. Or call us at 1-800-624-8301.
kj, NESC 02/24/2015
Contact Gerald Iwan at Gerald.Iwan@mail.wvu.edu 304-293-6894