April’s Group meeting was held at Skagit PUD in Mount Vernon. Thank you Courtney Shilling for hosting this month. The meeting was called to order at 10:15am by Chair Jeff Kobylk, introductions were made and those in attendance were: Tim Cantwell Woodinville Water District, Robert Eastwood Retired, Scott Hallenberg City of Tacoma, Dylan Herndon Water & Wastewater Services, LLC, Past Chair Mick Holte City of Renton, Chair Jeff Kobylk City of Edmond, Bill Kuhlman Silver Lake Water & Sewer District, Treasurer Dennis McLaughlin Retired, Jason Moe Batman Testing, Jonathan Olson City of Bellingham, Courtney Shilling Skagit PUD, Jeff Davis City of Lynden, and Secretary Katarina Hirai Silver Lake Water & Sewer District.
The Group Treasurer Dennis reported the Group’s account balance as of April 16th, 2019 was $29,272.94 with the cost of the BAT forum being $2,191.95 and income of $240 in dues and $14.41 in bank interest. Dennis also received notice of a class action lawsuit regarding credit card charging overages that may include the Group. There is no action we need to take at this time, but there may be a possible settlement.
Jeff then introduced Scott Hallenberg from Tacoma Water to discuss incident response. Scott brought three types of training manuals with him to share with the Group. The first was a flow chart, which gives his employees direction on the steps to take during an incident. The second was Tacoma Water’s Incident Response Plan. The third, a large binder that many of you all probably have stashed on a shelf or in a drawer, his organization’s Emergency Response Plan. This opened discussion into the different levels of incident response from minor to major. When planning for a major incident, some things to consider are:
- Have your organization obtain GETS cards, if possible, to aid in communication during a large scale disaster (https://www.dhs.gov/cisa/government-emergency-telecommunications-service-gets).
- Allow for your employees to make sure their family is safe. This may mean having your emergency response plans include provisions for employees’ families.
- Make sure to take care of the responders. Provide for emergency kits, including food and water, in company vehicles.
- Provide for ICS Training for all levels of employees so they are aware of what to do in an emergency and can be effective responders (https://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/icsresource/index.htm).
For minor incident response, having a tool kit and response plan handy is a great idea. Some tools to consider for your incident response kit are:
- Phone – which can be used to store the contacts needed during an incident and also be utilized as a camera to document your response
- Tablet – these are great to use for notes or to fill out digital forms or to share photos and progress updates with those inside and outside your organization.
- Maps – either digital or paper
- Sampling Kit – should include equipment to test for chlorine, pH, turbidity, conductivity and temperature, plastic and glass sampling bottles, reagents, and the phone number for your lab. Make sure to practice proper collection techniques, which will not only aid you when an incident happens, but also allow you to rotate your reagent stock (be aware of expiration dates).
Lastly, Scott went over the pages that make up his organization’s Incident Response Plan. The first page is an introduction page that sets out the purpose of the document and how Tacoma Water categorizes a minor incident versus a major incident. The next page of the plan contains the key contacts that would be needed during an incident response. Though you may have these contacts in your phone, it is a good idea to also have them available in paper format too. These contacts should include personnel in water quality, operations, engineering, safety, and public information. Scott color coded his contacts by role. Other contacts included the State Department of Health and the Pierce County Health Department. The third page was a list of laboratories, both under contract and not, their contact information, contract number, and tests performed by that laboratory. The fourth page provided an outline for debriefing and writing the response report. The next pages of the plan consisted of templates for a notes page to use to document notes during the incident, a chemistry log sheet to note test results, and an email template to keep those that need updates in the loop. The last page consisted of a revision page that tracked the updates to the plan. This concluded Scott’s presentation.
A motion was then proposed by Bob Eastwood that the Group create a basic template for an incident response plan and post it to the Group’s website. Scott Hallenberg volunteered to complete a template to share on the Group’s website and once completed the Group will vote on posting it to the website.
Door prize drawings were held for a portable cell phone charger and a painting done by Dennis. Congratulations to Scott Hallenberg and Jeff Kobylk.
Bob Eastwood then made a motion to have a plaque made for Peggy Barton, who is retiring at the end of the month, and have it presented at the Seminar this year. Jeff seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The next item of business discussed was the upcoming Group Seminar. Brian Gumke and Katarina Hirai visited Brightwater to determine if their facility could accommodate the Group’s Seminar this year. Unfortunately, the space at Brightwater is not large enough to accommodate the number of attendees the Group is anticipating this year. However, Brian looked into the Lynnwood Convention Center and their facility would accommodate the Group’s needs for the Seminar. Mick motioned that the Group pursue rental of the Lynnwood Convention Center for the Seminar this year. Jason Moe seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
The last order of business was next month’s meeting, which will be held at the Bullitt Center in Seattle. There is limited parking in the area and it was decided that the Group would provide bus transportation from the Water Quality Labs to the Bullitt Center and back. However, to ensure enough space is available for all attendees, the Group is requesting that members RSVP for this meeting. Therefore, if you are planning on attending the May meeting, please RSVP to the Group Secretary Katarina Hirai at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1st. We will meet at the Water Quality Lab (800 S Stacy St, Seattle, WA 98134) at 9:15am, the bus will leave at 9:30am and drop us at the Bullitt Center (1501 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98122) around 9:45am, where a tour of the facility has been arranged. At the conclusion of our tour, we will then return on the bus at 11:30am to the Water Quality Labs and have a short Group meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 12:53pm.
The next meeting will be at the Bullitt Center and the Water Quality Lab in Seattle. Please RSVP.
Hope to see you at the next meeting!
2019 Group Secretary