Rural water is complicated. We make it simple for you.
In rural areas like ours, water and wastewater systems can feel isolated. If you’re in a rural water system or a municipality, it might feel like you’ve been left to your own devices to manage these systems. It’s a daunting task, but you don’t have to face it alone. The Illinois Rural Water Association (IRWA) is here to make it easier, and those of us at Heneghan and Associates, P.C. (HA) can help.
What is the Illinois Rural Water Association?
IRWA is a nonprofit that provides training and resources to small water and wastewater systems throughout the state. They work with both public and privately owned systems to help communities safely manage their water. IRWA and its parent organization, the National Rural Water Association (NRWA), promote the health and safety of water and wastewater systems by spreading their knowledge. The collaborative nature of IRWA and the rural municipalities within its purview allows them to share resources and tend to water systems throughout the state.
The result? Water that’s cleaner, safer, and easier to manage.
What Can IRWA Do For Me?
IRWA prioritizes “education, representation, and on-site technical assistance.” Through training seminars and outreach programs, they work directly with the people who oversee local water systems. The organization is often onsite, providing hands-on assistance to water system operators. In addition to this technical support, IRWA organizes training to promote the correct maintenance of water and wastewater systems. With their help, these systems can continue to deliver clean water to Illinoisans living in rural areas.
There are several programs that are designed to assist both communities and individuals. For example, many homes in our region get their water from private wells, which require homeowners to regulate their own water quality and quantity. Through initiatives supported by IRWA and NRWA, such as the EPA Private Drinking Water Wells Program, this is a much easier (and safer!) task. Additional IRWA programs, such as the Source Water Protection Program or Energy Efficiency Program, empower rural communities to improve their systems, thereby promoting the health and safety of their residents.
Water and wastewater professionals join IRWA to take advantage of the knowledge and technical assistance that IRWA provides, which are skills they can then pass on to their local board and council members or water personnel. The ultimate goal of IRWA is to increase the knowledge and professionalism of the water and wastewater system industry, and they invite anyone who is interested in learning more about water systems to look into their programs.
What is HA’s Role?
Heneghan & Associates, P.C. (HA) is a civil engineering and land surveying firm; many different tasks fall under those categories! We do a lot of work with water and wastewater systems, from the conceptualization of a water project all the way through to construction and use. If you need a consulting engineer or mapping services to help plan your system, we’re here for you. Tanks, well rehab, assistance with the treatment process, rehab and repair of water and wastewater systems — we do it all! After your system is up and running, we can even help with utility billing software.
Most of our offices are located in rural areas throughout southern Illinois, and our employees live in the towns we serve. We know these people; we know rural water. That’s why we’re so proud to work with IRWA and its municipalities to provide safe water and wastewater management for our communities.
Whatever help you need to manage your water or wastewater systems, IRWA and companies like us can provide guidance. Feel free to stop in during our office hours, or you can visit our website or call us at 618-498-6418.