October 2013


Volunteer Spotlight
WQTC: Water Quality Technology Conference
Annual Summary Report
Utility Management Best Practices: "Value -vs- Price: Defining rates by the gallon makes water worth the price"

Volunteer Spotlight

Partnership volunteer Tom Simmons competes in what's considered world's longest non-stop river kayak/ canoe race

Volunteer Snapshot:

Tom Simmons: Water Quality Manager
Missouri American Water
Volunteer Position: General, PEAC Reviewer

Five Directors Award plants:
North WTP – 2001 | South WTP – 2001 | Meramec WTP – 2001
Joplin Blendville WTP – 2001 | Jefferson City WTP - 2002
Distribution Program Charter Member
Location: Chesterfield, Missouri

This summer Tom Simmons, Water Quality Manager with Missouri American Water, competed in the Missouri River 340 (MR340) kayak/canoe race  from Kansas City to St. Charles, Missouri.

The event claims to be the longest non-stop river race in the world. Heat, exhaustion and mental struggle are just some of the formidable obstacles Simmons faced; not to mention wing dykes, buoys, and barges that he encountered. Missouri American Water, Tom’s employer, has been the primary sponsor for the race for the past three years. In fact, the race is officially titled the Missouri American Water MR340.

MR340 Race Start

Start of the MR340 kayak/canoe race on the Missouri River
with just some of the 350 competing boats in view.

Simmons has been fortunate to participate and represent Missouri American Water in the race for the last two years. In 2012, extreme heat and a low river made the race very challenging. In that race Tom and a co-worker manned a tandem kayak and somehow they managed to survive their first MR340. This year, Tom opted to go it solo. The mental part was a bit more daunting without someone to talk to and share the misery with, but the real issues for the 2013 race were once again: a low river and some fairly significant headwinds. But Tom didn't complain very much since he was fully aware of how difficult it would be to finish the race, especially within the allotted timeframe of 88 hours.

Tom Simmons

Tom Simmons, Missouri American Water Quality Manager, Partnership volunteer, and Kayak racer

Simmons finished in 66 hours (crossing the finish-line in 30th position in the men's solo category). This is a good time, but he knows he can do better – and it must be noted that the final 10 to 12 hours were really ugly. Of the 350 or so boats that started the race this year, only 180 boats finished by Friday night’s deadline. The race benefits three river education and preservation groups: Missouri River Relief; The Healthy Rivers Partnership; and the Lewis and Clark Nature Center and Boathouse.

Now, Simmons is already making plans for 2014. More, and better, training – as well as a faster boat are his goals for next year’s race. As Tom said, there’s always room for improvement and he’ll be 60 years old in next year's race. The goal: to beat his age.

Congratulations, Tom, on a well-navigated race and we all raise a paddle to your adventurous spirit!  Thank you for your contributions to the Partnership for Safe Water and for participating in an event that raises public awarness of the importance of water.

Events: WQTC - Water Quality Technology Conference

WQTC, the Water Quality Technology Conference, is November 3-7 in Long Beach, California - there's still time to register!

Join us in Long Beach for the most comprehensive technical program available for the water quality industry.  It's the premier conference for water quality professionals around the world - we hope to see you in California.  The Partnership for Safe Water recognizes Steering Committee Chair Robert Cheng, of Coachella Valley Water District, for his contributions to the WQTC Local Host Committee and the many presenters and moderators representing Partnership subscriber utilities who will be taking part in the conference.

Register Today!

Annual Summary Report

Partnership annual summary report available to the public

The 2013 Annual Summary Report for the Partnership for Safe Water's Treatment Plant and Distribution System Optimization Programs is available on our website for public access. Access this comprehensive report to learn more about Partnership programs. You'll also learn about utility performance trends based on data from treatment plant and distribution system program utility subscribers.

In addition, the annual report reviews the Partnership's annual activities and future plans.  The report also includes a full list of award-winning utilities since the inception of the Partnership for Safe Water program.  Learn more about the Partnership by accessing the 2013 Annual Summary Report. (PDF)

Utility Management Best Practices

Value -vs- Price: Defining rates by the gallon makes water worth the price

For utilities, this article helps define the correlation between value and price and how customers tend to rationalize this relationship. First appearing in the June 2013 issue of  Journal AWWA, you'll find this to be an interesting utility case study about successfully implementing rate increases. The story also cleverly shares other examples of connecting value with price - such as the story of "Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs," bringing us an impressive and long-standing example of this relationship. 

Access the article (PDF) to better understand how value and price relate to structuring rates.  
(Our thanks to the author, Melanie Goetz, and Journal AWWA for making this article available to Partnership readers.)

Partnership Contacts


Robert Cheng
Partnership Steering Committee Chair

Michael Barsotti
Partnership PEAC-Treatment Chair
802.864.7454, Ext. 102
Partnership for Safe Water
6666 West Quincy Ave.
Denver, Colorado  80235

Barb Martin
Partnership Program Manager

Tom Schippert
Partnership Program Coordinator

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