The following message was first sent last week. As of press time the situation remains static but your message is clearly being heard in Jefferson City as MRWA has received numerous calls from legislators inquiring as to the situation and promising to get involved.
We can make a difference.
If you have not yet contacted your legislator, do so today. Given the short time frame remaining you should contact via telephone and email and PLEASE, leave a message if you receive an answering machine. Do NOT hesitate to contact your legislator even if you are not affected by this particular event or are located in other areas of the state. The next time YOU may need help.
Dear Water System Operator:
Currently, bacti samples from Public Water Supplies located in a multi-county area of Southwest Missouri are tested at the Springfield/Greene County Health Lab (SGH) through a contract with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). This arrangement enables many water supplies in the Southwestern corner of the state to meet national requirements that state that samples must be analyzed within 30 hours of sample collection. There is serious concern as to the ability of water suppliers to meet the 30 hour limit if samples are required to be sent to DHSS lab facilities in Jefferson City.
This arrangement has been in place since DHSS closed their lab facility in Springfield several years ago and has worked quite well in serving the bacti testing requirements of the drinking water industry.
MRWA has learned that negotiations between SGH and DHSS have broken down and that, as of press time, the contract between the Greene County Lab and DHSS is scheduled to be terminated on June 29, 2007.
MRWA feels it is important to water suppliers that this contract remain in place and be renewed. MRWA agrees with experts who feel that if samples from SW Missouri are required to be transported and tested in Jefferson City, numerous testing violations with occur and uncommon hardship will be placed upon nearly 900 water suppliers, mostly small systems with limited resources.
***You can help! Time is running out so we need for you to contact your State Representative and Senator via phone and email and ask them to contact DHSS and request that they deal in good faith with the Greene County Health Lab to come to an equitable agreement to renew their bacti sampling contract. Point out that termination of this contract will: ***
- <LI class=MsoNormal style=“MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in”>Force water suppliers to either use overnight mail (if available) or other premium services to deliver their water samples to Jefferson City to meet the 30 hour limit. <LI class=MsoNormal style=“MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in”>DHSS will argue that FREE DHSS couriers are available at no charge to systems. HOWEVER, these couriers only pick up at select locations at select times. Water suppliers may find themselves having to transport samples at odd times many miles to a courier location. For very small systems, who have limited manpower and financial resources, this “transport” to the free courier service will be too expensive. <LI class=MsoNormal style=“MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in”>Systems report that at present, GreeneCounty Health works closely with systems on holidays and after hours to ensure fast response time on sample analysis allowing systems to end costly boil orders to customers. No such assistance is expected with lab services in Jefferson City. Even if such assistance was provided, travel time associated with delivery of samples to Jefferson City from Southwest Missouri would greatly increase expected boil order times for public systems.
- **In these times of security threats and natural disasters, does it make sense to move all water testing capabilities provided by the state to *one location in Jefferson City? ***One of the best responses to security issues is to diversify assets, in this case the water safety testing capabilities of the state of Missouri.
You can access your legislator’s contact information via these on-line resources:
**Or contact MRWA at 573-657-5533, John Hoagland at 417-876-7258 or via email at email@example.com](http://mail.charter.net/do/mail/message/mailto?to=jhoagland%40moruralwater.org) and we will get the information for you. We also would be glad to answer any questions you might have on this subject. **
Don’t miss this chance to make a difference in how water testing is done in Southwest Missouri.
Missouri Rural Water Association