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Water and Sewer Districts / Environmental

Water and Sewer District / Environmental Services

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio is facing an aging environmental infrastructure, rising construction costs, increased focus on asset management, strained local budgets for operations and maintenance, and increasing water and wastewater user charges for residential customers.

Public water providers face significant challenges when dealing with dangerous chemicals like PFAS ("forever chemicals") in drinking water systems, since providers are responsible for ensuring water safety. Examining PFAS levels through regular testing is essential and requires immediate action that will add financial and legal burdens to providers.

Our attorneys collaborate with government entities, municipal utilities, public water suppliers, and wastewater collection and treatment centers. We comprehend the regulatory circumstances facing water and sewer districts. Our attorneys understand the local, state, and federal laws affecting the industry.

Our working knowledge of water and sewer district law spans EPA regulation, rural water jurisdiction disputes, municipal utility cybersecurity, water treatment standards, regulatory compliance, and more.

Assessing Rural Water & Sewer District Issues

We collaborate with water and sewer district administrators to implement the latest EPA regulations, and consult about rural water jurisdiction disputes, cybersecurity threats, water treatment standards, regulatory compliance, and more.

  • PFAS Contamination
  • Protection of Service Areas—7 U.S.C. 1926(b)
  • Water Quality Management (208) Plans
  • Utility User Agreements
  • Water Purchase & Supply Agreements
  • Sewer/Water Rate Defense
  • Strategic Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Regulatory Compliance (EPA/CWA/SDWA)
  • Board Governance
  • Eminent Domain & Easements
  • Union Negotiations & Collective Bargaining
  • Procurement & Bidding
  • Construction Contracts, Administration, and Litigation
  • Human Resources & Employee Manual Development

Frequently Asked Questions

How does 7 USC 1926(b) impact rural utilities?

When a rural utility obtains a federal loan, the service provided or made available by the utility is statutorily protected against any municipal attempt to replace the utility as water or wastewater service provider.

Why are water districts becoming vulnerable to the elements and cyber-attacks?

Poor regulation of rural waste along with pollutants and an aging infrastructure contribute to increased incidents of water quality violations across rural communities. Water pollution comes from many sources including pesticides and fertilizers that wash away from farms, untreated human wastewater, and industrial waste. Even groundwater is not safe from pollution, as many pollutants can leach into underground aquifers.

PFAS chemicals, a.k.a. “forever chemicals,” are composed of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are manmade toxic chemicals. PFAS has seeped into our groundwater, our waterways, our soil, and our air. The substances are also found in the everyday products we use – such as cleaning products, water- and grease-resistant fabrics, nonstick cookware, personal care products and cosmetics, as well as stain-resistant coatings and other fabrics.

In addition to pollutants, cyber-attacks against public water systems are increasing. It’s important for water districts to implement basic cyber hygiene practices to help prevent, detect, respond, and recover from cyber incidents.

Does the EPA conduct cybersecurity assessments of water facilities?

The EPA conducts cybersecurity assessments for utilities through the Cybersecurity Evaluation Program where utilities work with a cybersecurity professional virtually to complete an assessment. The outcome is called the Water Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (WCAT). Once the assessment is completed, the utilities receive their comprehensive Assessment Report and Risk Mitigation Plan Template so they can begin addressing their cybersecurity gaps and track their progress as they make improvements to their cybersecurity program.

Contact Us

Please give us a call at 440.930.4001 or complete the form below. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

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