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Governor Reeves announces grant for...

Governor Reeves announces grant for water and wastewater training facility

By: Sarah Ulmer - February 15, 2023

Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), right, and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves look over the sedimentation basins during a visit to the City of Jackson's O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility in Ridgeland, Miss., Sept. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis - Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Apprentices will learn everything from plant operation to water quality analysis, and more.

The Delta Regional Authority has awarded the Mississippi Rural Water Association (MsRWA) with a nearly $1 million grant.

The $900,000 will go to support the creation of a state-of-the-art water and wastewater facility to train operators in the state. Governor Tate Reeves authorized MsRWA to apply for this funding.

“This new facility will help provide a higher quality learning experience and improve emergency readiness for water operators throughout the state,” said Governor Reeves. “Having dependable utilities is vital. This grant and the continued work of the Mississippi Rural Water Association will better ensure that our communities have the operators needed to maintain critical water and wastewater infrastructure.”

The facility, which is estimated to cost roughly $1.9 million, will provide training for apprentices to learn from industry experts, vendors, and regulatory authorities. This will allow communities within the MsRWA to have access to certified operators and reliable utilities.

Apprentices will have the opportunity to get paid while they learn as they spend 4,000 hours over two years gaining practical system experience from certified operators in the field. The training will include everything from plant operation to water quality analysis, and more. To complete the course, 288 hours of classroom training will also be required.

The centralized facility would locate the future operators near the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, better preparing the state for future crises. The facility would replace the current status quo in which trainings take place at community halls and other locations as available throughout the state. The new facility will provide for a higher quality learning experience and an understanding of emergency readiness for operators.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: