Idaho Rural Water Association
Proudly Representing Idaho's Drinking Water and Wastewater Utility Systems

(208) 343-7001   |   Toll-Free: (855) 245-9250  |  office@idahoruralwater.com

Our Services

  • Technical Assistance (Water)
  • Technical Assistance (Wastewater)
  • Source Water Protection
  • IRWA Training Seminars

Technical Assistance (Water) IRWA’s Circuit riders offer one-on-one technical assistance on-your-site with the operators and management of the systems. This assistance and training covers areas of daily operation and maintenance, management and finance, leak detection, cross-connection, sanitary surveys, rate structures, operator licensure training, meter testing, treatment, disinfection, well construction, compliance and other issues pertaining to water and wastewater. Special emphasis is placed on those systems that are out of compliance with Federal and State drinking water regulations.

Technical Assistance (Wastewater) Technical assistance is offered in not only water but also wastewater. Wastewater addresses issues such as operator licensure training, discharge monitoring reports, NPDES permits, collection systems, operation and maintenance, process disinfection and safety.

The Source Water Protection Programs assists with technical assistance and training in the development of source water protection plans for communities, districts and regional multi-jurisdictional areas. This will help your system maintain the highest quality of drinking water in the long-term.
IRWA Training Seminars Training subjects that are covered address various water and wastewater issues. IRWA also hosts an Annual Conference in the Spring and a Northern Conference in the Fall with training sessions and exhibits that feature the latest in technological advances in the industry.
About Us

Idaho Rural Water Association (IRWA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation providing training and technical assistance to drinking water and wastewater utility systems in Idaho with populations under 10,000. IRWA is currently comprised of over 365 direct member systems in Idaho. These members elect a seven-member Board of Directors that volunteer their time to govern the Association.

IRWA is here to ensure Idaho’s rural communities are safe while still maintaining the high quality of life we hold so dear.

IRWA is a proud member of the National Rural Water Association, America's largest utility membership.  

Latest News

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Published on Monday, October 4, 2021

A Guide to Understanding and Using the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Core Functions

by Tom Kirkham, CEO IronTech Security

A Guide to Understanding and Using the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Core Functions

by Tom Kirkham, CEO IronTech Security

Organizations are being challenged to adjust to the constantly, rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape by staying up to date on threats and vulnerabilities. The National Institute of Standards and Technology provides a framework of standards, guidelines, and practices to promote the protection of critical infrastructure. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework is designed to help organizations manage their cybersecurity risk. The priority-based, flexible, repeatable and cost-effective approach is easily tailored to any organization.

Every business has unique compliance goals it must achieve. The framework not only helps organizations understand cybersecurity risks, threats, and vulnerabilities, but how they can reduce those risks. This helps speed response and recover from cybersecurity incidents, by prompting cause analysis, making improvements, and learning from incidents. 

The core framework which is organized by five key functions – Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover - promotes best practices and helps businesses of all sizes better understand, manage, and reduce their risk as well as protect networks and data. 

The first function – Identify - centers on identifying what is at risk that must be protected. This might include sensitive client, patient or customer files, financial information, business interruption, critical assets, personal files, and intellectual property, to name a few. List everything that may need protection

Second – Protect – addresses putting protection in place for everything on the risk list. 

For protection, endpoint detection and response (EDR) plays a critical role. Antivirus only looks for threats it is programmed to detect. Relying on antivirus leaves businesses vulnerable to polymorphic malware, advanced threats, malicious documents, encrypted traffic, and more. EDR protects against the widest array of threats by preventing known threats, but also unknown threats. It allows devices to self-defend and heal themselves by stopping the threat, quarantining it, remediating it, and even rolling it back to keep the endpoint at a clean state.

A critical component of protection, continuous cybersecurity training keeps employees aware of current risks and threats. For example, consider Covid-19 phishing emails; people naturally seek out information and can’t help but click on a link. That one click can expose the organization to a ransomware attack. Employees need constant updating on today’s threats.

Without data backup and disaster recovery, should a ransomware attack occur and the business cannot or chooses not to pay the ransom, files may be inaccessible for days or even weeks. 

The third function of the framework is Detect. A full 65% of cyber threats go undetected. Companies must have software in place to detect intrusions in real time. To detect, EDR continuously monitors for threats to a system and alerts the organization.

The fourth function: respond. Despite the best efforts, there will always be a chance of a data breach. It’s the human error factor. No system can ever be 100% secure. To be in a position to respond, a plan must be in place for keeping business operations up and running, for investigating and containing the attack so it doesn’t spread, and to make customers, employees, and any others whose data may be at risk get notified immediately.

The fifth and final function, Recover. Plan for the worst. If an organization cannot access payment software or your accounting software or miss opportunities to connect with potential clients or customers, the result can be devastating. Imagine not being able to operate for at least seven days, which is the average downtime following a ransomware attack. 

Address how to repair and restore equipment and all services that have been affected. Update cybersecurity policies to include lessons learned, any vulnerabilities that have not been identified or documented in the past. 

Again, communication must be ongoing. Coordinate with employees and customers internally and externally. Keep them informed not only of the response activities, but recovery activities. 

The NIST Cybersecurity framework is a guide to follow. By following its principles, clients will have more trust. They can be confident data is not vulnerable.

The NIST framework helps organizations better understand, manage, and reduce cybersecurity risks. It assists in determining which activities are most important to assure critical operations and service delivery. In turn, it will help to prioritize investments and maximize the impact of each dollar spent on cybersecurity. It is simply good business.


About the Author

Tom Kirkham is founder and CEO of Kirkham IT. Tom founded IronTech Security to focus on cybersecurity defense systems that protect and secure data for the financial, law, and water utility industries. IronTech focuses on educating and encouraging organizations to establish a security-first environment with cybersecurity training programs for all employees to prevent successful attacks. Tom brings more than three decades of software design, network administration, and cybersecurity knowledge to the table. During his career, Tom has received multiple software design awards and founded other acclaimed technology businesses. He is an active member of the FBI’s Arkansas InfraGard Chapter and frequently speaks about the latest in security threats. Watch for Tom’s new book: The Cyber Pandemic Survival Guide - Protecting Yourself From The Coming Worldwide Cyber War.

September 30, 2021

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Mountain Waterworks, Inc. is a Pacific Northwest-based water engineering firm committed to reliable water service, sustainable infrastructure rehabilitation, and long-term utility planning. They provide planning, commissioning, design, construction, and operational optimization services to cities, municipal utility districts, industrial and private water and wastewater systems, and private developments. Their team is proficient in all project phases, from early conceptualization and funding development to equipment training, system start-up, and project closeout.

They are headquartered in Idaho, which is both the fastest growing state in the nation and a state built on water, from vast underground aquifers to bubbling hot springs and towering waterfalls. Here, water is as essential to recreation and adventure as it is for industry and growth. Mountain Waterworks was formed to make water work for their clients, both regionally and nationwide.


Dr Pipeline LLC is a WOSB licensed in Idaho, Washington and Nevada. Their services include: NASSCO certified CCTV inspection, and cleaning of storm and sewer lines, manholes, and laterals. They offer chemical grout injection, manhole rehabilitation, trenchless pipe repair, dredging/dewatering and much, much more. 


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Advanced Control Systems has been serving the Automation and Controls industries since 1992. Their SCADA and factory automation installations number in the hundreds, spanning North America and the world. In addition to providing world-class systems integration, controls design, and engineering services, their Hosted Services division develops and deploys cloud hosted CarefreeSCADA, a full and custom suite of SCADA services hosted in the cloud via secure Cellular Telemetry. ACS has great pride in their longtime partnership with the IRWA, participating in shows and providing accredited training for both Water and Wastewater Operator CEUs.


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They don't build your buildings, they make sure you have a safety net in place for the unknown. They don't govern a city or county, they cover you so you can provide parks to play in, safe water to drink, law enforcement officers to keep the peace and a functioning unit of local government to continue to serve your constituents with trust and confidence. ICRMP was created out of necessity, filling a void left by the sudden withdrawal of commercial carriers from the public sector in the 1980's. That same necessity is what continues to drive their operations today - nobody knows and nobody covers Idaho local governments like ICRMP can and does. Their members get the exact coverages they need, no extra fluff coverages that creeps up the cost of commercial policies. Whether you're a city, county or special purpose district in Idaho they've got you covered.     


Great West Engineering provides a broad range of engineering services to cities, towns, counties, water and sewer districts, state agencies, private developers, and other consultants. For more than 35 years, Great West has helped our communities and clients succeed. Their diversity of capabilities and depth of professional experience have allowed them to help their clients find solutions to challenges affecting their communities.

• Water Systems
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Since its inception, Integrity Inspection Solutions has become the leading service provider with the most advanced pipe inspection, cleaning, cured-in-place pipe lining technologies and hydro-excavating solutions in the industry.

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Every job is a custom project. → Taking best practice and innovative ideas from their diversified market experience and incorporating them into their work processes allows for customized performance, rather than a one size fits all approach.

Their team members are their foundation. → They employ an extensive pool of trained and experienced team members that are committed to supplying their customers with the highest quality services possible.

In today’s economy it has never been more imperative to have access to competent contractors. Allow them the opportunity to implement their creative and innovative solutions to your most unique situations.

They are more than a company, they are your friends, neighbors, and business partners who want their communities to thrive. They successfully deliver on their promise by providing collaborative solutions to those they serve with integrity and innovation.


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Core & Main is the leading distributor of water, sewer, storm drain and fire protection products in the United States. Operating more than 275 branches nationwide, they combine local expertise with a national supply chain to provide contractors and municipalities innovative solutions for new construction and aging infrastructure.


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DN Tanks is the industry leader for water and wastewater storage. They also build storage tanks for a wide variety of additional liquids including storm water, water re-use, environmental treatment, thermal energy (for energy efficiency applications), and glycol (for de-icing airplanes). In addition, they offer the industry’s most reliable inspection, rehab and retrofit services for all types of concrete tanks regardless of design or who built them, including cast-in-place and post tensioned structures.


Riverside, Inc. is a family-owned and operated company that was founded in 1978. The company began operating in a small shop on the Snake River in Adrian, Oregon.

Riverside has since moved to a modern state-of-the-art facility in Parma, Idaho, a small town on the western edge of the Treasure Valley. Riverside currently employs over 50 full time employees and has grown to five separate divisions:

Electrical Equipment (Sales, Service and Repairs)

Machine Shop (Large Capacities)

Pumps (Sales, Service and Repairs)

Drilling (Specializing in Large Diameter Wells to Depths of 1,500 Feet)

Construction Management and Hydroelectric/Water Resource Projects

Riverside has an extensive amount of field equipment to support these departments, coupled with a safe, knowledgeable and dedicated team of employees.

Riverside is currently one of the largest maintenance and repair facilities in the Northwest, and the largest in the state of Idaho. They have over three decades of expertise in their industry and a sterling reputation.

Riverside’s facilities include 11-acres, and a 20,000 square-foot, 55-foot high building, which houses a 50-ton P & H Bridge Crane. Additionally, Riverside has several smaller cranes in various work areas. Riverside also has a complete machine shop, welding and fabrication shop, pump shop, motor shop and field service crews.

Due to the size of the company and the volume of work performed, Riverside’s employees are able to perform identical tasks in their area of expertise on a daily basis, allowing them to keep their skills sharp. Riverside constantly sends its employees to any and all necessary technical schools and certification seminars. This technical expertise enables Riverside to maintain its high standard of service and dedication to its customers. Riverside’s service technicians are educated and certified in the following areas:


Infrared Imaging


Preventive maintenance programs

Variable frequency drives

Laser Alignment


Electrical Testing

Riverside is committed to providing exceptional service and is dedicated to providing their customers with superior products and services at competitive prices.