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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems


State Agencies Supporting Water System Partnerships

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)

Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation

State Policies and Programs Regarding Water System Partnerships


The MassDEP Drinking Water System Management Handbook contains a section on contract operators, with recommendations on what to look for in hiring a contract operator, and terms to consider including in a contract, including duties, duration, compensation, frequency of visits, owner and operator responsibilities. 


MassDEP uses a questionnaire as a first step in evaluating a system’s TMF capacity. The questionnaire asks basic questions about a system’s existing interconnections, permanent or emergency, and the willingness to consolidate or connect with neighboring systems.


All consecutive systems are required to file an agreement describing the operational responsibilities of the parent and consecutive systems. If the parent system is responsible for all the operational functions, then the consecutive system does not have any reporting duties. MassDEP published a guide for consecutive systems, along with an example of conditions to include for a Memorandum of Understanding of consecutive systems. See link below.


Massachusetts has a Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (MaWARN), which facilitates mutual aid agreement among participating utilities in order to provide access to staff and resources in the event of an emergency.

Helpful Links to State Resources