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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems

Technical, Managerial, and Financial (TMF) Capacity Resources for Small Drinking Water Systems

Resources are available to help public water systems build their technical, managerial and financial (TMF) capacity. TMF capacity is necessary to achieve and maintain long-term sustainability and compliance with national safe drinking water regulations.

Resources are available in the following categories:

Communication Resources for Small Drinking Water Systems

Communication is important to convey water system and community needs to decision makers and customers. The documents below explain how to effectively communicate drinking water issues to customers and decision makers.

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Compliance Help

Compliance help contains information intended to help states, technical assistance providers, and small water systems identify compliance options. Click here for information.

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Distribution Resources for Small Drinking Water Systems

Water distribution systems are large networks of storage tanks, valves, pumps, and pipes that transport treated drinking water to consumers. Distribution systems and infrastructure are most commonly contaminated at a cross-connection.  A cross-connection is any actual or potential connection between public water and a contaminated source.

The following documents describe the best practices for maintaining your distribution system and manageing cross-connection control. 

  • Distribution Systems: A Best Practices Guide (EPA 816-F-06-038)
    This Guide discusses the importance of maintaining your distribution system.
  • Cross-Connection Control: A Best Practices Guide (EPA 816-F-06-035)
    This Guide discusses the importance of controlling cross-connections and preventing backflow occurrences from unprotected cross- connections in the water system.
  • Cross-Connection Control Manual (EPA 816-R-03-002)
    This Cross-Connection Control Manual has been designed as a tool for health officials, waterworks personnel, plumbers, and any others involved directly or indirectly in water supply distribution systems.

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Energy Efficiency and Management Resources for Small Drinking Water System

Energy is typically needed for raw water extraction and conveyance, treatment, water storage and distribution. The tools and documents below describe strategies for saving energy at public water systems

  • Energy Use Assessment Tool
    An Excel-based tool that small- to medium-sized systems can use to conduct a utility bill and equipment analysis to assess individual baseline energy use and costs.
  • Strategies for Saving Energy at Public Water Systems (EPA 816-F-13-004)
    This  document discusses energy issues facing public drinkin water systems, steps that systems can take to understand and reduce their energy use and costs, and funding resources for energy efficiency.

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Management Resources for Small Drinking Water Systems

Water system management is integral to enabling systems to achieve and maintain compliance with SDWA requirements.

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Operation and Maintenance Resources for Small Drinking Water Systems

Effective operations and maintenance support overall system sustainability.

These documents and tools below provide:

  1. Information about how to identify treatment technologies that remove multiple contaminants,
  2. Develop schedules for maintenance tasks, and
  3. Checklists and logs for recording findings.

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Report of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council Small Systems Implementation Working Group

The mission of National Drinking Water Advisory Council’s (NDWAC) Small Systems Implementation Working Group is to advise the full NDWAC on current and emerging challenges, as well as the strategic options that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the States should consider to assist small systems in meeting the public health protection objectives of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

This report conveys the Working Group’s recommendations, which are based on a series of analyses and deliberations organized into seven issue areas including water-system capacity development, public awareness and education, water-system governance, water-system organization, water service costs and affordability, unsustainable water systems, and water-policy institutions. Click here to download.

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Water Efficiency and Conservation Resources for Small Drinking Water

Water efficiency is becoming increasingly important to public water systems in the United States. The documents below explain water efficiency at public water systems and describe water audits and water loss controls to control and mitigate drinking water losses in distribution systems.

  • Water Audits and Water Loss Control For Public Water Systems (EPA 816-F-13-002)
    This document provides an introduction to water loss control and information on the use of water audits in identifying and controlling water losses in public water systems.
  • Water Efficiency For Public Water Systems (EPA 816-F-13-003)
    This document introduces water efficiency for public water systems, identifies measures to improve water efficiency, and provides recommendations on how water systems can get started and continue making water efficiency improvements. This document is intended for small and medium‐sized water systems as well as technical assistance providers and state programs that support or regulate these systems.
  • Water Availability and Variability Strategies For Public Water Systems (EPA 816-F-13-005) 
    This document covers water availability and variability issues faced by public water systems, the potential consequences of climate change on water availability and variability, and the steps that water systems can take to address these uncertainties. This document is intended for small and medium‐sized public water systems as well as technical assistance providers and state programs that support or regulate these systems.
  • Control and Mitigation of Drinking Water Losses in Distribution Systems (EPA 816-R-10-019) 
    This guidance has been prepared for water management administrators, local government officials, system operators, and others who have an interest in developing programs to reduce losses from their drinking water distribution systems. This guidance,also, provides information on flexible tools and techniques that may help the PWS meet their water loss prevention needs.

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Water Security Tool for Small Systems

This guide is designed for community water systems serving 3,300 or fewer persons.

Drinking Water Security For Small Systems Serving 3300 Or Fewer Persons One Of The Simple Tools For Effective Performance (Step) Guide Series

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