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Operational Improvements of Drinking Water Systems in Wyoming and on Tribal Lands in EPA Region 8

A public water system must have the capacity to effectively and efficiently treat and deliver safe water to its consumers. To assess this capacity you should consider the following:

  • volume and quality of water treated;
  • storage capacity;
  • operators' operation and maintenance (O&M) knowledge and skill; and
  • financial resources to support O&M, upgrades, materials, monitoring and reporting.

Operation and Maintenance Manual

An operation and maintenance manual can help ensure your system operates consistently and effectively. While each manual will differ to meet the characteristics of the individual system, there are some common elements and tasks that should be addressed in all manuals. These common elements and tasks are outlined in Operations & Maintenance Checklist & Tasks. Additional information is available in Record Keeping Rules: A Quick Reference Guide.

Reporting Changes

Please notify the EPA when your Public Water System is making changes to any source, treatment, water system facility (WSF) or management personnel. Change notification forms for both Wyoming and Tribal systems can be found on the reporting forms page.

How Capacity is Assessed

The EPA or its contractors will conduct a sanitary survey at least once every five years at your public water system to assess the capacity of your system. We will provide you with a report that identifies actions to take for improvements.

The EPA may identify areas for improvement tied to specific violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act and its associated rules. EPA notices of violation or of noncompliance may include specific technical and administrative actions that should bring your system into compliance with that drinking water rule.

To perform your own assessment of your system's capacity, you may use the EPA's Software for Check-Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS). This user-friendly computer-based program assists owners and operators in developing and using plans for maintaining their systems and providing service to their customers.

The program uses information provided on the system's assets, operation and maintenance activities and financial status to produce a prioritized asset inventory, financial reports and a customized asset management plan. Asset management programs support informed budget discussions, boost efficiency of the utility, and improve customer service by ensuring clean and safe water at competitive prices.

You can find more information about small public water systems on the EPA's Learn about Small Drinking Water Systems webpage and also at the Technical, Managerial and Financial (TMF) Capacity Resources for Small Drinking Water Systems website.

Operator Credentials

Water system operators must demonstrate that they have the ability to perform the administrative and technical operation and maintenance (O&M) tasks associated with the complexity of the treatment plant(s) and/or distribution system. Each system is assigned one of four levels of complexity for each of its treatment plants and one of four levels of complexity for each distribution system. Complexity levels are 1, 2, 3, or 4, with 4 being the most complex.

Operators demonstrate their ability to operate and maintain the system by receiving operator certification for the levels required by their system and by taking continuing education classes to maintain their certification. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality administers the certification program for public water supply system operators in Wyoming. Operators at Tribal public water systems may seek certification through operator certification programs run by the State, EPA Region 8’s tribal operator certification program, or the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona’s tribal operator certification program.Exit

Financial Capacity

Public water systems generate financial resources through consumer billings, selling bonds, and loans. Wyoming has a State Revolving Loan Fund Exit by which it loans funds to systems that have high-priority needs. EPA Region 8 notifies Tribal governments of opportunities to apply for Drinking Water SRF Tribal set-aside funds.