Water: Small Systems and Capacity Development
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The ability to predict and plan for financial and infrastructure needs is extremely valuable. Preventive maintenance and long-term planning can help avoid unexpected and expensive problems. The resources listed below provide guidelines and easy-to-follow instructions for key management measures, including asset management, strategic planning and financial planning. These tools also provide information on how you can involve your customers and local officials in these efforts.
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Asset Management and Preventive Maintenance
- Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS)
User-friendly asset management software designed expecially for small drinking water and wastewater systems.
- Asset Management: A Best Practices Guide (PDF) (4 pp, 247K)
This guide will help you understand what asset management means, the benefits of asset management, best practices in asset management and how to implement an asset management plan. It is intended for owners, managers and operators of public water systems; local officials; technical assistance providers; and state personnel.
- Asset Management for Local Officials (PDF) (2 pp, 86K)
This guide will help you understand the basics of asset management for local officials and local officials’ vital role in successfully implementing an asset management program. It is intended for local officials who are directly or indirectly involved in decisions affecting public water systems.
- Building an Asset Management Team (PDF) (2 pp, 78K)
This guide will help you understand how forming and having a team can help your system successfully implement asset management and the components of a successful asset management team. It is intended for local officials, owners and operators of public water systems, technical assistance providers, and state personnel.
- Asset Management: A Handbook for Small Water Systems – STEP Guide Series (PDF) (50 pp, 976K)
(EPA 816-R-03-016, September 2003) Learn how to inventory system assets and develop a long-term maintenance plan to save money and avoid unexpected problems.
- Taking Stock of Your Water System: A Simple Asset Inventory for Very Small Drinking Water Systems (PDF) (45 pp, 941K)
(EPA 816-D-03-002, October 2004) Additional information on asset management and easy-to-use planning and inventory worksheets.
- Drinking Water Security for Small Systems Serving 3,300 or Fewer Persons – STEP Guide Series (PDF) (47 pp, 4.2MB)
(EPA 817-R-05-001, September 2005) Instructions for evaluating vulnerability, reducing risks, developing an Emergency Response Plan (ERP), and communicating with customers.
- Cross-Connection Control: A Best Practices Guide (PDF) (4 pp, 177K)
(EPA 816-F-06-035, September 2006) Tips for detecting and responding effectively to a backflow event and information on helpful technology.
- Distribution Systems: A Best Practices Guide (PDF) (2 pp, 167K)
(EPA 816-F-06-038, September 2006) Information on the benefits of routine distribution system maintenance and monitoring.
- Improving Security through Capacity Development: Capacity Self-Assessments (PDF) (12pp, 3M)
(EPA 816-F-05-008, November 2007) EPA has developed a brochure that provides ideas on how states may revise their capacity development program self assessments to integrate security practices.
- Using Technical, Managerial, and Financial Capacity to Improve System Security — Suggestions for States (PDF) (2 pp, 211K)
(EPA 816-F-07-010, November 2007) EPA has developed these guides to provide information on products available to enhance physical and cyber security and to present information on monitoring protocols.
Long-Term Planning and Record Keeping
- Strategic Planning: A Handbook for Small Water Systems – STEP Guide Series (PDF) (30 pp, 1.5MB)
(EPA 816-R-03-015, September 2003) An overview of the planning process and how it will help you build capacity and respond to unexpected problems; worksheets to use in developing your strategic plan.
- Setting Small Drinking Water System Rates for a Sustainable Future – STEP Guide Series (PDF) (62 pp, 341K)
(EPA 816-R-05-006, January 2006) Information on the importance of recovering costs through user fees and developing a budget and financial plan.
- System Partnership Solutions to Improve Public Health Protection Volume I (PDF) (12 pp, 784K) and Volume II (PDF) (10 pp, 204K)
(VI: EPA 816-R-02-022, September 2002; VII: EPA 816-R-06-005, October 2006) Case studies of water systems that partnered to implement cost-effective, long-term solutions to public health and capacity challenges
- Record Keeping Rules: A Quick Reference Guide (PDF) (4 pp, 93K)
(EPA 816-F-06-033, September 2006) A rule-by-rule summary of requirements for keeping monitoring, public notice, and other records, as well as helpful tips on record maintenance and security.
Communicating with Customers and Decision Makers
- Talking to Your Decision Makers: A Best Practices Guide (PDF) (2 pp, 106K)
(EPA 816-F-06-034, September 2006) Tips for working successfully with decision makers in your community to meet your water system’s needs.
- Talking to Your Customers About Chronic Contaminants in Drinking Water: A Best Practices Guide (PDF) (2 pp, 356K)
(EPA 816-F-07-022, October 2007) Guidelines for effectively communicating with customers about the dangers of chronic contaminants and how water systems protect against contamination.
- Water System Owner Roles and Responsibilities: A Best Practices Guide (PDF) (2 pp, 167K)
(EPA 816-F-06-036, September 2006) A summary of system owners’ key duties in protecting public health, overseeing system operation, and working with local officials.
Visit EPA’s Drinking Water Academy for information on upcoming EPA trainings and to download materials from past trainings and workshops.