More than $25 million in grants has been awarded to help the country’s small drinking and wastewater systems and private well owners better protect public health and the environment.
“These grants will fund critical workforce development trainings that will help small systems improve operations and identify when repairs to drinking and wastewater infrastructure are needed in local communities,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Funding will be used to provide small public drinking water and wastewater systems with training and technical assistance to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, improve operational performance, and help inform private drinking water well owners about protecting their drinking water supply and improving water quality. The training and assistance will also help system operators identify when critical infrastructure upgrades are needed and how EPA can help support those efforts.
Who gets the money?
- National Rural Water Association - $8.1 million: Provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Rural Community Assistance Partnership - $8.1 million: Provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act; $2.2 million: Work with small publicly-owned wastewater and on-site/decentralized wastewater systems to improve water quality; $3.4 million: Work with private well owners to improve water quality.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (on behalf of the Environmental Finance Center Network) - $3.6 million: Help small drinking water systems improve financial and managerial capacity to provide safe drinking water.
“The EPA grant support of NRWA has provided critical training and technical assistance to small systems across the country for many years,” said Matthew Holmes, NRWA Deputy CEO. “This grant has assisted NRWA in establishing a leading nationwide program for Operator Certification Training, Continuing Education training sessions and SDWA compliance support. NRWA looks forward to continuing the program through 2018-2019.”
“RCAP is honored and excited to continue our partnership with EPA," said Nathan Ohle, Executive Director, RCAP, Inc. “These programs help provide small water and wastewater system staff and private well owners with technical assistance and training to ensure that every community across the country is protecting its public health and creating sustainable long-term solutions to drinking water and wastewater issues. Our partnership with EPA is vital to ensuring that small systems have the skills and expertise needed to support the water and wastewater systems that are so important to their community.”
“The Environmental Finance Center Network is grateful that EPA has selected us to continue our work with small drinking water systems on finance and management issues,” said Glenn Barnes, Associate Director, Environmental Finance Center at The University of North Carolina.
More than 97% of the nation’s 150,000 public water systems serve fewer than 10,000 people, and more than 80% of these systems serve fewer than 500 people.