EPA Water Training and Technical Assistance Program

Overview of EPA Water Training and Technical Assistance Program

Water training and technical assistance program

EPA Water Training and Technical Assistance Program provides operator certification training, board member training, and on-site technical assistance that supports the specific needs of small water system personnel, tribal systems, and overburden systems. Training Specialists have experience working with small systems and possess expert knowledge regarding their compliance challenges.

Classroom sessions are designed to meet state-specific compliance challenges. They are geographically located in areas to reach the most significant number of small system operators. This is important because many small public water systems lack the financial resources to allow operators to travel to central or urban areas for training, and these operators have no backup to respond to emergencies while they are absent.

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

The Training Specialists provide technical assistance in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to small public water system personnel by working directly with them on-site at their system. Training Specialists assist in diagnosing, troubleshooting, and identifying solutions to operational and compliance-related problems using NRWA’s nationwide pool of expertise. Hands-on training is the most effective method to help staff and decision-makers become more successful operating their systems, and results in a better understanding of SDWA requirements.

The EPA Water Training and Technical Assistance Program is designed to strengthen the technical capacity in small and disadvantaged community’s water systems, ultimately resulting in the reduction of the number of systems out of compliance with health-based standards. 

“Disadvantaged Community”

Disadvantaged communities are described by the EPA as one determined by the state to be disadvantaged under the affordability criteria established by the state under section 1452(d)(3) of the Safe Drinking Water Act or may become a disadvantaged community as a result of carrying out a project or activity under the grant program. As with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, each state has statutory discretion to set its own criteria.

“Small Community”

A “Small Community” is one that has a population of less than 10,000 individuals that the Administrator determines does not have the capacity to incur debt sufficient to finance a project or activity under the grant program. This is a statutory definition from the U.S. EPA.

NRWA is proud to assist local communities in safeguarding human health and making America’s water systems sustainable and secure, while maintaining a strong partnership with the EPA.