US EPA announced the award of more than $25 million in grants to help the country’s small drinking and wastewater systems and private well owners better protect public health and the environment. 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 US EPA can help support those efforts, which is consistent with the goals and objectives of President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan. The grantees are:
- 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.
More than 97 percent of the nation’s 150,000 public water systems serve fewer than 10,000 people, and more than 80 percent of these systems serve fewer than 500 people. Many systems face unique challenges in providing reliable drinking water and wastewater services that meet federal and state regulations. For more information on US EPA’s programs and tools to help small water systems, visit the website.