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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems

Check-Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) Asset Management Tool

CUPSS is a legacy software application that was developed more than 10 years ago to assist drinking water and wastewater utilities in implementing an asset management plan. While still available for use, the tool is no longer being updated and may not compatible with the latest computer operating systems. Additional asset management tools and resources can be found on the Asset Management Resources for States and Small Drinking Water Systems page.

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CUPSS Background

CUPSS is a free, easy-to-use, asset management tool for small drinking water and wastewater utilities. CUPSS provides a simple, comprehensive approach based on EPA's highly successful Simple Tools for Effective Performance (STEP) Guide series. Use CUPSS to help you develop:

  • A record of your assets,
  • A schedule of required tasks,
  • An understanding of your financial situation, and
  • A tailored asset management plan.

CUPSS was developed in response to a clear need from communities and trainers to package asset management materials in an easy-to-use way.

EPA's Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water (OGWDW) developed CUPSS with the help of a workgroup that included representatives from state agencies, technical assistance organizations, EPA Regional offices, and small wastewater and drinking water utilities.

CUPSS does not require an Internet connection to function. This allows for greater flexibility in how the program is used and helps keep your records secure. While a system may continue to use CUPSS, the tool is no longer being updated nor available to download from EPA’s webpage, and may not be compatible with the latest computer operating systems.


How is CUPSS structured?

CUPSS leads users through a series of modules to collect information on a utility's assets, operation and maintenance activities, and financial status to produce a prioritized asset inventory, a set of financial reports and an asset management plan. These features should provide much of the support you need when using the application.

Modules include the following:

Set Up

The first step in the CUPSS set up process is to identify a project team. CUPSS allows users to create team members, define roles, and enter contact information. Users have the ability modify their team at any time and to export the data into a Microsoft Excel file.

  • Also available is the Knowledge Retention Tool Spreadsheet for Small Water Systems.xlsx(18 pp, 153 K). This is an Excel spreadsheet designed to assist in personnel transition, the tool encompasses a wide variety of information that a new or contract operator would need to effectively manage and operate a small water system.

CUPSS Training

Helps the user understand CUPSS and the asset management process through clear, concise instructional materials. An introductory training video walks through the real-life process. The help section includes a keyword search and has a glossary section in addition to example forms and reports.

  • Visit the Drinking Water Training System page for training on the asset management process and for additional drinking water capacity learning modules.

My Inventory

Allows users to identify and characterize their water system's assets. Users can modify a pre-populated set of assets or add new assets, which helps prioritize maintenance activities and better manage revenue for repair and replacement of assets.

My O&M (Operations and Maintenance)

Allows users to create and track current, future, and past operation and maintenance activities. The module records the status and history of each task, alerts users if the task status is past due, and alerts the user to reassess the asset condition if maintenance is not performed as scheduled.

My Finances

Helps users determine the full costs of doing business and calculate how much is needed for full recovery. This knowledge gives users the ability to discuss their needs within the context of a community budget.

The user can calculate the annual costs of asset rehabilitation and replacement by providing the current year's budget and the previous year’s financial statement (what was actually spent).

My Check Up

CUPSS generates two customizable reports: "My Asset Check Up" and "My Financial Check Up." The user can enter information to create targeted reports that will help them manage assets and plan for the future.

My CUPSS Plan

Assembles an asset management plan into a pre-defined template that has been pre-populated with the information and calculations entered by the user. CUPSS allows the user to export the developed plan as a Word document for modification and review.

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Frequent Questions and Answers about CUPSS


What is asset management?
Asset management is the practice of managing infrastructure capital assets to minimize the total cost of owning and operating them, while delivering the service level customers desire.

Where can I find resources currently available to assist with asset management?
Resources currently available to assist with asset management are available on the EPA’s Asset Management Resources for States and Small Drinking Water Systems web page and include guidance on planning for asset management, tools for setting up an asset inventory, and resources to help small systems develop and implement asset management plans. Some helpful resources include, Taking Stock of Your Water System: A Simple Asset Inventory for Very Small Drinking Water Systems (EPA 816-K-03-002), Asset Management: A Handbook for Small Public Water Systems – STEP Guide Series (EPA 816-R-03-016), and Asset Management: A Best Practices Guide (EPA 816-F-08-014). For further assistance, please contact your capacity development coordinator.

What is CUPSS?
CUPSS is a free, easy-to-use, asset management tool for small drinking water and wastewater utilities (generally, those serving fewer than 3,300 persons) and medium-sized systems new to asset management.

Who developed CUPSS?
EPA's Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water (OGWDW) developed CUPSS with the help of a workgroup that included representatives from state agencies, technical assistance organizations, EPA Regional offices, and small wastewater and drinking water utilities.

How can I get a copy of CUPSS?
CUPSS is a legacy software application that was developed more than ten years ago to assist drinking water and wastewater utilities new to asset management in implementing an asset management program. The application is no longer being maintained and may not work well for all users, and is no longer available to  download from the EPA’s website.

I'm having trouble installing or using CUPSS. What should I do?
Users with newer versions of Windows may experience issues downloading CUPSS.  The CUPSS User's Guide includes instructions for how to install or use the CUPSS application. Also, check the Trouble Shooting Guide for answers to specific questions. Download:

What challenges might I encounter when using CUPSS?

There are some known limitations with the current version of CUPSS. If you are still using CUPSS, please be aware that you may experience some of the following challenges:

Compatibility Issues:

  • CUPSS was originally designed to work on Windows XP.Some users have problems performing some tasks, such as printing and working in the Windows Excel and Word applications, in Windows 7, 8, and 10 environments.

  • There are compatibility issues with Windows 10 and the installer application which has caused some users to be unable to download the application on a Windows 10 machine.

  • Since CUPSS will no longer be updated by the EPA, it is anticipated to have compatibility issues with future operating systems.

  User Issues:

  • The CUPSS system is intended to be a desktop application and will not work with multiple users. You can copy the database and share it with another instance of CUPSS on another workstation, but two people cannot be working on the same database.

  • If the user cannot remember their username or password, previously entered records cannot be access and there is nothing that can be done but for the user to start over

  • It is possible to circumvent some of the application’s validation systems by inserting text in drop down. This can cause errors when importing data into the application.

  • It is important to backup data in the application regularly as some users have reported losing data while working in the system.

  • When installing the application, some users receive a message “You will need to provide administrator permissions to change these attributes” when they have full administrator permissions.

  • There is no means of removing a utility from the system once it is added.

  • There is no means of removing items from the “Task Type” drop down list.

  • The username field cannot be changed after it is first entered.

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