Training and Technical Assistance to Improve Water Quality and Enable Small Public Water Systems to Provide Safe Drinking Water
On this page:
- Grant Announcement
- Available Funding
- Eligible Applicants
- How to Apply
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact Information
Biden-Harris Administration Announces $30.7 Million in Grants to Support Water Systems in Small and Rural Communities
Contact: EPA Press Office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WASHINGTON (Dec. 4, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of up to $30.7 million in grant funding for technical assistance and training to support small drinking water and wastewater systems, including those in rural communities. This grant provides funding to organizations that work side-by-side with water systems by giving them the necessary tools and training to ensure communities have safe drinking water and effective wastewater treatment systems.
“Many small drinking water systems face challenges when working to provide reliable and safe drinking water to their communities,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Funding to support upgrading water infrastructure is central to President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. With this grant funding, the EPA is building on our technical assistance efforts by providing another resource for disadvantaged and often rural, communities to gain access to their fair share of federal investment through training and technical assistance.”
Small water systems often face unique financial and operational challenges, including aging infrastructure, workforce shortages, increasing costs, and declining rate bases. Many small systems also serve disadvantaged communities with environmental justice concerns. With this action, EPA is investing in small and underserved communities to ensure safe drinking water and wastewater services are provided to those that are most in need.
Additionally, this grant will help expand on the Agency’s water technical assistance (WaterTA) commitment, which aims to provide a range of assistance to help communities identify solutions for water challenges — from capacity building to helping navigate the federal funding application process, and strategically invest in reliable infrastructure solutions.
EPA is seeking applications to fund grant projects that will benefit small and rural communities. Eligible applicants for this competitive agreement are nonprofit organizations, nonprofit private universities and colleges, and public institutions of higher education. The application period for these competitive grants is now open.
Questions about applying for EPA funding for training and technical assistance must be received by January 18, 2024 and applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 2, 2024. EPA expects to award these cooperative agreements by summer of 2024 and encourages all eligible organizations who have an interest in these projects to apply.
This grant will be competed through a Request for Application process. The funding opportunity will remain open for 60 days on Grants.gov. For more information on the grant visit EPA’s website on Training and Technical Assistance for Small Systems Funding.
Since 2012, the Training and Technical Assistance to Improve Water Quality and Enable Small PWSs to Provide Safe Drinking Water grant program has provided over $170 million in funding to technical assistance and training providers. EPA expects to award three to nine cooperative agreements totaling up to $30.7 million in federal funds. The purpose of the agreements is to provide training and technical assistance to:
- Small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA);
- Small public water systems on a wide range of managerial and/or financial topics to achieve and maintain compliance with the SDWA;
- Small publicly-owned wastewater systems, communities served by onsite-decentralized wastewater systems to help improve water quality; or
- Private well owners to help improve water quality.
EPA's free WaterTA services supports communities in states, Tribes and territories, with developing solutions to localized water challenges. Learn more about Water TA services visit EPA’s Water Technical Assistance website.
For this grant cycle, the program is making approximately $30.7 million in federal funds available. The following is the expected total of awards in each of the three National Priority Areas:
- One to five awards are anticipated under National Priority Area 1: Training and Technical Assistance for Small Public Water Systems to Achieve and Maintain Compliance with the SDWA, including Improving Financial and Managerial Capacity, with an estimated total of $26,000,000.
- One to two awards are anticipated under National Priority Area 2: Training and Technical Assistance for Small Publicly-Owned Wastewater Systems and Onsite/Decentralized Wastewater Systems to Help Improve Water Quality and Sustainable Operations, with an estimated total of $1,250,000.
- One to two awards are anticipated under National Priority Area 3: Training and Technical Assistance for Private Drinking Water Well Owners to Help Improve Water Quality, with an estimated total of $3,450,000.
All applicants must demonstrate in their application submission how they will contribute a minimum non-federal cost-share/match of 10 percent of the total amount of federal funding requested for the project.
Eligible applicants for this competitive agreement are nonprofit organizations, nonprofit private universities and colleges, and public institutions of higher education. For-profit organizations are not eligible to apply. States, municipalities, or tribal governments are not eligible to apply. Nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in prohibited lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply.
The grant program is a competitive program. The solicitation for the grants is posted on Grants.gov.
The Request for Applications (RFA) is viewable here:
Click here to apply: Grants.gov
The closing date and time for receipt of application submissions is February 2, 2024 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, in order to be considered for funding.
Questions about this RFA must be submitted in writing via e-mail and must be received by the Agency contact identified in the “Contacts” section of this page. They must be received by January 18, 2024 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
Please refer to the following document for responses to frequently asked questions.