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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems

Training and Technical Assistance for Small Systems Funding

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Funding for Training and Technical Assistance for Small Systems

UPDATE:  EPA has made selections under this competition.

Awards have not been made yet and selections are subject to completion of the award process. EPA will work with the successful applicants in the next phase of the award process and expects to award these cooperative agreements by Fall, 2018.

  • For EPA-OW-OGWDW-17-01, National Priority Area 1, EPA has selected the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) to provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems across the country to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

  • For EPA-OW-OGWDW-17-01, National Priority Area 2, EPA has selected the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Environmental Finance Center Network) to help small drinking water systems improve financial and managerial capacity to provide safe drinking water.

  • For EPA-OW-OGWDW-17-01, National Priority Area 3, EPA has selected the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) to work with small publicly-owned wastewater and onsite/decentralized wastewater systems to help improve water quality.

  • For EPA-OW-OGWDW-17-01, National Priority Area 4, EPA has selected the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) to work with private well owners to help improve water quality.


EPA’s Fiscal Year 2017 appropriation directs the Agency to competitively award $12.7 million to non-profit organizations to provide training and technical assistance to small public water systems, small wastewater systems and private well owners, located in urban and rural communities throughout the U.S. and its territories.

The funding will help provide water and wastewater system staff and private well owners with training and tools to enhance system operations and management practices, and support EPA’s continuing efforts to protect public health and promote sustainability in small communities.

On October 20, 2017, EPA announced the following Request for Applications (RFA). The period for submitting applications ended December 4, 2017.

Training and Technical Assistance to Improve Water Quality and Enable Small Public Water Systems to Provide Safe Drinking Water (PDF)

EPA expects to award four to nine cooperative agreements totaling up to $25.4 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 and private well owners to help improve water quality; or
  • Private well owners to help improve water quality.

Non-profit organizations, private non-profit universities and colleges and public institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.


Frequently Asked Questions

In accordance with EPA's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy (EPA Order 5700.5A1), EPA will respond to questions from individual applicants regarding threshold eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the proposal, and requests for clarification about the announcement.

However, consistent with the provisions in the announcement, EPA staff cannot:

  • Meet with individual applicants to discuss draft proposals,
  • Provide informal comments on draft proposals, or
  • Provide advice to applicants on how to respond to ranking criteria.

Applicants are responsible for the contents of their proposals.

Frequently Asked Questions for Small Systems Request for Application

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