Tools, Training, and Technical Assistance for Small and Rural Wastewater Systems
EPA and its partners have developed many tools and resources for planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining wastewater infrastructure for small and rural communities.
- Searchable Clearinghouse of Wastewater Technologies
The Searchable Clearinghouse of Wastewater Technology (SCOWT) was created by the Clean Water Technology Center. SCOWT is an information-sharing platform that provides resources on the cost-effectiveness and performance of innovative, alternative, and reuse wastewater technologies for both centralized and decentralized systems. SCOWT compiles accurate and objective research to support technology adoption, with a focus on small, mid-size, and underserved communities.
- Augmented Alternative Analysis
The Augmented Alternatives Analysis (AAA) method incorporates past utility experiences and lessons learned to provide you with a simple, sound, easily explainable and transparent way to incorporate community values and best meet utility needs as you evaluate and select infrastructure investments.
- Effective Utility Management
Effectively managing all aspects of operations is critical for all utilities, regardless of size or location, to ensure their long-term sustainability and keep the communities they serve strong, safe, and sustainable. EPA and the Rural Utilities Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed several training and technical assistance tools targeted to rural and small water and wastewater systems.
- Financing Alternatives Comparison Tool (FACT)
A financial analysis tool developed by EPA to identify the most cost-effective method to fund a wastewater or drinking water management project.
- The Wastewater Information System Tool (TWIST)
This computer-based tool allows state and local health departments to inventory and manage small wastewater treatment systems by tracking information on residences and facilities served, permits, site evaluations, types of systems, inspections, and complaints in their jurisdictions.
Training and Technical Assistance
- Water Technical Assistance Request Form
EPA Water Technical (WaterTA) aims to assist communities with applications for federal funding, quality water infrastructure, and reliable water services in partnership with drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities and local government.
- Training and Technical Assistance for Rural, Small, and Tribal Wastewater Systems
Grantees provide training and technical assistance to rural, small, and tribal wastewater systems. This technical assistance may include, but is not limited to, accessing funding, circuit-rider and multi-state regional technical assistance programs, training and site visits, online webinars, and technical assistance to diagnose and trouble-shoot wastewater system operations and Clean Water Act compliance-related problems and to identify potential solutions.
- Environmental Finance Centers
Deliver targeted technical assistance to, and partner with, states, tribes, local governments, and the private sector in providing innovative solutions to manage the costs of environmental financing and program management.
- Asset Management: A Best Practices Guide (PDF)(4 pp, 242 K, About PDF)
Explains asset management and its benefits, provides best practices, and explains how to implement an asset management plan.
- Asset Management for Local Officials
Offers the basics of asset management for community leaders and local officials who play a vital role in implementing a successful asset management program.
- Building an Asset Management Team (PDF)(2 pp, 155 K, About PDF)
Discusses the components of a successful asset management team and how forming and having a team can help systems implement asset management practices.
- Water and Wastewater Utility Operation and Management for Small Communities
A basic training program of several video modules to help operate and manage small water and wastewater treatment facilities. These modules include:
- Providing Process Control Technical Assistance to Small Mechanical Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) Series (October 2022)
- Part 1: Introduction - Provides an introduction and overview of the training material.
- Part 2: Wastewater Treatment Plant Walkthrough - Provides background and an overview of WWTP process units such as the equalization basin, aeration tank, clarifier, and more.
- Part 3: Tools and Equipment - Focuses on the tools and equipment used to diagnose and troubleshoot WWTP operation issues.
- Part 4: Troubleshooting - Focuses on sampling, measurement, and analysis techniques that can be used to troubleshoot WWTP issues.
- Asset Management Switchboard
The Southwest Environmental Finance Center has partnered with EPA to create a repository of documentation and tools related to Asset Management.
- Reference Guide for Asset Management Tools 2020 (pdf) (881 KB)
This document is designed for state staff and technical assistance providers who are assisting small- and medium-sized drinking water or wastewater systems in identifying resources that can be used to implement asset management practices.
Additional Assistance for Tribal Communities
- Environmental Protection in Indian Country
Resources on water and other environmental programs, consultation and coordination, grants, and other topics of interest to tribal communities.
- Homeowner's Guide to Septic Systems for Tribal Communities
EPA and the Indian Health Service guide focusing on the unique factors of tribal communities and homeowners on tribal lands in caring tor their systems.
- Tribal Infrastructure Task Force (ITF)
Led by EPA, ITF is a federal partnership of five Departments that aims to improve access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and solid waste management in Indian country.