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Sustainable Water Infrastructure

Tools for Effective Water and Wastewater 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 to keep the communities they serve strong, safe, and sustainable.

EPA works with six national organizations that support drinking water and wastewater utilities to promote effective utility management (EUM) based on a series of attributes of effectively managed water sector utilities.

Building on the success of this effort, EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) developed two tools for rural and small water and wastewater systems to help improve organization-wide performance. They focus on operations, infrastructure, customer satisfaction, community sustainability, natural re­source stewardship, and financial viability.

  • The Rural and Small Systems Guidebook - Provides rural and small systems with a series of steps for assessing their operations based on key management areas.
  • Workshop in a Box and supplemental materials - Help systems and service providers conduct workshops on their own.
  • Providing Sustainable Utility Management Strategies and Resources - View a short video that highlights the attributes of the Rural and Small Systems Guidebook and its companion material, Workshop in a Box:
    ​Click "" below to view the video.

Tools to Implement Effective Utility Management

Medium and Larger Systems

Rural and Small Systems