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14th Annual EPA Drinking Water Workshop: Small Systems Challenges and Solutions

Date and Time

Tuesday 08/22/2017 8:30AM EDT to Thursday 08/24/2017 2:00PM EDT
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Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
35 W. 5th St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202


Small drinking water systems distribution and treatment.This free annual workshop, held in partnership with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), provides in-depth information and training on various solutions and strategies for handling small drinking water system challenges. The workshop is primarily designed for state personnel responsible for drinking water regulations compliance and treatment technologies permitting; however, others may also benefit, including system owners and operators, local and tribal government personnel, academics, design engineers, technical assistance providers, and consultants. Continuing education contact hours were offered.

  • Agenda

    See "Links" at the bottom of the page for the agenda

    The workshop began on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 and concluded on Thursday, August 24, 2017. There was an optional optimal corrosion control treatment (OCCT) training session on Thursday. The speakers and group leaders were experts in their fields from EPA and other federal agencies, state and local agencies, academia, associations, and other groups. The workshop included multiple sessions and activities:

    • Opening and wrap-up sessions
    • Ask the experts session
    • Poster session
    • Breakout groups  
    • Ten technical sessions, including an optional optimal corrosion control treatment (OCCT) training session

    The technical sessions of the workshop included distribution systems and monitoring and treatment topics, such as challenges in the water sector, grants funding for small systems, pathogens and biofilm, premise plumbing, corrosion control, infrastructure and modeling, manganese and iron, contaminants of emerging concern, inorganics, compliance monitoring, and lead in schools and lead service line replacement.

  • Workshop History

    Attendees at EPA's small drinking water systems workshop in CincinnatiTo support the efforts of state and local officials to assist small systems, EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) and Office of Water (OW), in cooperation with ASDWA, has held an annual workshop for the past 13 years in Cincinnati, Ohio to provide timely information on a variety of drinking water topics relevant to small systems. When the first workshop was held in 2004, it was by invitation only and was designed as an educational workshop for state field staff working with small communities to install arsenic treatment technologies.

    In 2008, at the encouragement of state agencies, the workshop was open to the public, and was expanded to include multiple small drinking water system topics, including treatment technology options, infrastructure challenges and solutions, regulation implementation, compliance issues, and emerging contaminants. Past workshops have attracted close to 400 participants, with the majority being state personnel representing over 40 state drinking water programs.

  • Information on Small Drinking Water Systems

    Small drinking water system in IndianaIn the United States, there are 151,119 operational public water systems (PWS). Of these, 97% (146,767) are considered small systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act, meaning they serve 10,000 or fewer people. Although the majority of our PWS are considered small systems, they serve the fewest number of people—approximately 27% (69,070,729) of the population (255,923,859) receiving drinking water from PWS. While many of these active small systems consistently provide safe, reliable drinking water to their customers, many face a number of challenges in their ability to achieve and maintain system sustainability. Some of these small system challenges include lack of expertise to choose, operate, and maintain systems; lack of financial resources; aging infrastructure; limited options for residual disposal; and state primacy agencies with limited resources to support the large number of small systems. 

    EPA's small systems research is developing tools, technologies, and approaches to help small systems provide safe drinking water now and in the future. This helps communities' lower costs and provides safe drinking water. EPA also conducts a monthly small systems webinar series, which is providing a forum for EPA to communicate directly with state personnel and other drinking water small systems professionals and allows EPA to provide training and foster collaboration and dissemination of information. This, in turn, provides state agencies with the information and resources they need to communicate the latest scientific advancements and current guidance to their small systems. The webinars are also providing EPA with invaluable information from the states on the problems that they are currently encountering in their interactions with small systems. EPA scientists and engineers can then modify their research to solve real-world small-systems problems.


Hosted By

This workshop is organized and sponsored by EPA's Office of Research and Development and Office of Water, in partnership with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators.

Event Type