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16th Annual EPA Drinking Water Workshop

Date and Time

Tuesday 09/24/2019 8:30AM EDT to Thursday 09/26/2019 12:30PM EDT
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Duke Energy Convention Center
525 Elm St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202


Addressing Challenges and Solutions for Small Systems15 annual drinking water workshop banner. images: water faucet filling glass, biological treatment, arsenic treatment, waterboy, small system

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 governments, academics, design engineers, technical assistance providers, and consultants.


The 16th annual workshop speakers and group leaders are experts in their fields from EPA, state and local agencies, academia, NGOs and associations, and the private sector. The workshop included technical sessions and other activities:

  • Technical presentation sessions
  • In-depth training sessions
  • Ask the experts session
  • Breakout focus groups
  • Models and tools demonstrations
  • Poster session
  • Plenary sessions with guest speakers and focus group report-outs
  • Networking opportunities
  • Live broadcast sessions for those unable to attend the workshop (see box on right)

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Training Contact Hours

  • In-Person Participation: Up to 15 continuing education contact hours were offered for attending the entire workshop. Contact hour credits are provided in collaboration with Ohio EPA.
  • Viewing of Live Broadcasts: Those viewing the live broadcast sessions of the workshop, which was included as part of EPA's small systems monthly webinar series, earned a certificate for 1.5 training hours for each broadcast session.

Note: Acceptance of certificates is contingent on state and/or organization requirements—EPA cannot guarantee acceptance. Certificates are typically provided within two-three weeks following the workshop via the email provided at registration. Certificates cannot be provided for watching the broadcast recordings.

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Workshop History

15th Annual EPA Drinking Water WorkshopTo 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 15 years 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 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 expanded to include multiple small drinking water system topics, including treatment technology options, infrastructure challenges and solutions, regulation implementation, compliance issues, and emerging contaminants.

In 2018, the 15th annual workshop attracted close to 400 attendees from 48 states and 2 territories. They included representatives from federal, tribal, state, and local governments, water utilities, NGOs and associations, universities, and private consulting groups/industry.​

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About Small Systems

Map of the number of active small drinking water systems per state and EPA region in the United States, including territories (Q2 FY19)Map of the number of active small drinking water systems in the United States per state/territory and EPA Region. Systems that serve 10,000 or fewer are considered small under the Safe Drinking Water Act. For some purposes, systems that serve 3,301-10,000 are considered medium, 501-3,300 small, and 500 or fewer very small.  Counts are from EPA’s Government Performance and Results (GPRA) Tool as reported for Quarter 2 of Fiscal Year 2019. (Click on map to see larger image)As of Quarter 2 of FY2019, there are 150,110 active public water systems in the United States (including Territories). Of these, 97% (145,733) are considered small systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act, meaning they serve 10,000 or fewer people. 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 lower costs and provide safe drinking water now and in the future. In addition to the annual workshop, EPA also holds a free 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 system problems.

Additional Resources:

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Questions or Comments

For questions or comments about the workshop, contact Michelle Latham at

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Hosted By

U.S. EPA's Office of Research and Development and Office of Water, in partnership with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators

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