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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 12:00PM EDT
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Workshop date is tentative and subject to change. Location to be determined (Greater Cincinnati Area).
Registration coming soon!


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. It 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.

  • Agenda and Session Information

    Agenda coming soon.

    The 16th annual workshop speakers and group leaders will be experts in their fields from EPA and other federal agencies, state and local agencies, academia, and NGOs and associations. The workshop will include technical sessions and other activities:

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

    The technical sessions of the workshop will include distribution systems and monitoring and treatment topics, such as service lines and premise plumbing, infrastructure repair and replacement, contaminants of emerging concern, inorganics, rule implementation, risk management and crisis communication, pathogens and biofilms, disinfection residuals and byproducts, field investigations, and others. The hands-on training typically includes sessions on treatment optimization and control strategies.

  • Continuing Education Contact Hours

    Up to 15 continuing education contact hours are typically offered for attending the entire workshop. Those viewing the live broadcast sessions of the workshop, which will be included as part of EPA's small systems monthly webinar series, can earn 1.5 continuing education contact hours for each broadcast session. Contact hour credits are provided in collaboration with Ohio EPA.

    Certificates are typically provided within two-three weeks following the workshop via the email provided at registration.

  • 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.​

    Agenda from the 15th Annual Workshop

  • Information and Research on Small Drinking Water Systems

    Number of active small water systems per state and region in the United States, including territories. A small system serves 10,000 or fewer people according to the Safe Drinking Water Act. There are a total of 142,322 active small systems. Map of the number of active small drinking water systems per state and EPA region in the United States, including territories. 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 4 of Fiscal Year 2018. (Click on map to see larger image)As of June 2018, there are 146,715 operational public water systems (PWS) in the United States (including Territories). Of these, 97% (142,322) 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 addtion 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:


For questions about the workshop, contact Michelle Latham at or (513) 569-7601.

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

Event Type