19th Annual EPA Drinking Water Workshop: Small System Challenges and Solutions
The workshop was held in-person this year for the first time since 2019, and select sessions were streamed live.
This year, there were approximately 300 in-person and 2,000 virtual attendees!
Monday, August 29, 2022 - September 1, 2022
Northern Kentucky Convention Center
1 W Rivercenter Blvd
Covington, KY 41011 (Greater Cincinnati, Ohio Area)
EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) and Office of Water (OW) in partnership with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA)
About the Workshop
In partnership with ASDWA, EPA's free annual drinking water workshop was held in person on August 29 - September 1, 2022 and provided in-depth information and training on solutions and strategies for handling small drinking water system challenges. Several of the sessions were offered via live broadcast webinar for those who were unable to attend in person.
Primarily designed for tribal, state, and territory personnel responsible for drinking water regulations compliance and treatment technologies permitting, the workshop provided current information, resources, and training needed to help in building systems capacity and sustainably and with providing equitable access to drinking water. System owners and operators, local and government personnel, academics, design engineers, technical assistance providers, and consultants may also benefit from attending workshop sessions.
Recordings for the virtual sessions of the workshop are posted to the online agenda. Online and Downloadable Agenda
In-person participation in the workshop included the following opportunities:
- Ten technical presentation session options
- Three In-depth training session options
- Six breakout focus group options
- Ask the experts, models and tools demos, and posters session (including a meet and greet with the Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development, Dr. Christopher Frey)
- Plenary and closing sessions (including keynote addresses by EPA's Christopher Frey, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development and Karen Dettmer, Office of Water Managing Director for Infrastructure Implementation; and a keynote address by Allison Smart of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Natural Resources Department)
- Networking opportunities
- Continuing education contact hours
Virtual participation (via live webinar broadcast) in the workshop included the following opportunities:
- Four technical session presentation options
- Plenary session
- Certificates of attendance
The workshop speakers and group leaders were experts in their fields from EPA and other federal agencies, Tribes, state and local agencies, academia, and NGOs and associations. The technical sessions of the workshop included distribution, source, treatment, water quality, and operations topics and the in-depth training included sessions on corrosion, microbiology, and sanitary surveys.
Contact Hours and Attendance Certificates
Contact hours for in-person attendees In-person attendees had the opportunity to earn approximately 15 continuing education contact hours for attending the entire workshop. Contact hour certificates are typically sent within three to four weeks following the workshop via the email provided at registration. Acceptance of contact hour certificates is contingent on state and/or organization requirements—EPA cannot guarantee acceptance of certificates or submit certificates to states or organizations.
Certificates of attendance for virtual sessions: Virtual attendees had the option of receiving certificates of attendance for the sessions that were streamed live via webinar. Certificates are typically sent within three to four weeks following the webinar via the email provided at registration. Acceptance of attendance certificates is contingent on state and/or organization requirements—EPA cannot guarantee acceptance of certificates or submit certificates to states or organizations. Closed-captioned recordings of the sessions will be posted to the online agenda for later viewing and as a training resource; certificates cannot be provided for viewing recordings.
To 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 18 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 opportunity for state staff working with small communities to install arsenic treatment technologies.
In 2008, at the encouragement of state agencies, the workshop was opened 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 2020, the workshop was held virtually for the first time in the workshop's history. In 2021 the workshop was held virtually again and attracted close to 3,000 attendees from all 50 states (including 23 Tribes) and 8 territories. Over 120 state/territory environmental and health agencies and over 170 water utilities were represented. See the highlight box on the right for the 2020 and 2021 agendas and session recordings.
About Small Systems
As of Quarter 2 of Fiscal Year 2022, there are 143,727 active public water systems in the United States (including territories). Of these, 97% (139,197) are considered small systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act, meaning they serve 10,000 or fewer people.
- Small systems serving 500 or fewer people: 115,307
- Small systems serving 501-3,300 people: 18,684
- Small systems serving 3,301-10,000 people: 5,206
Counts are from EPA’s Government Performance and Results (GPRA) Tool for Quarter 2 of Fiscal Year 2022. (GPRA)
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 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 to provide training and foster collaboration and dissemination of information. This series provides a forum for EPA to communicate directly with state personnel and other drinking water small systems professionals, which, 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 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.
- Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar Series
- Drinking Water Training
- Learn about Small Drinking Water Systems
- ASDWA Small Systems Section
Inquiries about the workshop may be directed to Jill Connors of The Cadmus Group (contractor to EPA) at 617-673-7003 or 19thAnnualDWWorkshop@cadmusgroup.com.