19th Annual EPA Drinking Water Workshop: Small System Challenges and Solutions
Date and Time
5:00 pm - 12:00 pm EDT
Northern Kentucky Convention Center (Greater Cincinnati , Ohio Area)
1 W Rivercenter Blvd
Covington, KY 41011
are happy to announce that the workshop will be held as a hybrid of in-person and virtual this year! So that anyone can benefit from the information presented, the technical sessions will be streamed live and recorded. For those who are able to attend in-person, the workshop will include multiple networking and training opportunities.
Preregister now and we'll let you know when full registration opens.
About the Workshop
EPA's free annual drinking water workshop, held in partnership with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), will take place on August 29 - September 1, 2022 in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio area. The workshop, which will be held as a hybrid of in-person and virtual, will provide in-depth information and training on solutions and strategies for handling small drinking water system challenges, with a focus on monitoring, distribution, source, and treatment topics.
Agenda and Registration
The workshop speakers and group leaders will be experts in their fields from EPA and other federal agencies, state and local agencies, tribes, academia, and NGOs and associations. At a minimum, the workshop agenda will include the following:
- Technical presentation sessions
- In-depth training sessions
- Breakout discussion groups
- Plenary sessions with guest speakers
The technical sessions of the workshop will include monitoring, distribution, source, and treatment topics. The in-depth training typically includes sessions on treatment optimization and control strategies. The full agenda will be posted in late spring or early summer. See the highlight box to the right for preregistration.
The workshop is primarily designed for state primacy agency staff responsible for drinking water regulations compliance and treatment technologies permitting; however, others benefit from participating, including territory, tribal, and local primacy staff, water system operators, academics, design engineers, technical assistance providers, and consultants.
Certificates of Attendance
Attendees will have the option of receiving certificates of attendance for technical sessions. Acceptance of 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 4 of Fiscal Year 2020, there are 147,327 active public water systems in the United States (including territories). Of these, 95% (139,618) are considered small systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act, meaning they serve 10,000 or fewer people.
- Small systems serving 3,301-10,000 people: 5,246
- Small systems serving 501-3,300 people: 18,654
- Small systems serving 500 or fewer people: 115,718
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
- Technical, Managerial, and Financial Capacity Resources for Small Drinking Water Systems
- ASDWA Small Systems Section