Because they have fewer resources than larger systems, small systems face enormous challenges in consistently providing safe and reliable drinking water. To help address this issue, EPA ORD and EPA Office of Water, in coordination with Ohio EPA and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), began hosting a monthly webinar series targeted for state agencies on challenges and treatment solutions for small water systems. The series allows EPA to provide training and foster collaboration and dissemination of information, which, in turn, will help state agencies communicate the latest scientific advancements and current guidance to their small systems. It also serves as a forum for the invaluable flow of information, providing critical insight about the problems small water systems are currently encountering in their day-to-day interactions. With that increased awareness, EPA experts can then modify their research to offer real-world solutions. In 2015, the series attracted more than 7,800 participants from all 50 states, including tribes and Island territories, and a host of foreign countries, and provided 3,300 continuing education credits (supported by Ohio EPA). EPA is continuing the webinar series in 2016 with the addition of external presenters from state drinking water agencies to help encourage communication among the states. For the webinar series schedule, registration and past recordings, visit EPA’s website at epa.gov/water-research/small-systems-monthly-webinar-series.
“It’s very important that we provide small water systems with timely, easy to use and accessible tools and training to assist in operating these critical public water systems, and the webinars and one-on-one meetings are perfectly suited to meet this need,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler.
In addition to the webinar series, EPA hosts an annual small drinking water systems workshop in collaboration with ASDWA. This free, face-to-face workshop offers in-depth training and information for handling small drinking water systems problems and compliance challenges. It is primarily designed for state personnel responsible for drinking water regulations compliance and treatment technologies permitting. The workshop typically attracts over 200 attendees from across the Nation. Registration for the workshop is usually open by late May and will be available on EPA’s website at epa.gov/water-research.