How the Federal Government Supports Small Systems
As a small system (and let's use the example of small systems in states here), the primary contact related to your regulatory requirements and your overall water system health is likely someone in the state program. Depending on the size of the state, maybe it's someone in the regional field office or maybe it's someone at the state headquarters. Either way, you probably have a decent understanding of what it is that the states do for small systems in your area.
What you may not know is that the federal government, most commonly through the EPA and USDA, routinely invests in technical assistance programs for small systems so there are even more people on the ground to help you. Maybe you've received assistance from a technical assistance organization in the past, where the training is free. Sometimes the states also help fund these organizations to deliver training and provide direct assistance when you need it, but that varies widely from state to state.
Four of the largest organizations that have received this funding are networks of location-specific providers, many of whom are certified operators and all of whom have a passion for helping small systems:
* Rural Community Assistance Partnership - Note: We receive funding as a partner with RCAP.
* National Rural Water Association
* Environmental Finance Center Network
* American Water Works Association
Our point here is that the government funds these organizations to supplement the great work that states do in their programs, so there's even more support available for you. They are funded via competitive cooperative agreement, meaning their ability to help you effectively has been vetted by experts. While we may wear different hats, we at SmallWaterSupply.org believe we're all in this together serving YOU as you protect public health and the environment. The next time you attend a training event or receive technical assistance and it's free, remember to ask who funded the program that allowed that to happen.