Small Systems

Resources for Small Systems

Operating costs, aging infrastructure, and increasing regulatory compliance are just some of the difficulties that utilities face daily. Smaller systems typically face these issues with fewer resources at their disposal. Our goal is to help ease the burden.

We offer a full suite of training resources including in-person workshops, instructor-led online courses, and self-paced eLearning. AWWA Standards and Manuals help you comply with industry standards. And finally, an AWWA membership helps you connect with your peers.

Small System Operastors

Small Systems 90-Day Trial Membership

Interested in a 90-day trial membership? Apply today!

Download Small Systems AWWA Membership Application

USDA Small Systems Training

Optimizing Performance & Accessing Funding to Improve Small Systems

This free training is made possible through the collaboration of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Partnership for Safe Water. Topics covered include: an in-depth introduction to water loss control, how to conduct a preliminary self-assessment, how to apply for USDA funding, and where to go for additional assistance.

Choose what format of free training works best for you. Whether you’re learning from an instructor online, by yourself, or in a classroom setting, the same content is covered.


Free Training for Small Systems funded by the USDA
View flyers on free training for cybersecurity, water loss control and accessing funding and for setting effective rates.

Instructor-Led

The Instructor-Led online course will be 2-3 hours per day for 2 days and is free for small systems.

 

November, December, January

California
Optimization & Funding
November 5-6, 2020
Register Here

MN Section
Cybersecurity
November 16-17, 2020
Register Here

CT Section
Rates & Funding
November 17-18, 2020
Register Here

     

ND Section
Rates & Funding
November 17-18, 2020
Register Here

AZ Section
Cyber & Funding
November 19-20, 2020
Register Here

NY Section
Optimization & Funding
November 30- December 1, 2020
Register Here

     

Washington
Optimization & Funding
November 30- December 1, 2020
Register Here

Guam
Optimization & Funding
December 2-3, 2020
Register Here

Maine
Optimization & Funding
December 3-4, 2020
Register Here

     

Delaware
Optimization & Funding
December 7-8, 2020
Register Here

New Hampshire
Cybersecurity
December 7-8, 2020
Register Here

Vermont
Optimization & Funding
December 8-9, 2020
Register Here

     

MT Section
Optimization & Funding
December 9-10, 2020
Register Here

Arkansas
Rates & Funding
December 10-11, 2020
Register Here

Massachusetts
Rates & Funding
December 10-11, 2020
Register Here

     

ND Section
Cybersecurity
December 14-15, 2020
Register Here

Rhode Island
Cybersecurity
December 14-15, 2020
Register Here

TX Section
Optimization & Funding
December 15-16, 2020
Register Here

     

CT Section
Cybersecurity
January 12-13, 2021
Register Here

Oregon
Cybersecurity
January 25-26, 2021
Register Here

Washington
Rates & Funding
March 8-9, 2021
Register Here

     

 

   

eLearning Self-paced

To access these FREE courses, please follow these steps:

  • To access these courses, please follow these steps:
  • Login to your AWWA Account
  • Select Your Name in the top right of the page to go to My Account
  • Click on My Courses in the left-hand menu
    • Option A:If you have not accessed previously, under Small Systems Course Access, Enter Code: SMSYS20. Click Redeem and then ‘Go'.
    • Option B: If the system indicates ‘Error: You have already used this code”, then Enter Code: SMSYS202. Click Redeem and then ‘Go’.

All of the available free courses will be placed in your enrollments section on the lower page. To access one of the courses, click on the course title or select Go next to the title.


Optimizing Performance and Accessing Funding to Improve Small Systems - EL280 
This eLearning course is part of a special eLearning workshop series made possible through the collaboration of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Partnership for Safe Water.  This eLearning course is designed to complement the series of one-day, interactive classroom-style workshops that are being delivered to small system operators and managers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Course participants will learn how to complete a system-wide self-assessment of five core areas of everyday operations.  Based on the assessment, participants identify a priority area of improvement that may be eligible for USDA funding, learn how to develop a short project plan, and then learn how to contact/connect with USDA to get the funding process started.  All participants receive dedicated, follow-up technical assistance and helpful documents from AWWA. 

Introduction to Rural Development Apply (RD Apply) - EL281
In this eLearning course, students will learn how to apply for the Loans and Grants for Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Programs by becoming familiar with the RD Apply online application process. The RUS program provides affordable financing to construct or improve water, sanitary sewer, solid waste disposal and storm wastewater drainage systems. This course will provide step-by-step guidance through the RD Apply application process from starting an application, uploading data, application review and verification.

Course Learning Objectives: 

  • To Apply for the Loans and Grants for Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Programs in the fastest, easiest and most secure way
  • By applying you will be able to construct or improve water, sanitary sewer, solid waste disposal and storm wastewater drainage systems through affordable financing
     

Controlling Non-revenue Water in Small Water Utilities, Course 1: Water Supply Operations and Non-Revenue Water - EL290
This course introduces the topic of Non-revenue Water, which occurs in all water utilities to some degree.  Water often leaks from primary supply infrastructure and never reaches customers.  Inaccurate customer water meters and billing errors result in uncaptured revenue.  Such failures and data lapses are explained as sources of Non-revenue Water, which have multiple negative impacts to utility operations and finances, as well as disruption to reliable customer service. 

Course Learning Objectives: 

  •  Recognize sources of Non-Revenue Water in their system
  • Define the components of Non-revenue Water using AWWA’s Water Balance  
  • Calculate the associated costs of Non-Revenue Water 
  • Analyze the operational, financial, and customer impacts that result from Non-revenue Water. 

Controlling Non-revenue Water in Small Water Utilities, Course 2: the AWWA Standard Water Audit and Free Software Tools - EL291

In this eLearning course, students will learn how to track the water that they manage using the Water Balance diagram, and how to place data in the AWWA Free Water Audit Software to compile the annual water audit. Guidance is given both on the use of the Software and the ways to get a representative quantity of the water audit components. Participants will also see how to transfer their water audit data into the AWWA Compiler Software Tool which allowing year-by-year trending. 

Course Learning Objectives:

  • Track the water you supply from source to customer using the Water Balance diagram. 
  • Download the AWWA Free Water Audit Software and the AWWA Compiler Software Tool
  • Compile your annual water audit using the AWWA Free Water Audit Software 
  • Analyze your year-by-year water audit data using the AWWA Compiler Software Tool

In-Person Workshops

We will resume in-person workshops as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. Please check back.



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Safe Drinking Water Act Compliance Training

These courses are made possible through an USEPA grant for small systems training in conjunction with AWWA's training partner, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP).

eLearning Self-paced Courses

To access these FREE courses, please follow these steps:

  • To access these courses, please follow these steps:
  • Login to your AWWA Account
  • Select Your Name in the top right of the page to go to My Account
  • Click on My Courses in the left-hand menu
    • Option A:If you have not accessed previously, under Small Systems Course Access, Enter Code: SMSYS20. Click Redeem and then ‘Go'.
    • Option B: If the system indicates ‘Error: You have already used this code”, then Enter Code: SMSYS202. Click Redeem and then ‘Go’.

All of the available free courses will be placed in your enrollments section on the lower page. To access one of the courses, click on the course title or select Go next to the title.


Maintaining and Achieving RTCR Compliance for Small Systems - EL219

This course is made possible through an USEPA grant for small systems training in conjunction with AWWA's training partner, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP).

This eLearning course focuses on 4 major areas needed by small systems to maintain and achieve compliance with the Revised Total Coliform Rule, including when and how to conduct the RTCR assessment, evaluation of sampling procedures, sources water treatment assessments, and evaluation of distribution system operations, and maintenance practices on coliform occurrence.

3-hour, self-paced


Regulatory Review - EL271

This course is made possible through an USEPA grant for small systems training in conjunction with AWWA's training partner, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP).

This eLearning course covers drinking water regulations and equips operators to properly operate and maintain water treatment facilities and distribution systems, thereby protecting public health. 

After completing the course, the learner will understand the origins and process for development of drinking water regulations and their importance in protecting public health, identify the meaning of commonly used terms and abbreviations in drinking water regulations, and be able to describe the multi-barrier approach to drinking water and its benefits to public health. 

1-hour, self-paced

In-Person Workshops

November 2, 2020
Raleigh, NC
Registration Coming Soon

November 5, 2020
Wolf Point, MT
Registration Coming Soon

America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018 was signed into law on October 23, 2018 and requires community (drinking) water systems serving more than 3,300 people to develop or update risk assessments and emergency response plans (ERPs). The EPA has developed newly released guidance, contained within these eLearning modules, to help small systems comply with AWIA.

To access these courses, please follow these steps:

  • Login to your AWWA Account
  • Select Your Name in the top right of the page to go to My Account
  • Click on  My Courses in the left-hand menu
  • Under Small Systems Course Access, Enter Code: SMSYS20 and select Redeem and then Go
  • All of the available free courses will be placed in your enrollments
  • To access one of the courses, click on the course title or select Go next to the title.

Course 1: Introduction to Resiliency and America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 - EL272

As the introductory course in the Small Systems Resiliency Certificate Program, this course introduces the requirements for water utilities established by America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA) and defines how the certificate program can help small systems to meet those requirements. 

Course 2: Operational Measures for Resiliency - EL273
The second course in the Small Systems Resiliency Certificate Program, course content covers each aspect of security, field assessments of critical assets, and operational resiliency. 

Course 3: How to Develop a Risk and Resilience Assessment - EL274
As the third course in the Small Systems Resiliency Certificate Program, the course guides small systems through developing a Risk and Resiliency Assessment with a worksheet designed for small utilities. 

Course 4: How to Develop a Small System Emergency Response Plan - EL275
As the fourth course in the Small Systems Resiliency Certificate Program, the course guides small systems through developing an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) with the EPA ERP template. 

Course 5: Cybersecurity for Water Systems - EL276
The fifth course in the Small Systems Resiliency Certificate program, explains the importance of cybersecurity best practices for critical infrastructure and demonstrates how AWWA’s water sector cybersecurity risk management guidance and tool can help a utility identify gaps in current cybersecurity practices.  

Instructor-Led Courses

November 12-13, 2020
Chesapeake Section
Registration Coming Soon

December 1, 2020
SC Section
Registration Coming Soon



Additional Free Small Systems Training

To access these FREE courses, please follow these steps:

  • To access these courses, please follow these steps:
  • Login to your AWWA Account
  • Select Your Name in the top right of the page to go to My Account
  • Click on My Courses in the left-hand menu
    • Option A:If you have not accessed previously, under Small Systems Course Access, Enter Code: SMSYS20. Click Redeem and then ‘Go'.
    • Option B: If the system indicates ‘Error: You have already used this code”, then Enter Code: SMSYS202. Click Redeem and then ‘Go’.

All of the available free courses will be placed in your enrollments section on the lower page. To access one of the courses, click on the course title or select Go next to the title.


Setting the Right Rates for Your Water System - EL251

This course is made possible through an USEPA grant for small systems training in conjunction with AWWA's training partner, the Environmental Finance Center.

This eLearning course consists of three modules to help you set the right rates for your water system. It is intended for people who make finance and management decisions on behalf of water systems, including board members and top managers. 

2-hour, self-paced

Financial Sustainability for Small Systems - EL226

This course is made possible through an USEPA grant for small systems training in conjunction with AWWA's training partner, the Environmental Finance Center. 

This eLearning course focuses on 3 major areas needed by small systems to achieve financial sustainability, including understanding enterprise funds and their revenues, and an overview of what is needed to protect public health through safe water. 

2-hour, self-paced





Publications for Small Systems

AWWA Small Systems Field Guide, Water and Wastewater

Operators of small water systems do it all. This handy field guide provides all the day-to-day information needed to operate small water and wastewater systems.

M54 Developing Rates for Small Systems

M54 gives you the step-by-step guidance you need to determine your revenue requirements, analyze your rates for different customer classes, develop a financial plan, and design a better rate structure. 

A100-15 Water Wells

This standard covers the minimum requirements for vertical water supply wells, including geologic and hydrologic conditions and water quality and well construction.  Application of this standard is not limited by well depth.

G100-17 Water Treatment Plant Operation and Management

This ANSI-approved standard describes the critical requirements for the effective operation and management of drinking water treatment plants.