Effective Utility Management Program
Effective Utility Management logo

AWWA, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and nine other association partners representing the US water and wastewater sector have collaborated to identify and provide tools to promote effective utility management.

EUM PrimerThe Effective Utility Management: A Primer for Water and Wastewater Utilities is the foundation of EUM. Originally released in 2008, the Primer was updated in 2017. It is designed to help water and wastewater utility managers make informed decisions and practical, systematic changes to achieve excellence in utility performance in the face of everyday challenges and long-term needs for the utility and the community it serves.

The EUM Primer update follows an early 2016 report titled Taking the Next Step: Findings of the Effective Utility Management Review Steering Group to the EUM collaborating associations and the EPA.

EUM is based on the 10 attributes of effectively managed utilities

  • Product Quality
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Employee and Leadership Development
  • Operational Optimization
  • Financial Viability
  • Infrastructure Strategy and Performance
  • Enterprise Resiliency
  • Community Sustainability
  • Water Resource Sustainability
  • Stakeholder Understanding and Support




The US Environmental Protection Agency has developed a number or resources in support of Effective Utility Management in conjunction with its Sustainable Water Infrastructure initiative. Chief among them are:

EPA has also collaborated with the US Department of Agriculture to develop key resources for small and rural water systems:



A Water Utility Manager’s Guide to Community Stewardship showcases utility case studies and provides utility staff with tools to support their local communities, effectively engage underserved communities and apply a social equity lens to water service delivery.