Technical Reports

Manage Every Drop

The Technical and Educational Council (TEC) strives to promote the advancement of knowledge creation using the collaborative resources and innovation of its volunteers. Each year the TEC reviews and selects projects submitted by the TEC Divisions, committees and subcommittees for funding. Approved projects cover a variety of water sector topics.


Key Data to Inform Government Asset Management Policies

Many state and federal agencies have policies (e.g., laws, regulations, incentives, practices, procedures, and administrative actions), or are considering policies, to address water infrastructure needs. Examples include requirements for utilities to collect information about their assets (e.g., age, condition, performance, and capital needs), use asset management best practices, and develop and implement fiscal sustainability plans.

But how will state and federal officials measure the success of such policies? And how will agencies that are considering new policies decide which ones to adopt? This 2018 project will help identify the data and information that agencies can use to better assess water infrastructure needs of utilities of all sizes within their jurisdiction as well as develop, implement, and evaluate policies intended to help meet these needs.


Source Water Protection Justification Toolkit

This toolkit provides information for systems looking to implement source water protection measures for the first time and systems that want to modify or expand existing source water protection programs. As a supplement to this toolkit, a Microsoft PowerPoint template to present the initial business case for investing in source water protection to key decision-makers such as local officials, board of directors, and investors.


Water Utility Disinfection Survey

This 2017 project was the fifth disinfection survey conducted since 1978 to better understand current U.S. operation practices, regulatory effects, and disinfection-related challenges within the drinking water industry. The report summarizes the findings from the 2017 survey, particularly as they relate to current disinfection practices among the 375 utility respondents.


Approved projects for 2019

Roadmap for a Next-generation Non-revenue Water Information Management and Assessment System

This project represents a continuation of the progress achieved in the 2018 TEC project, “Assessment of Performance Indicators for Non-revenue Water Target-setting and Progress Tracking.” The 2018 TEC project is identifying an enhanced group of performance indicators that will supersede dated indicators and advance utility water loss control efforts.

As phase 2, the 2019 project will incorporate refinement of the technical basis developed in the 2018 project for the analytics capabilities to be included within the roadmap for the “Next Generation” system. In addition, this project will develop the framework for an enhanced Non-revenue water (NRW) target-setting and performance tracking information system.

ATP & Coliform Analysis Comparison for Infrastructure Release for Service

This project is intended as a preliminary study to determine if an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) analysis is a suitable risk assessment analysis for operational guidance that may be used as an alternate method for releasing newly installed water mains for service, releasing mains for service after breaks, and releasing treated water storage reservoirs for service after cleaning, disinfection, and/or maintenance.

2018 Projects: Coming Soon

Assessment of Performance Indicators for Non-Revenue Water Target-setting and Progress Tracking

The Water Loss Control Committee is working to reevaluate the list of non-revenue water performance indicators for the AWWA Water Audit Methodology and the AWWA tools employing this approach. The intent of the revised and updated list of performance indicators is to move the drinking water industry forward in verifiable water and revenue loss reduction. This project should recommend NRW performance indicators needed to meet the following functional requirements:

  • Reliably assess utility water efficiency standing – quantifying real losses, apparent losses, cost impacts, and the quality of the water audit data
  • Provide the ability to track changes in utility performance (improving or declining) in managing water and revenue losses, and provide a basis to assess the cost-effectiveness of loss control activities
  • Serve as a workable means to set water and revenue loss goals and targets that can be effectively used to verify measurable reductions in real and apparent losses
  • Compare standing and progress with peer utilities and benchmark with “best-in-class” utilities to provide for meaningful best practice advancement

Leading Business Practices for Water Reuse Cost Allocations and Pricing

There are no formal guidelines on how to develop reuse rates in the water sector. This project will take initial steps toward helping rate practitioners set reuse rates for their utilities. The desired outcomes of the project are to provide pragmatic answers to questions that utility managers have and to set a foundation for establishing cost-of-service guidelines for inclusion in M1, Principles of Water Rates, Fees and Charges.

This project proposes to identify 20 to 30 utilities that have successfully handled the difficult issues around cost allocations and pricing of reuse water. The contractor will conduct structured interviews with utility participants to provide an in-depth assessment of the best practices employed in successfully establishing reuse rates.

2017 Projects

Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems - Guidance for Water Utilities

This guidance document provides information to help water utilities understand the purpose and features of residential fire sprinkler systems (RFSS), and guide them in setting their own policies and procedures for the design, installation, and operation of water distribution systems servicing customers with RFSS.

Operator Licensing Requirements Across the United States: Levels and Effects

This report catalogues licensing requirements for water and wastewater operators across all 50 states to determine opportunities for and barriers to cross-training.

Communicating Source Water Protection Efforts in Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR)

Outreach to and education of the general public are critical components of source water protection. This targeted literature review examined how utilities of all sizes are currently using their Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs) to educate customers about source water protection needs and efforts. The complementary guidance document is designed to help small- and medium-sized utilities more effectively communicate on source water protection in their CCRs.

2016 projects

The State of Water Loss Control 

This AWWA white paper provides water utilities with background, facts and resources to help them understand and communicate the occurrence of water and revenue losses in utility operations and the means to cost-effectively control them.

AWWA Leading Business Practices in Asset Management Case Study Report

Following the 2015 survey on the level of progress in utility asset management, this report highlights some of the leading practices identified to provide more information on what leading utilities are doing. The case studies are intended to serve as a resource for other utilities to learn from their experience and to help improve asset management programs.

project archives

  • Customer Service Certificate Program
  • Establishing the Level of Progress in Utility Asset Management Survey Results
  • National Survey of Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Water Efficiency Programs
  • Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level Constituents – What Every Operator Should Know
    • Ammonia Fact Sheet
    • SMCLs Fact Sheet 
  • The Human Capital Resource Challenge: Recognizing and Overcoming Small Utility Workforce Obstacles
  • Effect of Forest Cover on Drinking Water Treatment Costs
  • Current Sustainable Infrastructure Practices
  • A Guide to Customer Water-Use Indicators for Conservation and Financial Planning
  • Energy Management for Water Utilities
  • Research Benchmarking Project
  • Feasibility Study for Early Warning Systems for Algae-induced Tastes and Odors
  • Water Conservation Measurement Metrics Guidance Report