TEC Projects

The TEC strives to promote the advancement of knowledge creation using the collaborative resources and innovation of its volunteers. Each year the Technical Resources Committee reviews and selects projects submitted by the TEC Divisions, committees and subcommittees for funding. Approved projects cover a variety of water sector topics and most are free for public use.

Backflow Prevention & Cross Connection Control

Backflow Prevention & Cross Connection Control (2012)

Backflow prevention and cross connection control is important to safe water. Check out these two short videos highlighting the importance of proper selection and installation of backflow preventer and cross connection control devices. This project was led by the Cross Connection Control Committee under the Distribution & Plant Operations Division.


Myth Busting: Conservation Facts and Fallacies (2012)

Get ready to bust the myths on water conservation. This is for managers of conservation, utilities, rates and charges and anyone interested in water efficiency. Check out this short video that can be shared with staff and consumers. This project was led by the Communication, Education & Legislation Committee under the Water Conservation Division.

Myth Busting: Conservation Facts and Fallacies Video (AWWA YouTube Channel)

A Guide to Customer Water-Use Indicators for Conservation and Financial Planning (2013)

Go beyond generalizing about your customers using overly simplistic classifications and begin to segment them using nine indicators. This project was funded by the AWWA Technical & Educational Council and the AWWA Water Conservation Division and was authored by Amy Vickers & Associates, Inc. and Mary Wyatt Tiger and Shadi Eskaf.

A Guide to Customer Water-Use Indicators for Conservation and Financial Planning (PDF)

Distribution Systems

Historical Timeline of Distribution Systems (2011)

The purpose of this project was to develop an easy tool for teachers to use to help teach the history and innovations in water distribution. The deliverable is a four-panel 11x17-in. poster-format PDF file starting from early periods of time (BC) until modern day (2000’s), highlighting the important innovations and cultures that helped form the tools and techniques we use today to get water to people’s homes each and every day. The timeline also provides visual aids of some of the technologies as well as a source page for more information. Students, teachers and the general public can download this poster free of charge.

Final version of the timeline was prepared by a Subcommittee of the Distribution and Plant Operations Division, chaired by Ahmad Habibian. The Subcommittee acknowledges the efforts of Ken Mercer, Dawn Flancher and Ari Copeland, who served as AWWA staff liaisons to the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee also thanks Melanie Yamamoto of AWWA for her graphic design services.

The timeline poster in PDF format can be accessed at Drinktap.org.

Water Sampling Videos (2010)

This project produced short videos covering critical water sampling procedures. They include an overview of proper procedures to collect water samples and sampling techniques specifically related to coliform and organic contaminants. The videos are intended to help utility staff meet federal drinking water regulations.


Water Treatment Plant Residuals (2009)

The overall objective of this project was to collect and compare full-scale operating data for various residuals treatment systems that are currently operating at water treatment plants across North America. Final report prepared the Department of Civil and Resource Engineering at Dalhousie University for the WSRD Residuals Management Research Committee and the WQTD Water Treatment Plant Residuals Committee.

Utility Management

Regional Collaboration Project (2011)

This National Inventory of Regional Collaborations among water and/or wastewater utilities was conducted to identify areas of collaboration, structures to facilitate collaborations, and recommendations and barriers to collaborative efforts. This new information has been synthesized with previously published literature on regional collaborations in an effort to demonstrate to utilities various models of successful collaborations.

Final report prepared by Angela R. Bielefeldt, R. Scott Summers and Tamara Relph of the Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder for the AWWA Regional Collaboration Project Subcommittee of the Management and Leadership Division, Strategic Management Practices Committee.

National Inventory of Regional Collaboration Among Water and Wastewater Utilities (PDF, 4MB)

Research Benchmarking Project (2009)

The Research Benchmarking Project was funded as an initial step in defining the scope of research activities performed by drinking water utilities and developing a method of capturing associated expenditures. The final report was prepared by trustees of the Water Science and Research Division.

Research Benchmarking Project (PDF) 

Water Quality

High Water Quality in Plumbing and at the Faucet (2012)

The purpose of this project is to provide utilities with communication tools for the public about water quality issues that arise in premise plumbing. Although significant technical information exists in a variety of publications offered by AWWA, these are not typically in a format that is readily usable by the public. Two videos were produced; one describes water quality and the household faucet, and the second describes water quality and plumbing. In addition, two corresponding printable brochures were created which can be easily printed and mailed or emailed to utility customers.

The project was completed by the AWWA Distribution System Water Quality Committee and a subcommittee consisting of Gary Burlingame (Chair), Darren Lytle (EPA), Meg Roberts (Hazen and Sawyer), Jan Routt (consultant), Sarah Neiderer (DC Water), and Rich Giani (Portland Water).
Nitrate Treatment Study (2010)

The purpose of this document is to provide a detailed guide to the current state of nitrate treatment alternatives that can be used as a reference tool for the drinking water community. Final report prepared by Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., in collaboration with the University of California at Davis, for the AWWA Inorganic Contaminant Research and Inorganic Water Quality Joint Project Committees.

An Assessment of the State of Nitrate Treatment Alternatives (PDF, 2 MB)

Algae-Induced Tastes and Odors (2009)

Taste and odor issues in drinking water can significantly impact customer satisfaction and reduce customer confidence in the quality of the water supply. This study investigated the link between cyanobacteria abundance and the levels of MIB and geosmin present in the water to determine if it might be possible to provide early warning of taste and odor events.

Final report prepared by Arizona State University and submitted to the AWWA Taste & Odor Project Subcommittee.

Feasibility Study for Early Warning Systems for Algae-induced Tastes and Odors (PDF) 


Water Resources

Source Water Protection Survey (2010)

Conducted by Source Water Protection Committee, this 2010 survey examines the processes used by utilities to comply with the 1996 reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act requiring utilities to implement SWP programs. Key findings show that written vision statements and goals and collaboration drive the implementation of successful SWP programs and that funding and prioritization comprise the primary obstacles.

Water Conservation Measurement Metrics (2009)

The purpose of this guidance report is to identify and characterize a set of water use and conservation metrics for public water supply utilities. These metrics could be used as measurement tools to evaluate the effects of water efficiency programs over time in a single utility.

Final report prepared by Hazen & Sawyer, in collaboration with the Southern Illinois University Carbondale, for the Water Conservation Division Project Subcommittee.

Water Conservation Measurement Metrics Guidance Report (PDF)