Nov 14, 2012

Online Training to Assist Tribes in Managing Water Systems

Training geared toward water and wastewater utility operation and maintenance

U.S. EPA Water and Wastewater Utility Operation and Maintenance

To serve as a resource for small rural systems including tribes, Alaska Native Villages and territories, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a series of Web-based training modules on maintaining and operating small wastewater and drinking water treatment systems. This information is geared toward system operators and managers in Indian country, and could be of benefit to anyone operating and maintaining a small water or wastewater system.

The training modules are based on a series of 11 in-person training workshops that EPA held across the country for federally recognized tribes, Alaska Native Villages and U.S. Territories in 2011 and 2012, which provided instruction on how best to operate, troubleshoot and maintain small wastewater and drinking water systems. The workshops were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  

Operation and maintenance training modules include:

  • Sewer System Overview: This module provides an overview of the basic wastewater treatment process, from primary treatment to disinfection and sludge removal. The second half of the module focuses on maintenance of collection systems.
  • Lift Station Overview: This module focuses on all aspects of lift stations, from pumps to operation and maintenance to emergency planning and troubleshooting.
  • Overview of Lagoon System Management: This module focuses on wastewater lagoon functions (both aerobic and anaerobic), lagoon performance, sampling and analysis of lagoons, and operation and maintenance of lagoons.
  • Decentralized Wastewater Systems: The module provides an overview of decentralized wastewater treatment and processes and includes a special look at innovative decentralized technologies and best practices for managing onsite systems.
  • Providing and Protecting Potable Water: This module provides an overview of surface water systems, groundwater systems and source water protection concepts.
  • Drinking Water Distribution System Management: This module provides an overview of hydrant, pipe and valve maintenance, and concludes with a special focus on corrosion and chlorine residual.
  • Storage Tank Management: This module covers storage tank inspections and maintenance and provides safety information for both tasks.
  • Asset Management Overview: This module covers asset management for long-term infrastructure stability and financial sustainability.
  • Techniques for Developing a Rate Structure: This module covers the how and why of developing rate structures that will fully support long-term utility operations.
  • Water and Wastewater Operation and Maintenance Case Studies: This module highlights lessons learned from accidental contamination of a water system, chemical contamination at a water treatment plant, sewerage collection overflow, and operation of an alternative onsite wastewater system.