May 13, 2021

EPA Awards Over $17 Million to Benefit Small Water Systems

According to EPA, the funding will help ensure the safety of drinking water and proper wastewater treatment

drinking-water

The U.S. EPA announced over $17 million in grant funding to help provide training and technical assistance to small drinking water and wastewater systems serving small communities and rural America. 

According to the EPA news release, the funding will improve public health and environmental protection. The goal is to ensure the safety of drinking water and proper wastewater treatment.

“Small towns and rural America are the foundation that support progress and prosperity in this country, and EPA is committed to investing in these vital areas,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in the EPA news release. “The American Jobs Plan recognizes this imperative, and calls for further investment in small and rural communities to ensure that their water systems have the resources needed to provide essential services.”

According to EPA, the agency anticipates that it will award grants to the following recipients:

  • Rural Community Assistance Partnership
    • $6.15 million to provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act;
    • And $1.7 million to work with private well owners to help improve water quality.
  • National Rural Water Association
    • $6.15 million to provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • University of New Mexico
    • $2.7 million will be provided for training and technical assistance for small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act;
    • And $1 million to work with small publicly-owned wastewater and on-site/decentralized wastewater systems to improve water quality.

According to EPA, “approximately 97% of the nation’s 145,000 public water systems serve fewer than 10,000 people and more than 80% of these systems serve fewer than 500 people.” 

The recipients of the grant awards will offer assistance to small public water systems to achieve compliance with regulations, which may include: circuit-rider and multi-state regional technical assistance programs; training and site visits; and training or technical assistance to diagnose and troubleshoot system operational and compliance-related problems and identify solutions, added EPA.

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