Need Free Technical Assistance?

Operating a water or wastewater utility has never been easy. And with new technologies and increasing regulations, the job just keeps getting more difficult. If you have questions about a particular technology or about other aspects of running your system, the National Environmental Services Center’s (NESC) technical staff may have the answers you need. Our engineers, certified operators, and support staff have decades of experience working with small drinking water and wastewater systems.

Call us at 1-800-624-8301 and select option 3 to speak with one of NESC’s technical assistance specialists. Even though many of our customers find our experience and information invaluable, we don’t charge for the call or the advice. It’s free!



Get the Latest News on the CUPSS Asset Management Software!

The Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) software was developed by EPA in 2008 to assist small water and wastewater systems in implementing an asset management program for their facility.  Program features include:

  • developing an asset inventory,
  • drawing a facility schematic,
  • scheduling operation and maintenance (O&M) work orders,
  • planning capital improvement projects based on annual financial statements,
  • displaying pre-formatted reports, and
  • generating a customized asset management plan.

EPA continues to provide upgrades and enhancements to the software, as well as improved training opportunities, based on feedback from users and trainers.  Recent enhancements include the ability to load asset inventory data into CUPSS using a spreadsheet format, and self-paced online training, which can be accessed at

 Get involved with the CUPSS Community!

You can also keep up with the latest in CUPSS developments by subscribing to the CUPSS Users and Trainers Listserves. Regular announcements on software updates and training opportunities are made and subscribers also have the opportunity to share their experiences in using and training on CUPSS.

Sign up for the Users Listserve at:

Sign up for the Trainers Listserve at:

Learn more about CUPSS!

If you are interested in learning more about CUPSS, would like to download the software or take some online training, visit CUPSS at

If you have any questions or comments, email

New England Water Works Association Tackles Workforce Issues

During the ABC Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida last week, Chip Mackey (New Hampshire Drinking Water Program) gave a presentation about finding “real world” solutions to the problem of an aging water workforce.  Mackey was part of a New England Water Works Association (NEWWA) committee charged to find answers to three critical questions:  Who replaces retiring operators?  How do we best train and qualify new operators?  How can we preserve and pass along necessary institutional knowledge?  The short answer is that we – collectively as stakeholders – are all responsible for solving the “who” problem.  The NEWWA committee identified specific actions that can/should be taken by different stakeholders – utilities, states, public officials, system owners, water-based associations, and US EPA.  Those actions speak to the two “how” questions and range from “review job descriptions to include more definition” and “post ‘How to Become an Operator’ information on state websites” to “provide ‘advance’ regulatory information for operators” and “develop grant funding which supports workforce succession.”  The committee identified and listed numerous other specific actions and activities that the various stakeholder groups can/should take.  To find out what they are and which recommendations for action are attached to ‘your’ stakeholder group, go to and click on the “Drinking Water Workforce Brochure” link in the Useful Information section.  It makes for very interesting reading!

Register Today – Workforce Issues Webinar

On February 15, EPA is hosting a workforce-focused webinar – Internships and Training Programs for Operators – to showcase the products and recommendations of the Workforce Workgroup formed in 2010 to address challenges and remedies for an aging water workforce.  A flyer with more details can be foundat the end of this message.

DATE:  February 15, 2012

TIME:  1:00-2:30PM (eastern)


 Space is limited to 500 attendees.  Please sign up today and join us as we hear from states, community colleges, and utility associations about what they are doing to help train the next generation of operators.  This information is targeted toward state operator certification programs, capacity development programs, and resource managers.  Drinking water utilities, utility membership organizations, community colleges, and vocational schools are also strongly encouraged to participate.

Internships Training Operators Webinar

NESC Offers New Downloads

For many years, the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) has distributed Montana Water Center training programs—including the very popular Operator Basics—on CD.  Now, these interactive courses can be downloaded by going to

For a successful download, NESC recommends that you use a fast Internet connection (i.e., broadband). You should also be aware that the files don’t save properly in Windows 7, although they work fine in previous versions of Windows (98, XP, Vista) and on the Mac OS X operating system.  “We are excited to offer these CDs as downloads,” says Jeanne Allen, NESC’s business manager. “Many people who order this product need it quickly to fulfill continuing education requirements for their operator certification. This new feature will allow them to get the programs almost immediately.”

Some state primacy agencies accept the Montana Water Center trainings as eligible for CEUs.  Call NESC’s technical staff at 1-800-624-8301/option “3” for more information about the training programs and the primacy agency for your state.

The Montana Water Center downloads join more than 1,000 products currently available free from the NESC Shopping Cart, including case studies, design manuals, Tech Briefs, and more. This is NESC’s latest step to making all products electronically available for free. NESC will no longer be providing hard copies in an effort to reduce operating costs and save energy. Visit to view NESC’s complete product offerings and start downloading today.

ASDWA and RCAP Partner on Energy Audit Web Event

Recognizing rural water utilities’ need for energy efficiency assistance, and the value of such activities in supporting state capacity development strategies, on January 12, ASDWA and RCAP partnered to host an energy audit webinar for state drinking water program staff.  Nearly 100 registered participants attended the web event

Ohio RCAP’s Scott Strahley presented a wealth of information – a veritable “how to” plan for conducting energy audits for small water utilities.  Strahley covered not only the process but also captured identifiable, achievable benefits from the process and made a compelling case for including energy savings initiatives as part of sustainability and sound fiscal responsibility.

Webinar attendees also heard from Robert Stewart, RCAP’s Executive Director, who outlined a national training effort to bring this Energy Audit approach to all RCAP offices and undertake a pilot initiative involving selected small water systems to put the training into action.

ASDWA will soon be posting the presentation and a link to the recorded event under the Small Systems/capacity development/tools section of the ASDWA website at

Using Water Audits to Understand Water Loss Webinar

Maintaining system infrastructure to deliver clean and safe drinking water to customers is often a significant challenge for the operators of public water systems. Much of the drinking water infrastructure in the United States has been in service for decades and can be a significant source of water loss. A water loss control program can help identify and reduce real water losses along with apparent losses resulting from metering, billing or accounting errors. The water audit is the critical first step in an effective water loss control program.

Hosted by EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, this webinar will introduce water loss control and focus on water audits and the tools and methods to conduct water audits. It will provide a demonstration of the AWWA Free Water Audit Software, and include a presentation of system data from smaller utilities who are implementing audit programs. The presentation will also provide information on the latest tracking and benchmarking trends in the industry.  There will also be dedicated time for participants to ask questions of the panelists.

DATE:  Thursday, January 26, 2012

TIME:  11:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST


 After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

CUPSS Offers New Enhancements and On-Line Training

CUPSS (Check Up Program for Small Systems) Version 1.3.7 is now available!  Enhancements to the software include:

  • Option to upload multiple assets from a spreadsheet template
  • Upgrade to the CUPSS installation process for Windows 7 and Vista users
  • Ability to use the custom My CUPSS Plan as a submittal for Clean Water Needs Survey (CWNS) documentation

CUPSS, first released in 2008, is asset management software for small and medium-size water and wastewater utilities. CUPSS allows systems to generate a customized asset management plan based on the system’s asset inventory, operation and maintenance (O&M) work orders, and annual financial statements. Asset management planning helps utilities prepare for short and long-term infrastructure management and capital funding decisions to enhance overall sustainability.

Self-paced training lessons for CUPSS are also now available on EPA’s website.  This training series is an easy-to-use tool for drinking water and wastewater systems wanting to learn more about asset management and how CUPSS can be used to implement asset management practices.

To download the latest version of CUPSS, visit:

To view the CUPSS Self-Paced Training Series lessons, visit:

Have a question? Email

REGISTER TODAY: Promoting Sustainable Rural Water and Wastewater Systems Memorandum of Agreement Webinar

The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development Rural Utilities Service (USDA-RDRUS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in August 2011 to promote the sustainability of rural water and wastewater systems under four project areas:

1. Sustainability of Rural Communities

2. System Partnerships

3. Water Sector Workforce

4. Compliance of Small Rural Public Water and Wastewater Systems with Drinking Water and Clean Water Regulations

Join USDA and EPA to learn more about the MOA and hear from those who are leading the charge in implementing activities that support the sustainability of systems in rural America.

Date: January 23, 2012

Time: 2:00-3:30pm ET

Register for the free webinar at:

Additional information about the webinar is included in the flyer attached below.  For more information on the MOA, visit:

flyer USDA EPA v10