EPA Shares Web Links for Small System TA Grant Awardees

Most of the grantees who received grants from EPA for training and technical assistance for small drinking water systems have set up web sites as a focal point for their activities under the grants. Some of the sites are still a work in progress, but they will ultimately serve as the place to go for learning about the grantee’s services, view schedules for upcoming training sessions, access training materials and tools, view recorded training sessions, sign up for training and online courses, and find other information and resources.

ENVIRONMENTAL FINANCE CENTER NETWORK:  http://efcnetwork.org/

The site describes the various types of training and technical assistance services offered by the EFC network, including asset management, water loss reduction, water system collaboration, fiscal planning and rate setting, energy management, funding cooperation, and managerial/financial leadership. The site allows water systems to request technical assistance, and displays a map showing where/what type of assistance has been provided to date. Scheduled training sessions (classroom-based as well as webinars) are also listed and described, with opportunities to register.

TEXAS A&M ENGINEERING EXTENSION SERVICE (TEEX):  www.teex.org/safewater

The site includes a list of training topics that TEEX is prepared to offer to states who request them. It also has a link to the current list of training sessions that have been scheduled, with detailed information on the time and location of each class, and the opportunity to register. All training sessions are being offered free of charge. The TEEX site also has an “Ask the Experts” link for submitting questions to staff experts, who will respond by e-mail within 2 working days. Eventually the site will contain recorded video sessions of some of the training conducted by TEEX staff.

RURAL COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE PARTNERSHIP (RCAP):  http://privatewellclass.org

The site is intended to educate homeowners about their private wells, and offers training and informational materials on ground water hydrology, water quality, well construction, well maintenance and other topics relevant to the private well owner. A free 10-part online course is offered, as well as several free webinars which will be broadcast over the coming months.

RCAP has also sponsored a site at www.smallwatersupply.org

Under the “Tribal Resources” tab, a number of resources relevant to tribes and tribal organizations can be accessed, including the “Tribal Utility News” newsletter, a database of contacts for organizations that offer tribal assistance (“Tribal Contact Manager”), and additional resources regarding the “Native American Water Masters” program, including information on upcoming training sessions.

NATIONAL RURAL WATER ASSOCIATION (NRWA):  www.nrwa.org

This site has a map with links to the state affiliate organization sites, where detailed information on specific services and training opportunities can be found. While NRWA has not established a site specifically for EPA-funded activities, the state affiliate web sites include information on all training opportunities, some of which are free to non-members, and are delivered both in classroom-based as well as online formats.

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Train-the-Trainer Webinars Continue for CUPSS

Want to know more about CUPSS and how to be a CUPSS Trainer?  Are you a CUPSS Trainer but would like a quick refresher?  Here are some webinars designed specifically to meet your needs!

CUPSS Train the Trainer Webinar Series:

Session 1
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Agenda includes: Learning how to set up the utility’s basic information, navigating CUPSS, creating an asset inventory, and creating a customized asset report.
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/911152526

Session 2
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Agenda includes: Creating operation and maintenance tasks, learning how to search and print reports on assets and associated tasks, and entering annual financial statements to determine a 10 year financial projection.
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/647196750

Session 3
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Agenda includes: Becoming familiar with the steps in developing an asset management plan and learning about the different troubleshooting tips to help you along the way to get the most out of CUPSS.
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/963755990

New CUPSS Asset Management Discussions Begin This Week…

CUPSS – the Check Up Program for Small Systems – is a free, easy-to-use, asset management tool for small drinking water and wastewater utilities.  CUPSS provides a simple, comprehensive approach based on EPA’s highly successful Simple Tools for Effective Performance (STEP) Guide series.   Small systems can use CUPSS to help develop:

  • A record of the system’s assets;
  • A schedule of required tasks;
  • An understanding of the system’s financial situation; and
  • A tailored asset management plan

EPA is beginning a new series of conference calls designed for both new and experienced CUPSS users and trainers. The CUPSS Community Calls will be held quarterly to provide a forum for those using, training, and learning about CUPSS to hear updates and implementation strategies from CUPSS practitioners.   The quarterly call schedule is:

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Register for the January 31st call at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/349445814  For more information on CUPSS and the community calls, please see the brochure below.

CUPSS Community Calls_2013

Recruiting and Training Veterans for Careers in the Water Sector

To help start your new year off right, why not consider hiring a vet?

These men and women are used to accepting serious responsibilities and working hard to get the job done.  They often are well qualified to work in the water sector – whether in your state’s drinking water program or at one of the utilities (small, medium, and large) under your purview.  EPA and the Veterans Administration, through the Veterans Initiative, have joined forces to help match vets with careers in water.  There are programs to sync a vet’s previous military responsibilities with those that pertain to operating a water system as well as a special program that will train disabled vets to meet certification requirements and provide an on-the-job stipend while the vet learns the ropes.

Here are some useful weblinks to help you get started:

You may also want to take a look at the two documents attached below.  The first is a paragraph that you could use to encourage others to consider hiring vets.  The second is a fact sheet that outlines special opportunities for vets wishing to take advantage of GI Bill benefits and for those interested in some of the specialized benefits available when hiring vets with disabilities.

Veteran Initiative Promotional Paragraph Insert

Veteran Initiative Promotional Flyer.docx