EPA Upgrades the Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) Asset Management Tool

The Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) has recently been upgraded. CUPSS is a comprehensive application that provides all the tools required for small drinking water and wastewater utilities to implement an asset management program and develop effective asset management plans. EPA’s new enhancement to the software now includes an Asset Plus Costs report. The new report allows users to view asset details and the associated operations and maintenance costs for the selected assets. As a result, users can develop a snapshot of the total costs of assets for the current year and previous years.

Click Learn more. to learn more about CUPSS tools, trainers, and software.

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The One AWWA Operator Scholarship

AWWA has launched a new One AWWA Operator Scholarship effort as a means to address the present and future workforce needs of operators.  The fund will be used to provide matching dollars to AWWA’s Sections in order to award operator-focused scholarships for both education and training needs.  As part of the larger AWWA Water Equation Campaign, participating AWWA Sections will receive matching funds of $500 or $1,000 to create operator scholarships of $1,000 or $2,000. Each Section will establish their own application and judging process based on Association defined eligibility criteria and award guidelines.

For more information on this new scholarship, please contact either your state’s AWWA Section or Sharon Powers at AWWA in Denver via email at spowers@awwa.org.

AWWA Invites Small & Rural Utilities to Participate in the Compensation Survey

The annual AWWA Water and Wastewater Utility Compensation Survey is the best tool available for making sure that water systems are doing everything they can to find and keep the best people.  More than just a salary survey, the report offers detail on the total compensation of utility employees, from operators to superintendents—from salary to health care and retirement benefits to training opportunities.

This year, AWWA is extending a special invitation to small and rural drinking water systems.  AWWA understands that these utilities “grapple with operator recruitment and retention more than larger utilities; joining a small utility, getting certified (or moving up a level) and heading off to a better-paying job at a larger utility is practically SOP for operators in some places.  The people who run small and rural systems, especially, need to know how their compensation stacks up in order to hold on to the people they’ve trained.

Please share this invitation with small and rural systems in your state.  Water systems who want to receive an invitation to the survey (it’s personalized, so there’s no general link for it) can email nicole.roach@verisightgroup.com.

 

Consumer Confidence Reports: Electronic Delivery and Best Practices Webinar

The Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) Rule is a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation that requires community water systems (CWSs) to create annual drinking water reports and distribute them to customers and consumer by July 1st each year.  In this webinar, EPA will review traditional and electronic delivery methods for the CCR as well as best practices for formatting the CCR. The webinar will also highlight the CCR iWriter, a tool that walks a CWS through a series of questions and produces a CCR and the CCR “Where You Live” webpage where a CWS can link their own CCR URL to the EPA website.

DATE:              February 23, 2016

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern) with an optional Q&A to follow

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3784897627343456011

To view more details, please click this flyer link ORDSmallSystemsWebinar_February2016

Don’t Forget the Rural Water Funding Option

As you work with small systems to help them upgrade or otherwise improve their infrastructure, don’t forget that NRWA has a separate Rural Water Loan Fund that may be just the solution you’re looking for.  The Fund was established under a grant from USDA to be used for predevelopment costs, short term equipment replacement costs, or other small capital projects not part of a system’s regular O&M.

Loan amounts may not exceed $100,000 (or 75% of the total project cost) whichever is less.  Repayment periods can be as long as 10 years – but no longer than that.  The program also offers 5-year interest only predevelopment loans and 90 day no interest disaster area emergency loans.

Interested in knowing more – or ready to apply?  Just send an email to loans@nrwa.org.

EFC Network Hosts New Small Systems Blog

As part of their efforts under the EPA Training and Technical Assistance Grant award, the Environmental Finance Center Network is offering to connect those with an interest in topics related to water finance and management to their Small Systems Blog.  Common blog topics include asset and energy management, regulatory compliance, fiscal planning and rate setting, funding coordination, water loss reduction, managerial and financial leadership and water system collaboration.

Their latest featured blog post is written by David Tucker, a Project Director at the UNC Chapel Hill EFC.  Click the title to read more The Virtuous Cycle: Internal Energy Revolving Funds for Small Water Systems.

If you’d like to receive this blog on a monthly basis, just click this link Subscribe.

Want to be a CUPSS Trainer?

If you’d like to become proficient in using the CUPSS (Check Up Program for Small Systems) software as part of your work with assistance providers, training entities, or small water systems, here’s how to begin.

EPA is hosting a three-part Train-the-Trainer CUPSS webinar series on March 1st, 8th, and 15th.  The series (2 hours each) will culminate in participants’ successful use of the CUPSS software to implement asset management practices at small water and wastewater systems.  Each session will include an overview of a CUPSS module, followed by live demonstrations.  Participants who complete the assignments after each session will receive a CUPSS Trainers Certificate and will be included in the CUPSS Trainers Directory.  There is no cost to participate but you must register in advance.

Session 1:  Setting up CUPSS and My Inventory – Learn how to install and navigate CUPSS, create an asset inventory, and set up a customized asset report.

DATE:              March 1, 2016s

TIME:               1:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=2515&evt=030116

Session 2:  My O&M and My Finances – Create your operation and maintenance tasks, enter finance information, and determine your financial forecast.

DATE:              March 8, 2016s

TIME:               1:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=2517&evt=030816

Session 3:  My CUPSS Plan, Advanced Features, and Tips for Trainers – Create a custom asset management plan, CUPSS troubleshooting tips, and advanced features.

DATE:              March 15, 2016s

TIME:               1:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=2518&evt=031516

Financial Tools and Resources for Small Water Systems

 

 

Do you know of water systems that are looking to tackle financial and managerial challenges but are not sure where to begin?  The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) is hosting a webinar to showcase a variety of free tools that are available to help.

 

DATE:              February 17, 2016

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2657838834576994817

 

This webinar will focus on helpful resources available through the EFCN such as:  rates dashboards, directories of state funding sources, spreadsheet tools including the Asset Management Inventory Database, webinars on demand, and a resource library with additional tools, publications, and blog posts organized by problem area.  The webinar will also discuss how systems can receive free technical assistance through the Smart Management for Small Water Systems Program

 

There is no cost to participate in this event, however, you must register in advance.