Region 8 Drinking Water Online

System and Operational Improvements

A public water system must have the capacity to effectively and efficiently treat and deliver safe water to its consumers. To assess this capacity you should consider the following:

  • volume and quality of water treated;
  • storage capacity;
  • operators' operation and maintenance (O&M) knowledge and skill; and
  • financial resources to support O&M, upgrades, materials, monitoring and reporting.

Operation and Maintenance Manual

An operation and maintenance manual can help ensure your system operates consistently and effectively. While each manual will differ to meet the characteristics of the individual system, there are some common elements and tasks that should be addressed in all manuals, that are outlined in Operations & Maintenance Checklist & Tasks. Additional information is available in Record Keeping Rules: A Quick Reference Guide (PDF, 3 pages, 96 KB).

Reporting Changes

Please notify EPA when your Public Water System is making changes to any source, treatment, water system facility (WSF) or management. Change notification forms for both Wyoming and Tribal systems can be found on the reporting forms page.

How Capacity is Assessed

EPA or its contractors will conduct a sanitary survey approximately once every five years at your public water system to assess the capacity of your system. We will provide you with a report that identifies actions to take for improvements.

EPA may identify areas for improvement tied to specific violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act and its associated rules. EPA notices of violation or of noncompliance may include specific technical and administrative actions that should bring your system into compliance with that drinking water rule.

To perform your own assessment of your system's capacity, you may use EPA's Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS). This user-friendly computer-based program assists owners and operators in developing and using plans for maintaining their systems and providing service to their customers.

The program uses information provided on the system's assets, operation and maintenance activities and financial status to produce a prioritized asset inventory, financial reports and a customized asset management plan. Asset management programs support informed budget discussions, boost efficiency of the utility, and improve customer service by ensuring clean and safe water at competitive prices.

For more information on CUPSS, including program downloads and ordering information, please visit the Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) web site.

EPA's newly updated web site for small public water systems is available at the Small Public Water Systems and Capacity Development web site.

Operator Credentials

Water system operators must demonstrate that they have the ability to perform the administrative and technical operation and maintenance (O&M) tasks associated with the complexity of the treatment plant(s) and/or distribution system. Each system is assigned one of four levels of complexity for each of its treatment plants and one of four levels of complexity for each distribution system. Complexity levels are 1, 2, 3, or 4, with 4 being the most complex.

Operators demonstrate their ability to operate and maintain the system by receiving operator certification for the levels required by their system and by taking continuing education classes to maintain their certification. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality administers the certification program for public water supply system operators in Wyoming. Operators at Tribal public water systems should demonstrate that they are qualified to operate their public water supply system and distribution system.

Financial Capacity

Public water systems generate financial resources through consumer billings, selling bonds, and loans. Wyoming has a State Revolving Fund Exit by which it loans funds to systems that have high-priority needs. EPA Region 8 notifies Tribal governments of opportunities to apply for Drinking Water SRF Tribal set-aside funds.