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WaterOperator.org Blog

Water and Wastewater Operations & Maintenance

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The operation and maintenance (O&M) category encompasses the broad spectrum of services required to assure the built environment will perform the functions for which a facility was designed and constructed. Operation and maintenance typically includes the day-to-day activities necessary for the system to perform its intended function.

We have 2,786 resources (and counting) on Operation and Maintenance in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for documents that explain how utilities can maintain economic and social health for the community, compliance tips for small, mechanical wastewater treatment plants, knowledge retention spreadsheet for small water systems, and many other useful guides that will help you to deliver safe and clean water to utility customers. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on O&M within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Operation & Maintenance." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.

Nutrient Control for Wastewater Treatment Plants

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The control of the discharge of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from municipal wastewater treatment plants is critically important to the achievement of the water quality goals of the Clean Water Act. Through National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, effluent limitations on the concentrations of nutrients are set to support designated uses, based on state water quality standards.

We have 479 resources (and counting) on Nutrient Control in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for documents about resource recovery as a viable nutrient control alternative, phosphorus removal, costs associated with nutrient pollution, and many other useful guides that will help you to deliver safe and clean water to utility customers. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on Nutrient Control within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Nutrient Control." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.

Non-Community Public Water Systems

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Non-community systems are public water systems that regularly supply water to at least 25 of the same people at least six months per year, but not year-round. Some examples are schools, factories, office buildings, and hospitals which have their own water systems.

We have 198 resources (and counting) on Non-Community Systems in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for documents on how to tell if you are considered a public water system, instructions on seasonal public water system startup, a seasonal supply determination chart for noncommunity public water supplies, and many other useful guides that will help you to provide safe and clean water to your community. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on Non-Community Systems within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Non-Community Systems." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.

Nitrate Levels in Drinking Water

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U.S. EPA regulates nitrate in drinking water to protect public health. Nitrate may cause health problems if present in public or private water supplies in amounts greater than the drinking water standard set by U.S. EPA. There is also concern about nitrate in wastewater effluent.

We have 204 resources (and counting) on Nitrate in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for documents on how to address the presence of nitrate, analytical methods recommended for drinking water monitoring of secondary contaminants, case studies on controlling nitrification in a distribution system, and many other useful guides that will help you to deliver safe and clean water to utility customers. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on Nitrate within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Nitrate." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.

Compliance Monitoring for Water Systems

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Regulations can require compliance monitoring at specific locations and at specific times and intervals. This can look like the collection of water samples or recording information about the system from gauges and dials. Often, samples must be shipped very quickly to the laboratory before the sample degrades. It is recommended that systems also complete voluntary monitoring for operations and maintenance purposes to diagnose potential problems.

We have 2,350 resources (and counting) on Monitoring in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for documents on sampling protocols for PFAS, comparison of coliform media, algal toxin removal capabilities of common drinking water treatment processes, Consumer Confidence Reporting (CCR) compliance checklist examples, and many other useful guides that will help you to deliver safe and clean water to utility customers. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on Monitoring within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Monitoring." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.

Lead and Copper Pipe Replacement

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Lead and copper enter drinking water primarily through plumbing materials. Exposure to lead and copper may cause health problems ranging from stomach distress to brain damage. The treatment technique for lead and copper requires systems to monitor drinking water at customer taps. If the action level for lead is exceeded, the system must also inform the public about steps they should take to protect their health and may have to replace lead service lines under their control.

We have 521 resources (and counting) on Lead and Copper in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for documents on how to collaborate with organizations to replace lead service lines (LSLs), case studies that analyze LSLs in small community water systems, how to reduce lead in drinking water in schools and childcare facilities, how to address lead in drinking water with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), and many other useful guides that will help you to deliver safe and clean water to utility customers. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on Lead and Copper within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Lead and Copper." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.

Technology and Innovation in the Water Sector

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Innovative water treatment technologies refer to advanced and unconventional methods explored to purify and manage water resources. These solutions often leverage cutting-edge technologies and scientific advancements to address water management challenges including emerging contaminants, water scarcity, energy efficiency, resource recovery, decarbonization, etc. These technologies are often still being researched and benchmarked through laboratory or pilot-scale studies. 

We have 364 resources (and counting) on Innovative Water Technologies in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for documents about identifying water system leaks with the help of dogs, alternative water resources as we face degrading water quality and supplytreatment options for taste-and-odor problems, approaches to drinking water technology approval, and many other useful guides that will help you to deliver safe and clean water to utility customers. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on Innovative Water Technologies within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Innovative Water Technologies." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.

Groundwater Rule Compliance

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The groundwater rule is to reduce disease incidence associated with disease-causing microorganisms in drinking water. The rule establishes a risk-based approach to target groundwater systems that are vulnerable to fecal contamination. Groundwater systems that are identified as being at risk of fecal contamination must take corrective action to reduce potential illness from exposure to microbial pathogens. The rule applies to all systems that use ground water as a source of drinking water. 

We have 488 resources (and counting) on Groundwater in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for resources on the Ground Water Rule (GWR), public water well maintenance and use, compliance monitoring for GWSseffective well maintenance and procedures, and many other useful guides that will help ensure our groundwater stays safe and clean for generations to come. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on Groundwater within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Groundwater." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.

Financial Management for Small Water Utilities

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Many small public water systems lack organized finances, with little to no budgeting or accounting, no long-term financial planning, and customer rates that are not adequate to cover expenses. Many small systems also need expensive repairs or upgrades that would be difficult to afford even if they had impeccable book-keeping. In recognition of this, the federal government and many national organizations provide small systems with resources to organize and improve their finances, as well as grants to help fund major projects.

We have 1712 resources (and counting) on Financial Management in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for documents on funding opportunities to build system resiliencybuilding a financially healthy water system, how to use the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) to mitigate the impact of drought on drinking water systems or to address DBPs in drinking water, and many other useful guides that will help you to deliver safe and clean water to utility customers. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on Financial Management within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Financial Management." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.

Drinking Water Standards: Rules, Regulations, Compliance

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards that, when combined with protecting ground water and surface water, are critical to ensuring safe drinking water. U.S. EPA works with its regional offices, states, tribes and its many partners to protect public health through implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act. The standards are the levels of a particular contaminant that are allowed in drinking water and still considered safe.

We have 1482 resources (and counting) on Drinking Water Standards in our Documents Database that provide valuable information on this topic. You can search for resources like an overview of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), information on how U.S. EPA develops risk-based drinking water regulations, a comprehensive list of potential contaminants in water, and many other useful guides that will help you to deliver safe and clean water to utility customers. 

To access the wealth of knowledge on Drinking Water Standards within our database just select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Drinking Water Standards." Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "HOST," “TYPE,” or “STATE” to narrow the search even further. If you have a specific search term in mind, use the “Keyword Filter” search bar on the right side of the screen.

This is part of our A-Z for Operators series.