posted on March 18, 2015 23:01
Many small systems find access to quality training to be a challenge. Finding money in the budget and time in the day to make it to training events can feel like too much work on top of regular operations duties, leading to a scramble for CEUs once renewal time comes around. To help small systems with this challenge, the American Water Works Association, in partnership with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership and the Environmental Finance Center Network, is offering a series of trainings and e-courses for both operators and utility managers.
What Counts as a Small System?
To qualify for these trainings, you need to work for a small public water system. For this program, small systems are public water systems serving a population of 10,000 or fewer, including Non-Transient Non-Community Water Systems and Transient Non-Community Water Systems. For more on the kinds of systems served by this program, see the “How do I know if I qualify?” section at the top of this page.
Small System Operator Training
Free operator training is offered in two formats: in-person workshops and eLearning courses. In-person technical workshops are offered by RCAP in conjunction with the state AWWA sections. These workshops cover Safe Drinking Water Act topics, including Revised Total Coliform Rule, Lead/Copper, Groundwater Rule, water treatment (microbial contaminants), disinfection byproducts reduction and control, and distribution system operation and maintenance. To see which in-person workshops are being offered near you, check the full list here. (Technical trainings are the ones co-hosted with RCAP; workshops co-hosted with EFCN are on managerial topics and are sometimes also good for CEUs.) Most of these workshops are good for CEUs in the state where they are being held; if a training near you hasn’t been approved for your state, check with your certification authority to see if you can get credit. You do need to register for the courses in order to receive credits, but you do not need to be a member of AWWA to attend.
In addition to the workshops, AWWA and RCAP have developed an eLearning course on the Revised Total Coliform Rule. It’s also free, and you do not need to become a member in order to access it, though you will have to create a (free) account on AWWA’s website. Operators can complete it on the computer at home. It covers basic RTCR topics, including how to perform an assessment under the RTCR, sample site evaluation, source and treatment assessment, and distribution system operations and maintenance practices assessment. Upon successful completion of the course, registrants will receive a certificate of completion to file with their states for continuing education credits.
Small System Manager Training
Small water system managers often face an overwhelming set of challenges along with their operators. For them, AWWA has partnered with the Environmental Finance Center Network to offer free in-person workshops on a range of financial and managerial topics. To see if there are any of these trainings offered near you, and what they cover, check the full list here. (Note that only the workshops co-hosted by EFCN or EFC are aimed at managers. The ones co-sponsored with RCAP are designed for operators.) In addition to these workshops, there is an eLearning course on financial sustainability and a webinar series in development. Bookmark this page to stay up to date.
Want to look for more trainings in your area? Check out our events calendar and sort it by your state. Interested in webinars you can attend from your computer? Sort instead by Type=Webinar.