The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced $21.7 million in grant funding for technical assistance and training providers to support small drinking water and wastewater systems that are often located in rural communities across the United States. The USEPA says the funding will improve public health and environmental protection by helping ensure that drinking water in these communities is safe and that wastewater is treated and responsibly returned to the environment.
Small water systems often face unique financial and operational challenges, including aging infrastructure, workforce shortages, increasing costs, and declining rate bases. USEPA is soliciting projects that will provide training and technical assistance to small public water systems, small wastewater systems, and private well owners across the country to help improve operational performance and comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). The projects are also expected to help inform private drinking water well owners about strategies to protect their drinking water supply.
Nonprofit organizations, nonprofit private universities and colleges, and public institutions of higher education are eligible for these grants. The solicitation for the grants is posted on Grants.gov and applicants have until December 3, 2021 to apply. USEPA indicates the grants are anticipated to be awarded by Spring 2022.