New Initiatives

Water Storage Tank Under Construction

Current initiatives include:

  • Free Standby Power Evaluations: The Drinking Water and Ground Water Protection Division (DWGWPD), in conjunction with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program, is offering standby power evaluations to public community water systems (CWSs), as well as non-transient non-community (NTNCs) that have been designated emergency shelters.  This initiative will be split into two phases.  For the first phase, the DWGWPD assigned contractor will provide free sizing, design, and benefit-cost analysis for auxiliary power supplies to operate water system infrastructure during interruptions to the main electrical supply.  Eligibility requirements for the first phase of this initiative include that systems:
  • be an active, publicly-owned, non-profit CWS or NTNC that has been designated as an emergency shelter;
  • complete the standby power evaluation request form and submit to Allison Murphy ( by April 14, 2018;
  • identify electrically powered equipment that currently lacks adequately sized standby power and is not located in a flood hazard area; and
  • provide assistance of the certified operator, financial staff, and/or other appropriate staff as necessary to provide the selected contractor information and access to the Water System’s infrastructure, as part of the standby power evaluation.

As follow-up to the evaluations, the DWGWPD intends to combine selected standby power evaluations into a single application for a grant offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to assist the selected public drinking water systems with the purchase and install of standby power.Regardless of whether a Water System is selected for the second phase or not, having the evaluation will put the Water System in a better position to meet the standby power requirements of the Water Supply Rule.Eligibility requirements for the second phase of this initiative include that systems:

  • be capable and prepared to pay 25% of the capital (equipment and installation) costs associated with the standby power equipment; and
  • have a demonstrated need via the benefit-cost analysis.

1. These phases are contingent on availability of funding.
2. The second phase of this initiative will be competitive.  Systems will be ranked on a set of criteria which includes: population served, sensitive populations served (e.g., hospitals, eldercare facilities, emergency shelters, etc.), criticality of infrastructure and overall percentage of the Water System’s infrastructure to be served by proposed standby power equipment, the Water System’s current storage capacity, ability to provide 25% match, benefit-cost analysis score, and if the lack of standby power has been identified as a sanitary deficiency.

  • Free Leak Detection Surveys: The Capacity Development Program, in conjunction with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program, are again offering free leak detection surveys to public community water systems (CWSs).   To be eligible systems must:
    • be an active CWS;
    • complete and submit the Leak Detection Request Form;  
    • provide assistance of the certified operator or other appropriate staff and ensure that curb stops and main line valves are marked and accessible; and
    • after the survey, the water system shall make repairs or prepare an improvements plan and schedule to address the leaks that are found, and complete a short evaluation providing feedback regarding the project.  

For more information regarding the benefits of leak detection review the factsheet: Leak Detection Factsheet.

"The [leak detection survey] conducted by [Leak Detection firm] proved to be exceptionally helpful in uncovering significant leaks in our system.  Prior to the survey SFD#2 was using 9,000-10,000 gallons per day.  After identifying and repairing the leaks our system is now using approximately 4,500 gallons per day (which is more normal for our system). [Leak Detection firm]  did an expert job in helping us restore our system to normal and efficient use." - Stowe Fire District #2, 2016 Leak Detection Survey Participant​

  • ​Asset Management Planning Guidance and Grants:    To help systems develop an Asset Management Plan, the Capacity Development and DWSRF Programs offered a second round of Asset Management Planning Grants to public community water systems (CWSs).  We awarded 21 grants (approximately $400,000) to CWSs.  The maximum grant award was $20,000 per system, with a required 20% in-kind match of total project costs.  Systems that received a grant are expected to develop a plan, or portions of a plan, that will be the framework for an Asset Management Program.For more information regarding the benefits of an Asset Management Program visit the Asset Management Programs webpage.  

  • Grants to Reduce Lead Exposure in Drinking Water: The Capacity Development and DWSRF Programs offered grants to help CWSs reduce the risks of exposure to lead in drinking water. We awarded 2 grants (totaling $125,000). The maximum grant award was $80,000.  Grantees are expected to develop and implement risk reduction strategies that other communities can use as a model, with an emphasis on finding and removing lead service lines.  The grants are still being administered, with all grant deliverables to be submitted by October 26, 2018.  Grant funding may be used to: 
    • Find, map, and inventory water distribution and customer service lines;
    • Establish a proactive, full lead service line replacement program;
    • Educate the public about the risks of exposure to lead in drinking water and how to reduce risks; and 
    • Develop a Capital Needs Study, Capital Improvements Plan, and Funding Strategies to replace publicly and privately owned lead lines.  
    • For more information about the grant, see the application form.