Utility Resources

NEWWA Documents

Use these documents as reference guides, public relations materials, or to assit you in managing your utility and educating your staff.

Click on the document title to download it in full (.pdf format):

Drinking Water Operator Guidance Documents
Click on the above link to view a listing of NEWWA-published documents and guides regarding drinking water operators, including code of ethics, offenses resulting in enforcement action, operator duties and responsibilities, and guidelines for contracting operators.

Professional Code of Conduct and Ethics for Drinking Water Laboratory Personnel
This code has been promulgated in order to safeguard the health and welfare of the public and to establish high standards of Integrity, Independence, and Individual Development of professional laboratory personnel.

Stakeholder Groups and What Each Can do to Meet the Drinking Water Workforce Crisis - (2011)
We all recognize the threat the impending shortage of qualified drinking water operators poses to our profession and society at large. If we do not act, the projected 50-percent loss of our current national workforce in the next 8 years could have dire consequences. Our ability to maintain and operate our public drinking water systems could be compromised, endangering public health, public safety, and the environment. NEWWA's Operator Certification Committee has developed this list of key stakeholders and a series of concrete actions each can take.

U.S. EPA Sampling Guide for First Responders to Drinking Water Contamination Threats and Incidents
(Full document is 81 pages).

This sampling guide, produced by NEWWA in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), describes procedures and protocols for implementing site characterization activities in the event of a drinking water contamination threat or incident. It is intended as a planning resource for those involved in the sample collection portion of site characterization. 

For large water systems or those water suppliers and/or organizations/responders with expertise and resources in place to fully respond to water supply incidents, you can find more detailed information and response measures guidance in U.S. EPA's "Sampling Guidance for Unknown Contaminants in Drinking Water." 


NEWWA Policies

Click on the policy header to view the entire policy (.pdf format):

Policy for Renewal Training Courses for Water System Operator Recertification
This policy establishes criteria for renewal training to ensure that the training is under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instructors. The criteria established are the minimum requirements and are meant to assure that drinking water operators will receive professional development opportunities needed to complete their job duties and responsibilities, which is to supply safe drinking safe to the public.

Recreational Use Policy 
Maximizing drinking water quality to protect public health is of the highest priority to public water suppliers. Public water suppliers recognize that multiple barrier protection of drinking water supplies and their watersheds is essential in order to meet these goals.

It is a fundamental principle of water supply development and protection that water should be obtained from the highest quality source feasible, and every effort should be made to prevent contaminants from entering the source. When faced with efforts by recreational users or others to increase recreational access to water supply reservoirs and/or surrounding land, utilities should oppose such efforts on the basis of increased risk and communicate those risks accordingly.

Massachusetts Water Management Act Policy
The New England Water Works Association (NEWWA) has been asked to comment on the effectiveness of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Guidance Document for Water Management Act Permitting Policy, effective date January 17, 2006. This Policy applies to Permit and Permit Amendment Applications and 5-Year Reviews. The Policy has received extensive criticism from communities and water suppliers throughout the Commonwealth, directed in part at MassDEP’s lack of meaningful public involvement in its development. Another concern that has been repeatedly expressed is the use of the Stressed Basin Report, which was issued by the Massachusetts Water Resources Commission in 2001, to categorize permittees in terms of the standards they must meet.

NEWWA is fully supportive of protecting and managing water resources, including streamflow. However, one of the major objections has been that the requirements of the Policy will not be effective in achieving the stated goal of mitigating and restoring streamflow and may harm efforts for continued and sustainable economic growth throughout the Commonwealth, another stated goal of the Water Management Act (WMA).


NEWWA Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Advisories

Click on the BMP header to view entire document (in .pdf format)

Best Management Practices (General)

New England Water Works Association/ Massachusetts Water Works Association Toolbox of BMPs for Water Resource Management
Amended and passed by the New England Water Works Association Board of Directors May 20, 2008 and supersedes previous version passed by NEWWA Board of Directors

Effective water resources management requires that a community understands its specific local circumstances, identify the specific challenges it faces with regard to system and demand management and apply the appropriate tools to address pertinent issues. The toolbox of potential best management practices presented here is designed to be used as a menu of choices by municipal officials and water managers; not all the BMPs will be appropriate to any particular system. One needs to recognize that municipal departments, districts, and private utilities have different governing structures that impact the way decisions are made. The toolbox approach to successful water resource management provides community planners the flexibility to develop specific plans and priorities tailored to solve the particular problems facing the system.

Best Management Practices (Conservation)

Conservation Outreach/Public Information Programs
Outdoor water used to maintain lawns and landscapes is the most significant non-essential water use and is one that involves residential, commercial, and municipal water users. Building public awareness of the limitations of local water supplies, and the consequences of overuse through public outreach is a key component of developing and implementing a drought or water shortage plan. A well-informed community will understand that overuse of water supplies will not only impact nearby ecosystems, but also threaten the availability of water for more essential purposes (such as drinking, or fire protection) and will respond more readily when asked to minimize non-essential water use. Public outreach should also appeal to the needs of different customer classes. For example, small business customers may require a different outreach strategy than residential customers with large landscapes.

Water Conservation Coordinator Position
Water conservation coordinators are professional positions commonly found in the West and other places frequently plagued with drought conditions. Here in New England, however, one would be hard pressed to find a water conservation coordinator – even in a large utility. For some communities, this may represent a cost-effective solution to sound water resource management.

Conservation Pricing 
Conservation rates and associated metering and billing practices are activities employed by water utilities with the intent of providing a price signal to reduce or minimize wasteful use of water resources and to reduce future costs to customers. Fundamental to this strategy is the idea that potable water is an extremely valuable and, in some cases, limited resource that should be protected and sustained over time.

The objective of this Best Management Practice is to provide a description of pricing practices available to water utilities to encourage consumers to minimize the wasteful or unnecessary consumption of potable water. Rate setting is one of many measures or practices that can be employed to encourage water conservation; however, rate changes should be viewed in the overall context of a water system’s plan to integrate both supply and demand side management techniques. 

Water Resource and Demand Management Plan
Water conservation should be an important component of long term water resource planning. The possibilities for both new source development and optimization of existing sources should be considered. Likewise, the obligation to uphold the mission and protect the sustainable operations of the water utility must be considered. One of the first steps towards undertaking a sound water conservation program is to develop or update the Water Resource Plan. A Water Resources/Demand Management Plan, accessible to the public, is important to many aspects of community support. 

Residential Water Audits
A water use audit program can be an effective method of reducing both indoor and outdoor water use. Consumption audits provide water systems and their residential customers with information about how water is used and help identify potential conservation strategies.

Commercial & Industrial Consumption Audits
Commercial/Industrial (C&I) customers are significant users of water and typically represent a water system’s largest accounts. As such, targeting C&I customers for water efficiency improvements may be a cost-effective components of an overall demand management strategy.


18 Reasons Why a Public Water Supplier Might Want to Pursue Water Conservation


Public Outreach Resources

A myriad of consumer communication materials exist for utilities in multiple locations across the web. This page includes some of the materials that are available and NEWWA encourages you to utilize them all year.

Note that most of the below are free, but some AWWA materials may require a member login for access. This list will be added to as new materials and resources are created. Contact Kirsten King if you'd like a resource added. 

Drinking Water Week 

For more than 40 years the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week – a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together in recognizing the vital role water plays in our daily lives. Please join AWWA as we celebrate water!

National Drinking Water Week is always the first full week of May. 

To access and download materials to help your utility communicate with customers and stakeholders during Drinking Water Week, visit the American Water Works Association Web site.

The Value of Water - AWWA and WEF Materials 

AWWA and WEF have developed a suite of public outreach materials that are available free of charge. The materials help communicate the value of water and wastewater service and the need for infrastructure investment. This joint effort with AWWA and WEF extends down into New England, with NEWWA and NEWEA, as well as other water works organizations across the region, beginning to work together on public outreach efforts. If you would like to become involved in these joint efforts, contact Kirsten King.


Drinktap.org is AWWA's consumer-oriented Web site that is specifically geared toward consumer education and outreach. All utilities are encouraged to link their Web sites to drinktap.org. Drinktap.org aims to "help answer your (consumers') questions about what’s true, and what isn’t about drinking water." 

AWWA's Lead Resource Community 

AWWA members have worked to protect consumers against lead in drinking water for many years, creating scores of helpful communications, technical, and public policy resources. In light of the ongoing situation in Flint, Michigan, these many resources are now available from this single hub. Here you will find insights on corrosion control and other lead management issues, the latest legislative and regulatory developments, and public outreach tools to help you speak with consumers and other key stakeholders.


The Value of Water Coalition and Campaign

The Value of Water Campaign is supported by top leaders from across the water industry committed to raising awareness about the importance of water and the often invisible water challenges threatening our country. It educates and inspires the nation about how water is essential, invaluable, and in need of investment. Spearheaded by top leaders in the water industry, the Value of Water Campaign is building public and political will for investment in America’s water infrastructure. 

Imagine a Day Without Water 

No water to drink, or even to make coffee with. No water to shower, flush the toilet, or do laundry. Hospitals would close without water. Firefighters couldn't put out fires and farmers couldn't water their crops.

Some communities in America already know how impossible it is to try to go a day without our most precious resource: Water. Imagine a Day Without Water is an annual day to raise awareness and educate America about the value of water.

Visit imagineadaywithoutwater.org for full details and to access free educational materials. 

Pre-Packaged Presentation Materials for K-12 Educational Outreach

The Youth Education committe has developed a series of educational modules for grades K-12. Click on the below links to download these modules for use in the classroom. All modules are compatible with each New England state's core curriculum standards.

Grades K-3:
"Imagine a Day Without Water" Module
Water Conservation Module

Grades 4-8:
Water Quality and Laboratory Activity - Cover Sheet
Water Quality and Laboratory Activity - Procedures
Interactive Watershed Overview Module

Grades 9-12: 
Water Audit Module
Career Education Module

"Water Works" - NH Public Television Documentary

NH Public Television / PBS released the 30-minute documentary "Water Works," outlining the state of drinking water in New Hampshire and the challenges we face in ensuring drinking water will be safe and reliable in the future. View the documentary online as well as web extras and educational materials for students.


Other Resources

NEWWA Submits Comments to the Proposed Lead and Copper Rule - February 2020

In February of 2020, NEWWA submitted comments in conjunction with the Green Mountain Water Environment Association, Massachusetts Water Works Association, Maine Water Utilities Association, New Hampshire Water Works Association, and Rhode Island Water Works Association on the U.S. EPA's proposed changes to the Lead and Copper Rule. View the letter, uploaded on February 10, 2020, HERE

America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA)

EPA Resources - Drinking Water and Wastewater Resilience

America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) requires community (drinking) water systems serving more than 3,300 people to develop or update risk assessments and emergency response plans (ERPs). The law specifies the components that the risk assessments and ERPs must address, and establishes deadlines by which water systems must certify to EPA completion of the risk assessment and ERP. 

EPA has developed fact sheets, a technical assistance primer, baseline threat webinars, guidance manual for small systems (due out October 1, 2019), and informational videos to assist in this process, which may be found on the EPA website.

Farm Bill Whiteboard - December 2017
AWWA: Farm Bill Key in Protecting Drinking Water

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides funding to encourage implementing conservation practices on agricultural land. While these programs have been effective at addressing a host of environmental issues, historically they have been under-utilized in tackling drinking water concerns. AWWA is advocating that the reauthorized Farm Bill:

• Provide robust overall funding for the conservation title.
• Emphasize protecting water to safeguard public health.
• Expand opportunities for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to work with water systems to prioritize activities in each state.
• Increase benefits for farmers who employ practices that benefit downstream water quality.
• Ensure at least 10 percent of conservation program funds, Title 2 in the Farm Bill, is focused on the protection of drinking water.

Click the above link to view the whiteboard video developed by AWWA on the Farm Bill. 

Effective Utility Management Primer
Effective utility management (EUM) practices are the foundation for building and sustaining the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of the drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems that make up the water sector. Management practices must address all aspects of a system’s operations and maintenance. The EUM Primer provides a common framework for water sector systems to assess their strengths and areas for improvement, set priorities, and measure progress through a process of continual improvement leading to long-term sustainability.​ Download it by clicking on the above link. 

Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act
Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) establishes the definition for "lead free" as a weighted average of 0.25% lead calculated across the wetted surfaces of a pipe, pipe fitting, plumbing fitting, and fixture and 0.2% lead for solder and flux.The Act also provides a methodology for calculating the weighted average of wetted surfaces.

The Act prohibits the use of any pipe, any pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux, after June 1986, in the installation or repair of (i) any public water system; or (ii) any plumbing in a residential or non-residential facility providing water for human consumption, that is not lead free.

Additionally there is a prohibition on introducing a pipe, any pipe or plumbing fitting or fixture, any solder, or any flux that is not lead free into commerce; unless the use is for manufacturing or industrial purposes.

The SDWA includes several exemptions from the lead free requirements, specifically for plumbing devices that are used exclusively for nonpotable services, as well as a list of specific products: toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, fire hydrants, tub fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are 2 inches in diameter or larger.

Click the above link to be directed to U.S. EPA's Web page on the act and for detailed information.

Water and Wastewater Agency Response Networks
A Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) is a network of utilities helping other utilities to respond to and recover from emergencies. The purpose of a WARN is to provide a method whereby water/wastewater utilities that have sustained or anticipate damages from natural or human-caused incidents can provide and receive emergency aid and assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials, and other associated services as necessary from other water/wastewater utilities. Each New England state has its own WARN and you can obtain more information and join by visiting their Web sites:

You may also visit the www.nationalwarn.org Web site for further details.

Water ISAC
The Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) was authorized by Congress in 2002 and created and managed by the water sector. Its mission is to keep drinking water and wastewater utility managers informed about potential risks to the nation's water infrastructure from contamination, terrorism and cyber threats. The mission has been expanded to help utilities respond to and recover from all hazards. For full information and to join visit www.waterisac.org.

Massachusetts Coalition for Oral Health
The Massachusetts Coalition for Oral Health (MCOH) promotes effective community preventive measures to improve the oral health of all Massachusetts residents. Our site will be useful for consumers, students, health providers, school nurses, health advocates, policymakers, and educators working in a variety of settings.

About the New England Stormwater Collaborative

The New England Stormwater Collaborative was formed by the New England Water Works Association, New England Water Environment Association and New England Chapter – American Public Works Association in 2013 with the conceptual drivers of EDUCATION, UNDERSTANDING, and ACTION. The collaborative works to engage the stormwater community, provide a forum for information and education exchange, and advocate sound stormwater management practices. 

Visit www.nestormwater.org for full details about the New England Stormwater Collaborative, including the annual Stormy Awards. 

The New England Water Communications Collaborative

"Water should be clear, but not invisible," - that's one of the taglines of the "Water's Worth It" campaign by the Water Environment Federation. The New England Water Communication's Collaborative aims to harness the power of this campaign, as well as that of the Value of Water Coalition, to help elevate, in the public's eye, the importance of water and how vital it is to our day-to-day lives. As a result, May has been named "Water's Worth It" month. 

Indispensable to jobs, the economy, our health, and our communities, water runs through our lives in many ways. The men and women of the water profession work 24/7 to ensure you have safe drinking water, consistent wastewater services, and sufficient drainage via our stormwater systems. No longer the "silent servants," it is time the public realize how vital it is to support their local water and wastewater utilities and the work they must continue to do to ensure proper infrastructure investment and upgrades.  

We all have something at stake when it comes to water. Each of us also has a valuable contribution to make. Support your water utility and public works departments in their efforts to continue to enhance your local systems.  

The New England Water Communications Collaborative's objectives are to: 

• Assist utilities with conducting proper public outreach. 
• Raise general public awareness and confidence about water resources and utilities. 

For full information and to access the resources, visit the New England Water Communications Collaborative Website.

Partnership for Safe Water

The Partnership for Safe Water is an unprecedented alliance of six prestigious drinking water organizations. The Partnership's mission is to improve the quality of water delivered to customers by optimizing water system operations. The Partnership offers self-assessment and optimization programs so that operators, managers and administrators have the tools to improve performance above and beyond even proposed regulatory levels.

Learn more here.