The seven facilities selected for funding through the Capacity Development Assistance Program for Small Systems include Bronston (Pulaski County) Water Association, Calhoun (McLean County) Water Works, Horse Cave (Hart County) Water Company, Monroe County Water District, Morgan County Water District, Wallins (Harlan County) Water System (managed by Black Mountain Utility District) and Williamsburg (Whitley County) Water Department.
The funding program, which is in its first year, is a cooperative venture of the Kentucky Division of Water and the nonprofit Community Action of Kentucky (through the Rural Community Assistance Program). The two agencies worked together to identify small drinking water systems in need of capacity development assistance based on factors that are not regulated, such as equipment, training and office management.
“Many small water treatment facilities are at a disadvantage because of their budget and personnel limitations, yet they face the same challenges as larger plants that have more money and specialized staff,” said Julie Smoak, supervisor of the DOW Drinking Water Capacity Development Section. “The goal of this funding program is to allow the smaller plants to complete critical, but non-regulatory projects they might not be able to pursue otherwise.”
John Thompson, manager of the Horse Cave Water Company, said the grant will enable the city to make critical infrastructure repairs.
“In our older communities there is little record of where pipes were placed as homes and businesses were built,” said Thompson. “This grant will allow us to map our distribution lines, which in turn will allow us to perform preventive maintenance and make repairs promptly when leaks occur.”
Bronston Water Association – $3,200 for interior and exterior tank inspection.
Calhoun Water Works – $2,000 to perform two tank inspections using a remotely operated vehicle to evaluate interior condition, corrosion areas and other deterioration problems.
Horse Cave Water Company – $25,000 to perform mapping of the distribution system to locate all lines and valves to enable effective leak detection.
Monroe County Water District – $16,985 to purchase leak detection equipment for locating leaks within the distribution system.
Morgan County Water District — $18,700 to purchase leak detection equipment for locating leaks within the distribution system.
Wallins Water System — $19,200 to obtain assistance with leak detection within the distribution system.
Williamsburg Water Department — $18,500 to develop procedures to identify and repair water line leaks and to identify and monitor unmetered water usage.
Funding for the Capacity Development Assistance Program for Small Systems is made possible through funds set aside by the Commonwealth of Kentucky from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) capitalization grant. The DWSRF program was established by the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 to provide low-interest loans to public water systems for infrastructure improvements needed to produce safe drinking water. The program emphasizes the prevention of drinking water contamination by allowing states to reserve a portion of their grants to fund activities that encourage enhanced water system management and source water protection.