Imted States
Environmental Protection
An Indian Fellowship Training
Program For Small Water
Supply System Operators


                          This document is
                           prepared by
                           Kenneth D. Kerri
                        Office of Water Programs
                     Applied Research and Design Center
                         School of Engineering
                    California State University, Sacramento
                     Michael Cherniak and John Carnegie
                    Environmental Training Consultants, Inc.
                           Corvallis, Oregon

                           as a Final Report
                      Training Grant No. T-901565-01-1
                    Ken Hey and Al Havinga, Project Officers
                     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                        Office of Drinking Water


           The objective of this document  is  to  provide
          persons responsible for the training of Indian opera-
          tors of small water supply systems with a guide to
          various effective modes of training available. The
          procedures described  in this document  are  the
          result of a  pilot training program on tribal water
          supply systems located in the states  of  Arizona,
          Nevada,  New Mexico, Montana, Utah  and Wyo-
          ming. Copies of this document are limited and not
          scheduled for reprinting.

            Mention of trade names or commercial products
          does not constitute endorsement nor recommenda-
          tion for use by the Environmental Protection Agen-
          cy; California State University, Sacramento; Environ-
          mental Training Consultants, Inc.; or the Indian tribes
          participating in this project.



           Purpose	   6
           Program	   6
           Participants	   6
           Outcomes	   6
          PILOT PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION ........................................   8
           Startup Activities [[[   8
           Training Procedures ................................................   8
           Factors Affecting Project Implementation  ..............................   9

          PILOT PROJECT OUTCOMES ............................................  ] °
           Project Completion Rates  .............. .............................  1 °
           Certification Levels .................................................  1 °
           Benefits of Trainer Visits ..............................................  10
           System Improvements Reported by IHS Officials ..........................  11
           Participants' Comments .............................................  12
           Problems Remaining ................................................   ' 2
           What Needs to be Done .............................................  ] 2

          RECOMMENDED TRAINING PROGRAMS ...................................  13
           Tribal Managers [[[  ' [ ^
           New or Untrained System Operators ...................................   ' 3
           Additional Suggested Training Sessions .................................  14

          SUMMARY [[[  ]jj
           Accomplishments  ..................................................   ]^
           Tribal Councils [[[   ] 5

          A. Evaluation of Water Supply System O & M Program .......................  17
            1 . Administrative Support — System Self-Assessment ......................  17
            2. Cost Analysis Checksheet .........................................  ™
            3. O & M Checklist ..................................................  20

           B. Essentials Of An Effective Training Program ............................  22

           C. Elements of a Quality Water Utility ...................................  25

           D. Summary of Systems —
             (Reservations, Tribes, Operators and Systems) ..........................  •* '

  Small water supply systems on reservations must be
properly operated and maintained by trained and enthu-
siastic operators. Water supply system operators can
deliver high quality drinking water provided their Tribal
Councils and officials support and encourage the opera-
tors. This Indian Fellowship Training Program has helped
operators gain the knowledge and skills essential for
delivering good drinking water. A  very serious problem
facing most of the water supply system operators who
participated in this program was the need for reliable and
adequate sources of revenue to support the system.
Serious technical and managerial problems were encoun-
tered at numerous reservations and many of these prob-
lems were resolved during this training project. This report
discusses the operator training program, what the opera-
tors learned, and  the ways Tribal Councils and officials
can help operators do a better job.

Purpose: The purpose of this pilot training project was to
train water supply system operators and refine a three-
pronged training approach designed to produce opera-
tors capable of delivering safe drinking water. Training
took place in Indian communities in Arizona, Nevada,
New Mexico, Montana,  Utah, and Wyoming during the
period from October, 1985. to May, 1988.
Program: The training project, directed specifically to the
needs of small system operators in Indian villages, consist-
ed of:

1. Direct training in classrooms conducted by persons
  recognized for their expertise in both classroom teach-
  ing and the operation and maintenance of water
  supply systems;
2. Correspondence training which required the operators
  to study a training  manual on  the  operation and
  maintenance of  water supply  systems  and to  pass
  objective tests (12 tests) at the end of each chapter in
  the training manual; and
3 On-the-job (over-the-shoulder) training conducted by
  the direct trainers and the Indian Health Service (IMS)
  area representatives. This portion of the program con-
  sisted of helping the operators apply the other phases
  of training to their particular water supply facilities and
  assistance with arithmetic problems related to water
  supply facility operation and maintenance (O &  M)
  and certification examinations.
4. Workshop training one year after final technical train-
  ing to serve as a refresher, assistance with implementa-
  tion of previous training, and enhancement of man-
  agerial skills.
                                                     Participants: Participants were selected on the basis of
                                                     demonstrated dedication to their job, motivation to par-
                                                     ticipate, and employment (or expectation of employ-
                                                     ment) with a tribal water supply  system. Most were high
                                                     school graduates although a  few were not; a few had
                                                     completed one or two years of college course work.
                                                       Of the 47 operators recruited to participate  in this
                                                     program, 35 successfully completed the entire program,
                                                     and two were unable to complete all of the course work.
                                                     The other ten either did not attend any sessions or only the
                                                     first session. Following completion of the project,  three
                                                     participants upgraded their certification levels and  16
                                                     became newly certified.
                                                     Outcomes: This pilot project enabled the trainers to refine
                                                     the three-pronged  training approach  to  more closely
                                                     meet the specialized needs of Indian operators of small
                                                     water supply systems. Evaluations by participants, instruc-
                                                     tors,  and  IMS  representatives unanimously judged the
                                                     overall  project successful. Included  in this report is  a
                                                     detailed outline of the revised training strategy recom-
                                                     mended by the trainers for future projects of this kind (see
                                                     Appendix B).
                                                       In  terms of  hands-on operator  training, the  project
                                                     produced  some notable advances in operator skills and
                                                     knowledge (detailed in the body of this report). At the
                                                     same time, it has become apparent to the trainers that
                                                     increased  effort must be directed towards the goal of
                                                     greater involvement of Tribal Councils whose active sup-
                                                     port  is absolutely crucial to a utility operator's success.

  For decades, Indian tribal groups have defended their
right to govern their own affairs. They have sought inde-
pendence from external regulation and attempted to
establish self-sufficient communities. In many cases, small,
isolated Indian communities are trying to deal with the
complexities of providing utility services, including safe
drinking water.

  The operators of these small water supply systems face
a very difficult and often discouraging situation. In many
cases, they have had little or no actual training in how to
operate a water supply system, how to set up a preven-
tive maintenance program, or how to estimate costs and
manage funds. Yet, their job responsibilities include all the
tasks of managing  a small water supply system, some of
which are listed below.

  • Maintain wells, pumps, storage tanks, distribution pipes
   and hydrants, and all other system equipment;
  • Schedule the operation of pumps and water storage
   facilities, maintenance  work, and parts and  supply
  • Adjust  electronic controls and chemical feeders;
  • Collect samples and perform laboratory tests;
  • Conduct safety inspections and follow safety rules;
  • Maintain records, including operating logs, chemical
   usage  and inventories, equipment maintenance and
   daily diaries;
  • Read water and electrical meters; and
  • Develop budgets, allocate available resources, and
   plan for the future.

  Most small water supply system operators would  be
expected to perform these functions. In addition to these
responsibilities, however, the operators of water systems
on Indian  reservations and villages also must respond to a
set of problems and expectations unique to their Indian
communities. For example:

  • Operators'  mechanical ability often makes them  the
   first person the  tribe contacts to weld broken  equip-
   ment,  maintain buildings, repair plumbing,  grade
   roads,  and fix vehicles.
  • As a "public  servant," operators are also frequently
   asked  to assist community members in plowing fields.
   harvesting  crops, baling alfalfa, and digging graves.
  • Tribal  community and extended  family  relationships
   influence an operator's ability to impose and collect
   utility user fees and delinquent account assessments.
  • The attitude of  the community's governing body,  the
   Tribal  Council, greatly influences a utility operator's
   success  in achieving  a self-sufficient water  supply
   system for the community. An indifferent or uninformed
   Council cannot expect its utility operator to do the job
   alone. Without Council support, operators are essen-
   tially powerless  to upgrade  services  and their own

  An extremely important step for a tribe  towards achiev-
ing self-sufficiency  is creating a  water  supply program
that functions on its own revenues. Water supply  system
operators are  the most important people for making sure
a community has a dependable and safe drinking water
supply. Everyone expects a clear,  refreshing drink of
water when they turn on the faucet; water supply system
operators are the people  responsible for  making this
happen. To do this job, however,  operators need the
support of their Tribal Councils to get appropriate training.
It is not enough to rely on someone's knack for fixing
things. Operators could do their jobs better and more
efficiently if they could receive some specific training in
operating a water supply system. While such training is not
widely available to operators in remote areas, it can  be
made available through the active involvement of Tribal
  Considerable time and effort is necessary to set up and
maintain a  self-sufficient water supply system. This  re-
quires a full-time paid position with back-up assistance
and  relief help when necessary. A successful  program
requires strong administrative support and a committed
Tribal Council.
  Council leadership in defining the goals of  the commu-
nity is an important first step. Most successful water utility
agencies spell out their goals in very specific terms. This
process enables them to evaluate their system's strengths
as well as its shortcomings; to establish priorities when
allocating resources; and to measure their  progress  to-
wards self-sufficiency. Typical water utility goals include
the following:

  • Deliver sufficient water of suitable quality when and
   where needed.
  • Protect the public health of the community (avoid
   "boil water" notices).
  • Minimize breakdowns, disruption of service and emer-
   gency repairs.
  • Develop and implement a preventive maintenance
   program which minimizes the costs of operating and
   maintaining a water supply system.
  • Conduct a safety program dedicated to the preven-
   tion of safety hazards and accidents.
  • Develop and implement a water-user charge program
   which produces sufficient revenue to cover the costs
   of operating and maintaining the water supply system,
   as well as contributing to an equipment replacement

  Appendix A of this report contains a self-assessment
form that can be used by water utility agencies to review
the status of their water supply system and to establish
their own system goals.

Startup Activities: An organizational meeting was the first
activity of this training  project. EPA officials from the
Office of Water Supply  in Washington, DC, the Project
Director, and both direct trainers met with regional EPA
officials, IMS officials and IMS regional field representatives
in Billings, Montana, and Phoenix, Arizona. The objectives
of these meetings were to:

  • Acquaint everyone with the purpose and details of this
  • Determine selection procedures for the EPA Fellowship
  • Schedule proposed training dates,
  • Identify potential problem areas, and
  • Prepare a strategy for success.

During this initial meeting, project staff emphasized the
need for Tribal Council support of the operators and the
water supply system.

  Forty-seven operators  were selected  for this training
project based on demonstrated dedication to their job,
motivation to participate, and employment (or expecta-
tion of employment) with a tribal water system. In each
case, appropriate tribal officials were promptly notified of
the selections and were asked to provide whatever sup-
port they could to ensure the operator's successful com-
pletion of the program.

Training Procedures:
1. Direct Training - Four direct training sessions were held
for the operators. The training sessions were held between
two and three months apart depending on the season of
the year, holidays and scheduled tribal ceremonies. Each
training session started after lunch the first day, lasted the
entire second day, and finished at noon on the third day.
These training sessions emphasized operator participation
in classroom discussions.  Special attention was given to
water supply problems actually  confronting the opera-
tors. Classroom worksheets were developed for classroom
assignments and to encourage operators to share with
each other how they attempted to solve specific prob-
lems related to their water supply systems. The correspon-
dence training manual was used as the basic classroom
textbook. Topics covered in the classroom included:

 1. The Water Supply System Operator,
 2. Water Sources and Treatment,
 3. Wells,
 4. Small  Water Treatment Plants,
 5. Storage Facilities,
 6. Distribution System Faciliites,
 7 Water Quality Considerations in Distribution Systems,
 8. Distribution System Operation and Maintenance,
 9. Disinfection,
10. Fluoridation,
11. Safety, and
12. Laboratory Procedures.

  Class presentations  were enhanced by slides, over-
heads, demonstrations and handout material. Each oper-
ator was provided with an  electronic  calculator and
special evening sessions were held for operators needing
practice solving arithmetic problems.
2. Correspondence Training - The direct training sessions
covered material in the training manual,  WATER SUPPLY
SYSTEM OPERATION. After  each direct training session,
specific objective tests consisting of true-false and multi-
ple choice questions were assigned to the operators. The
operators were expected  to review the  material when
they returned home, to work the objective tests, and to
submit the completed test to California State University,
  The  tests were graded, missed  questions explained,
solutions to arithmetic questions provided as necessary,
and returned to the operator. Copies of the results were
provided the direct trainers, IMS officials, and EPA's project
manager in Washington, DC.

3. On-The-Job Training - IMS area representatives  met
regularly with the operators throughout the duration of
this  project. They encouraged the operators to work the
objective tests, provided assistance when necessary,  and
related the training project to the actual  operation  and
maintenance of the operator's water supply system.
  The direct trainers visited each operator after the first
direct training session. The purpose  of this visit  was to
determine the components of each operator's system, to
evaluate existing O & M practices, and to identify prob-
lems hindering the operators' and water supply systems'

  Each operator was visited at his facilities after the final
direct training session. The Project Director, direct trainer
and at least one IHS representative participated  in this
visit. Tribal officials were notified  in advance regarding
the date of the visit and were advised that their operator
had successfully completed a rigorous university training
program. If tribal officials were available, the Certificate
of Completion was presented during  this meeting. This
meeting provided an opportunity to inspect the opera-
tor's facilities, to review operator  accomplishments, and
to note problems still confronting the operator.

  Approximately one year after the final direct training
session the trainers met with each operator at his facility.
Progress to date was reviewed during this meeting, sug-
gestions were made how to  implement additional im-
provements, and each operator was given an assignment
for presentation at the  workshop training  session.  The
workshop training session provided the operators an op-
portunity to explain their successes to the other operators
and to discuss solutions to areas needing improvement.
Emphasis was placed on enhancing maintenance pro-
grams, communications and managerial skills.

Factors Affecting Project Implementation:  Information
gathered by the trainers during the initial class sessions
and site visits was used to refine the remainder  of the
training program.  Factors considered important by the
trainers in making program revisions included problems
faced by operators in  their  present positions and the
status of operators' water supply  systems when the pro-
gram  began.
  Almost all  of the operators were confronted with the
problem of inadequate tribal  support. Operators  report
that supervisors and tribal officials do not understand the
time and effort an operator's job requires, nor do they fully
appreciate the importance of a  dependable, self-suffi-
cient  water supply  system.  The  operators  themselves
recognize the importance of job training but lack the time
and  resources to become certified through their own
efforts. They will need the help of the Tribal  Council to
upgrade their skills and  to find suitable ongoing training
opportunities. Most participants also cite the following

  • An excessive number of assigned "extra" tasks includ-
   ing hauling water to  isolated homes;  working on live-
   stock water supply systems;  pumping septic  tanks;
   managing the wastewater collection system; and col-
   lecting and hauling garbage,
  • A lack of relief and back-up operators,
  • A lack of  written  operating procedures, preventive
   maintenance policy, or spare parts inventory, and
  • Inadequate  budgets (most operators work for mini-
   mum wages or volunteer their labor) due to ineffective
   or nonexistent mechanisms for collecting water-user

  Ten additional observations about operators and their
facilities influenced revisions of the training program. Our
observations were as  follows:

   1. Most operators had a high school education. Some
     had one or two years of college while others had
     not completed  high school. Operators exhibited a
     high level of  water supply system O & M  interest,
     enthusiasm and service to their reservation. Many
     operators  worked for minimum wages or what
     amounts to a voluntary contribution. Most operators
     used  their own vehicles and were not reimbursed.
   2. Most  water supply systems were in  adequate to
     good physical  shape to supply, treat,  store and
     distribute  water to homes.
   3. Equipment and facility problems resulting from im-
     proper design were not a limiting factor to proper
     system O  & M.
   4. Four out of five water supply systems lacked specif-
     ic utility budgets.  Although most water supply sys-
     tems  had  a fee structure in place, effective mecha-
     nisms for collecting fees were lacking. Close family
     and friendship ties compound enforcement actions
     of delinquent accounts. Water is typically viewed
     as an inalienable  tribal right. Formal financial sup-
     port for water supply monitoring and O & M pro-
     grams was deficient  in over  75  percent of the
     villages. The  water supply system O & M  funding,
     often subsidized from general revenues, was usually
     on the bottom of  the priority list for available funds.
   5. There was a general  lack of  formal water usage
   6. Sampling  programs required under the Safe Drink-
     ing Water Act (SDWA) were being conducted rou-
     tinely on some reservations and not on others.
   7. Younger operators lacked training in technical, me-
     chanical,  recordkeeping and  interpersonal man-
     agement skills.
   8. Three out of  every five systems lacked spare parts
     inventories and formal purchasing procedures (use
     of purchase orders and appropriate authorization).
   9. Generally there existed an inadequate knowledge
     of the importance of sanitary  practices (disinfec-
  10. A lack  of management skills  in determining work
     priorities,  scheduling and  purchasing procedures
     was observed.

  In summary, the facilities were adequate, the operators
were intelligent and  dedicated; however, there was a
lack of financial and/or philosophical commitment to a
consumer-supported  water supply system. The lack  of
adequate  funding was caused by  an  absence  of an
effective mechanism  for collecting water-user  charges or
the funds were diverted to the tribe's general fund rather
than into a special utility fund.

  The success of this project can be measured in several
ways, by both formal and informal methods. This section
contains specific data about how many operators com-
pleted the program, how many dropped out and why.
and about operator certification levels before and after
the program.
  Also included are detailed specific water system  im-
provements as  identified  by the direct trainers, the IMS
officials, and the operators themselves.

Program Completion Rates: Forty-seven operators were
recruited to participate in the training project; thirty-five
successfully completed the  training program. Two were
unable to complete all of the objective tests at the end of
the chapters in  the correspondence course.

  Ten operators did not complete the course.  Of these
ten, four  never attended any  of the training sessions.
Apparently they lacked the necessary motivation and/or
Tribal Council support.  Two  operators quit and left the
business One operator had  a six-month temporary posi-
tion and  quit when he  was not given a  permanent
position. Another  operator was relieved of  his job be-
cause he did not or was unable  to get his driver's license
renewed. Two of the people were officials from a utility
commission. They were allowed to participate to provide
an opportunity to evaluate the interest and performance
of nonoperators in responsible positions. They quit when
they  learned the training  program required participants
to study and pass exams. No one dropped out of the
program after the first training session.

Certification Levels: Certification  is an examination ad-
ministered by a state  or professional association that
operators take to indicate a level of professional compe-
tence. Operators should be encouraged to pursue certifi-
cation. Certification is documentation that a competent
operator is responsible for the tribe's water supply system.
  Many of  the  operators participating  in this training
program expressed a desire  to become certified.  Five of
the operators were  certified at the beginning  of the
project and three have  since  improved their level  of
certification. One  operator failed his first certification
attempt with a  score of 40 percent, but passed his next
certification exam after this program. The certification
record  at the time of preparation of this report is  as
    Improved Level of Certification    3
    Newly Certified                 16

Benefits of Trainer Visits: The purposes of the trainer visits
to the operator's facilities were  to familiarize the trainer
with the water supply system and to relate the classroom
training to the  operator's operation and maintenance
problems. Other benefits included the opportunity for the
trainer to develop a  rapport with the operator  in  an
informal situation and also to encourage and motivate
the operator.
  The following  is a listing  of some of the  actual benefits
that resulted from direct  trainer visits to the operator's
  • Disinfection of a water storage reservoir was demon-
  • Operators were shown how to perform jar tests and
   apply the results.
  • Operators  became  more  comfortable  adjusting
   chemical feeders.
  • Operators learned how to prevent fluoride feed lines
   from clogging.
  • On-site instruction was provided on how to operate
   pumps on an alternating basis.

  • A filing system was developed and implemented on
   valve and hydrant maintenance.
  • An inventory of a utility shop was conducted.
  • A time clock was discovered that was not working
   properly and the appropriate adjustments were made
   so the clock functioned properly.
  • A cracked diaphragm on a chemical feed pump was
   discovered and repaired during a troubleshooting ses-
  • A broken bushing was discovered on a circulating
  • The correct use of a tapping machine was explained
   and demonstrated.

  • Operator developed and established sampling proce-
  • Operator unable to measure chlorine residual 200 feet
   downstream from chlorine injection point. Substances
   in water  interfering with test were identified as cause
   of problem.

  • Trainer assisted operator in redesign of intake, pre-
   treatment, clarification and chemical feed systems.
  • The lack ot surge control equipment on  a pumping
   system was identified as the cause of damaging vibra-
   tions and burst water mains.
  • The  cathodic  protection system for a natural gas
   transmission  main  was identified as the probable
   cause of a serious corrosion problem in a well.
  • The connection of pipes to a meter of dissimilar metal
   was identified  as the cause of a corrosion problem.
   The use of plastic fittings was recommended to cor-
   rect the problem.
  • Operators discovered cross-connections in an irriga-
   tion system and learned how to correct the problem.

  • Trainer recommended operator improve documenta-
   tion of activities and request relief assistance. Opera-
   tor improved documentation, requested and received
   relief assistance.
  Other benefits resulting from the trainers' visits included
an incentive for operators to clean up their facilities to
impress the trainers. These visits also enhanced the pres-
tige of the operators in the eyes of the tribal officials who
met with the trainers.

System  Improvements Reported by IMS  Officials: One
means of  evaluating the effectiveness of training pro-
grams is to observe improvements implemented by oper-
ators in the actual operation and maintenance of their
systems. IMS officials have reported the operator accom-
plishments listed below.
  • Operators are questioning how and why things are
   done, rather than just repeating what was done by the
   previous operator.
  • Forms showing flows pumped and chemicals used are
   better kept in pump houses.
  • Chlorine residuals are run after a water main break has
   been repaired to verify if system has been properly
  • Analysis of water supply and demand quantities has
   been conducted to better  utilize available pumping
   and storage  capacities.
  • Operators understand the need to perform alkalinity
   tests and apply the results.

  • Repair of emergency situations is taking less time due
   to improved skills  and  better inventory of needed
   repair tools, supplies and materials.
  • Administrators are more committed to  a scheduled
   preventive maintenance program. They are more will-
   ing to purchase the necessary tools and equipment
   and also to  commit the necessary  manpower within
   the constraints of their budget.
  • Operators have improved their spare parts inventory
   and have  made purchases of several key pieces of
   equipment, such as a trash pump and some wrenches.
  • Service on fluoride and chlorine feed equipment has
   improved. Seal replacement is now scheduled on an
   annual basis.
  • The work order system for preventive maintenance
   has been improved.
  • A distribution system flushing program has been devel-
   oped and implemented.
  • Valves in the distribution system are being exercised
   on a regularly scheduled basis.
  • Fire hydrant valves are being exercised for the first
   time in several years.

  • Many reservations have a long history of compliance
   with the Safe Drinking  Water Act  (SDWA) sampling
   requirements. At other reservations formal sampling
   programs  have been developed and implemented.
   Where sampling and  reporting had been inadequate,
   the number of samples has  increased to meet  EPA
   requirements and  recordkeeping has vastly improved.
   • One  operator  is  performing his own coliform tests
   immediately upon notification from a certified lab of a
   positive result from a coliform test.
   • Operator has obtained a fluoride test kit and is using
   results to adjust chemical feed rates.

   • Recordkeeping of O & M practices has improved.
   • Operators have a  better understanding, interpretation
   and application of recorded  data.
   • All tools have been marked and a record is being kept
    as to  what tools  belong with each piece of equip-
   • A sign-out board is  being used by all operators to
    maintain and upgrade  shop tool inventory.


  • A rate study was conducted and a rate increase was
   instituted as a result of the study.
  • The billing system for water usage and the user fee
   collection program have both improved.

  • Operators from different tribes are  communicating
   with each other, sharing equipment and helping each
   other during emergencies.
  • Operator requested and obtained a utility vehicle and
   back-up labor assistance.
  • Operators have displayed greater confidence in com-
   municating  with supervisors, customers and water
   board members.
  • Operators are more vocal regarding need  for in-
   creased revenue and back-up support to operate
   their systems.

  • Tribal leaders and water committee members are
   aware of the training program.
  • Tribal authorities  recognize the importance of water,
   but many are reluctant to require the collection of
   essential fees to support the water supply system.

  • Operator was assigned the responsibility to assist in the
   instruction of new operators and granted the responsi-
   bility for a new wastewater treatment plant.
  • An operator was promoted to water supply  system
  • Two operators received a regional award for the best
   fluoridation program.
  • Two operators have achieved certification for the first
   time and three have improved their level of certifica-
   tion to date.
  • Four operators have received pay raises.

Participants' Comments: At  one of the  last training ses-
sions operators were  asked to  comment anonymously
regarding the training program. Every operator who re-
sponded had enthusiastic comments. Typical statements
indicated that the operators learned:

  • A lot of valuable information related to their jobs;
  • How to  determine what tools and  equipment are
   needed to do a job and how to acquire needed tools,
   equipment and supplies;
  • Helpful arithmetic skills, but still need  more assistance
   and practice;
  • How to properly operate and maintain their facilities;
  • Techniques  to explain  to their superiors the  impor-
   tance of adequate resources and proper O & M;
  • Other operators have similar problems; and
  • Procedures to determine the costs  involved in the
   operation and maintenance of water supply systems.

  Many operators commented that they would appreci-
ate refresher courses and advanced courses on  these
topics and other subject matters related to their jobs.

Problems Remaining: The previous paragraphs have do-
cumented the improvements in water supply systems as a
result of this training project. Some water supply systems
had relatively few problems at the start of this  project.
Many of the items listed represent improvements at one
system. Many water supply systems still have serious tech-
nical and managerial problems that  could be resolved by
more training, additional funds and greater Tribal Council

What  Needs to be Done:  Discussions  with operators,
trainers and officials involved with this project reveal the
following tasks could enhance the work accomplished by
this training project.

1. Operators desire and need an annual follow-up train-
  ing session. This session will provide them the opportuni-
  ty to develop in subject areas where they could bene-
  fit from more training.  The follow-up training  could
  include management and communication. The opera-
  tors currently look forward to comparing and sharing
  their problems and solutions with their fellow operators.
2. Operators would appreciate additional visits to their
  facilities by the direct trainers to discuss their specific
  problems and potential solutions.
3. Tribal Council Awareness - Efforts must continue  to
  make tribal officials aware of the knowledge and skills
  required of operators to properly operate and  main-
  tain their water supply systems. Operators are currently
  overworked and underfunded. They need more re-
  sources to do their jobs. If they  are given additional
  assignments because of their talents and mechanical
  abilities, the operators must be given  more help.
4. Budgets - Operators need help  determining how  to
  prepare budgets, calculating water-user rates, and
  collecting fees from users. Sufficient revenue should be
  generated by the consumers to cover the  costs  of
  electricity,  chemicals, vehicles,  travel, spare  parts,
  maintenance, repairs and replacement of pumps and
  other equipment.
5. Codes - The requirement for a  self-sustaining water
  utility agency  needs to be codified for each  tribe
  and/or reservation. The  codes should encourage a
  policy for the collection  of sufficient  user charges  to
  finance the operation and maintenance of the water
  supply system. Adequate revenues for a water supply
  system are a critical step towards tribal self-sufficiency.
  An  informed Tribal Council could  help establish the
  necessary codes.

  Training programs should be considered for three dis-
tinct categories of water supply system personnel: tribal
managers, trained operators,  and new or untrained sys-
tem operators. An appropriate program is outlined below,

Tribal  Managers: Tribal  utility managers and  council
members must be provided with instruction directed to-
ward a better understanding  of the operation,  mainte-
nance, monitoring, management and financial  require-
ments of  their systems. Completion of  an instructional
seminar should enable the governing officials to:

  • Understand the importance of maintaining a safe and
   palatable water source and system,
  • Identify the essential components of a water supply
  • Develop and implement a water supply sampling pro-
   gram in compliance with regulatory guidelines,
  • Describe  methods to monitor and support the system
   operation and maintenance personnel,
  • Determine the costs of operating their systems, and
  • Understand the need for and development of a fair
   and equitable user fee program.

  These objectives could be accomplished in a day to
day-and-a-half seminar conducted at central state or
regional locations.
  Invitation  and overall  coordination  of the program
should be conducted by IMS and EPA personnel. Promo-
tion should be focused on "Achieving Water System Inde-
pendence." The use of an independent instructor would
be helpful in distinguishing the program as non-regulatory
in nature.

Trained Operators: Operators who have received pre-
vious training should be provided further professional in-
centive and motivation by participation in  an annual
update/skills improvement seminar. Sessions should
focus on:

  • Updating knowledge of regulatory requirements,
  • Sharpening technical skills in such areas as pump
   maintenance,  electrical  controls, disinfection tech-
   niques and line repairs,
  • Interpersonal skill development  with managers and
   other employees,
  • Preventive maintenance program development,
  • Preparing reports and presentations for councils, and
  • Math skills brushups.

  The conference would be held over a two- to three-day
period at central  state or regional locations. Presenters
should include tribal managers, operators, technical spe-
cialists and IHS/EPA representatives as appropriate. Plan-
ning should focus on "Improving System and Individual
                                                     New or Untrained System Operators: Many system oper-
                                                     ators have not yet received training on the proper O & M
                                                     considerations of their systems. These individuals should
                                                     receive specific instruction  that would enable them to:

                                                      • Protect a well from contamination,
                                                      • Keep accurate records  of water usage,
                                                      • Maintain pumps, storage tanks, water lines and equip-
                                                      • Adjust electronic controls and chemical feeders,
                                                      • Read water and electrical meters,
                                                      • Repair and replace broken water mains,
                                                      • Maintain records including operating  logs, chemical
                                                       usage and inventories, equipment maintenance  and
                                                       daily diaries,
                                                      • Perform math calculations relating to storage volumes,
                                                      • Order chemicals, repair  parts and tools,
                                                      • Collect samples and perform laboratory tests.
                                                      • Conduct  safety inspections and follow safety rules,
                                                      • Pass certification examinations.

                                                      Instruction  should be delivered in half-day or full-day
                                                     topic specific sessions, conducted on-site at various reser-
                                                     vations. A roving trainer approach would allow a trainer to
                                                     visit from 3 to 6 reservations  per week. A rotating schedule
                                                     of training would provide  for return visits at each  site.
                                                     Other operators  could be  invited from neighboring sys-
                                                      The correspondence course and technical handouts
                                                     could serve as operator study material. Recruitment  pro-
                                                     motion should be focused  on "Understanding Your  Sys-

Additional Suggested Training Sessions: Almost all of the
operators in this training program are also responsible for
the operation and  maintenance  of  tribal wastewater
collection and treatment systems and also solid wastes.
These operators have requested and would benefit from
training programs covering these two important areas of

1.  Wastewater Collection and Treatment  System  Oper-
ations  — This training program should, at a minimum,
provide the operators with the following information:

  • Characteristics of wastewater,
  • Components and functions of collection systems,
  • Role of collection systems on waste treatability,
  •Cleaning and flushing of collection systems,
  • Collection  system safety considerations,
  • Components, operation and maintenance of lift sta-
  • Pond treatment processes,
  • Sample collection, pond monitoring and grease/al-
   gae control,
  • Pond operating strategies and troubleshooting, and
  • Preventive maintenance and recordkeeping.

  The training program  would be  delivered in a similar
three-pronged approach using classroom sessions, the
California State  University, Sacramento, correspondence
course and supplemental site visits to cover all aspects of
reservation wastewater collection and treatment.
  Such a  program could  be delivered in multiple-day
sessions in a centralized location or be taken into the field
in a short-burst topic-oriented  approach.  Water supply
system and solid waste problems could also be addressed
during field visits.

2. Solid Waste Training - Solid waste training programs are
also being requested by operators. People must realize
that a sanitary landfill  is  "sanitary" only when  properly
operated by committed personnel. Following completion
of a landfill training program, the operator should be able

  • Describe the importance of proper solid waste dispos-
  • List the essential considerations of landfill design and
  • Describe the elements of cell construction and cover,
  • Outline litter control techniques,
  • Describe approaches to such operating  problems as a
   high  water table,  poor compaction,  wet  or  cold
   weather operation, poor soil conditions and hard-to-
   handle wastes,
  • Perform duties safely in the landfill,
  • Develop an equipment preventive maintenance pro-
   gram, and
  • Construct an effective collection routing and pick-up

  The program would be  approximately 20 to 40 hours
long and be held in a centralized location. Three two-day
sessions conducted  over  a six to eight month period
would provide adequate time to address and  absorb
knowledge related to  solid waste management.  Field
visits to individual sites would also be an effective supple-
ment to the program.

Accomplishments: Thirty-five operators successfully com-
pleted this training. The major accomplishments of these
operators include learning:

1. Why their water supply systems work,
2. How to operate and maintain water supply systems,
3. The importance of  a  safe and reliable water  supply
4. An appreciation that all operators are confronted with
  similar problems,
5. The necessity of having  trained relief and  back-up
  operators, and
6. The need for written operation and maintenance pro-

  All three modes of training contributed to the success of
this project. If possible, greater efforts could be expended
during site visits on how to improve operation and mainte-
nance procedures for each water supply system.

Tribal Councils: Although there are many demands on a
Tribal  Council's  limited budget, the community water
supply system is one of the most important. In addition to
financial support, Tribal Councils and authorities can also
provide very helpful support for water supply systems by:

1. Encouraging operators to participate in training pro-
  grams and recognizing  or rewarding operators for
  successful accomplishments.
2. Providing  operators the opportunity to present their
  needs to Tribal Councils and to discuss their justifica-
3. Assigning  additional help and  back-up relief when
4. Establishing goals for the water supply  system and
  diligently attempting to achieve these goals.
5. Participating  in training  programs designed to help
  Tribal Councils and authorities understand water supply
  systems and  how they should be administered and
  managed, and
6. Developing an equitable water-user rate system and
  collecting fees from everyone connected to the water
  supply system.


 The following instrument is designed as a discussion aid between water system operators, their managers and/or
council authorities.
Maintain a chlorination system.
Maintain a fluoridation system.
Maintain gravity storage tanks.
Maintain pressure storage tanks.
Maintain the distribution system,
associated valves and hydrants.
Perform our own pump maintenance
and repair.
Measure chlorine residuals.
Measure fluoride residuals.
Operate and maintain the
wastewater treatment system.
Operate and maintain the solid
waste disposal systems.



Has a properly running chlorinator.
Has a properly running fluoridator.
Submits Bac-T samples as required.
Has developed and uses a daily
work procedure checklist.
Has a written preventive
maintenance program.
Has the appropriate tools to perform
the required work assignments.
Has an adequate spare parts
Has adequate relief labor
assistance available.
Has a utility vehicle
supplied by the tribe.
Reimburses our operators for
personal vehicle use.




Provides our operators with a
budget to work within.
Allows our operators to approve
purchases within this budget.
Has designated an official to
approve purchases.
Has designated a supervisor or
manager for the operators to
report to or discuss problems
Understands what our system costs
to operate and maintain.
Charges a monthly user fee.
Is successful in collecting fees.
(less than 25% delinquency rate)
Reports to the Tribal Council on
a monthly or periodic basis.
Has strong Tribal Council support
for activities and goals.
Sets aside reserve funds for
future equipment replacement.
Pays sufficient wages to attract
and retain qualified operation and
maintenance staff.




 The following checksheet is designed to provide a simple format to review operating costs for small water systems. By
providing some very basic information on power, chemicals, parts and labor costs, a utility will be able to assess current
O & M costs against current user fees. User costs may be viewed from a household, per person, or per gallon basis.

                                 COST ANALYSIS CHECKSHEET
A, Number of Households	
B. Total Population Served 	
C. Water Usage (Average Gals/Mnth)	
D. Power Consumption (Avg KW-Hrs/Mnth)	
E. Power Cost ($) = D. x Cost (KW-Hr)	
F. Chemical Consumption (Pounds/Mnth)	
G. Chemical Cost ($) = F. x Cost ($/lb) 	
H. Labor (Hours per month)	
I. Labor Costs ($) = H. x Rate ($/hour)	
J. Parts/Supplies Costs ($) (Avg. monthly)	
K. Personal Operator Expenses ($/month)  	
L. Monthly Reserve for Future Equipment Replacement(s)
M. Total Costs/Month = E. + G. + I. + J. + K. + L
N. Monthly Cost per Household ($) = M./A	
O. Monthly Cost per Person ($) = M./B	
P. Monthly Cost per Gallon ($) = M./C	
   If true cost is not known, use $0.06/kw-hr (national average).
   If true cost is not known, use $2.00/gallon for sodium hypochlorite and $1.20/pound for HTH (65%).
   a) Use actual salary or hourly rate x 1.25 (overhead).
   b) Use $8.50/hour.
   a) Use actual costs or
   b) Use estimate ranging from $50 - 500/month. Discuss.
   Use $.22/mile for personal vehicle use.



  Well House
  Storage Area
Water Meter
Electric Meter
Discharge Pressure



Storage Tank
Hydropneumatic Tank
            Pressure, Operation
             and Temperature
            Chemical Level
            Chemical Level
            Exercise Encrustation
            Water Level
            Pressure Reading

  Well House

Storage Tank
            Packing Check
            Tubing Connections
            Tubing Connections
            Clean Interior
            Secured Hatch
            Check Air Vent
            Float Operation

  Well House


Pump Meter
Chemical Pumps
Storage Tank

            Amperage Reading
            Bearing Temperature
            Oil Levels
            Ladder Inspection
            Tank Leak Inspection

  Well House


Electric Panel
Storage Area
Hydropneumatic Tank
            Clean Pump,
             Tubing, Tank
            Clean Lines
            Loose Wires
            Change Compressor
             Oil and Filter



 Well House


O & M CHECKLIST (Continued)

Electric Panel

Pump Meter

Storage Tank

                  Clean Contactors and
                    Starter Armatures
                  Change Oil in Gear
                  Inspect Condition
                  Exterior Checks for
                  Flush and Exercise

  Well House

Storage Tank
Valve Boxes
                   Clean and Paint
                   Clean Interior

 1. Objectives -
     Following completion of a training program for water
   supply system operators, the operators should be able

    1. Protect a well from contamination,
    2. Keep accurate records of water usage,
    3. Maintain  pumps, storage tanks, water lines and
    4. Adjust electronic controls and chemical feeders,
    5. Read water and electrical meters,
    6. Repair and replace broken water mains,
    7. Maintain records, including operating logs, chemi-
      cal  usage  and inventories,  equipment  mainte-
      nance and daily diaries,
    8. Perform arithmetic calculations relating to storage
    9. Order chemicals, repair parts and tools,
   10. Collect samples and perform laboratory tests,
   11. Conduct safety inspections and follow safety rules,
   12. Prepare written justification and status reports, and
   13. Pass certification examinations.

2. Tasks -
   TASK 1. Recruitment of Coordinators and Operators
     At each area office training site someone must be
   designated as the "Coordinator" in consultation with
   the  "Direct Trainers" and other appropriate officials
   involved in the training project. The  Coordinator will
   recruit operators in the area around the site to partici-
   pate in the training program. Additional assistant coor-
   dinators may be approved  as necessary to visit an
   operator's facility. Coordinator Responsibilities:
   1. Coordinator will distribute, collect and review appli-
     cation forms from interested operators. The applica-
     tion form must contain signatures of approval from
     the appropriate tribal authority and an IMS official
     familiar with the operator. (See end of this section for
     an application form.)
   2. The Coordinator will  provide the necessary training
     facilities — classroom, audio-visual aids.
   3. The Coordinator or approved assistant will visit each
     fellowship operator on a monthly basis to encourage
     the operator, to relate the training program to actu-
     al system  O  & M, and to monitor progress in the
     training  program.  The  Project  Director and Direct
     Trainers will  work closely with the  Coordinator
     throughout the entire project.
   TASK 2. Organizational Meeting
     An organizational meeting should be held before the
   start of the actual training. The objective of the meet-
   ing is to discuss and agree upon the management and
   organizational details of the training program.
   Topics to be discussed should include:
   1.  Payment of operators for travel expenses,
   2.  Meetings with tribal  officials,
   3.  Training facilities,
   4.  Visits to plants,
   5.  Coordinators and instructor (Direct Trainer) respon-
6.  Communications with operators,
7.  Site visits following completion of training sessions,
8.  How to best identify and remedy any weaknesses in
   arithmetic skills.

TASK 3. Direct Training
1.  Payment of Operators for Travel Expenses
   Fellowship operators should be paid travel costs
   plus meals and lodging during four two-day direct
   training sessions scheduled during a twelve-month
   time span at the training facility. The training ses-
   sions should start after lunch the first day, continue
   through the entire second day, and finish at lunch on
   the third day.
2.  Training Session No. 1 (Two Days)
   a. Instructor and Coordinator will meet with tribal
      officials to explain objectives of program.
   b. All  fellowship operators  meet at  area  training
      facility. Operators are introduced and the objec-
      tives of the training project are discussed. Oper-
      ators describe their facilities and any problems
      they are having with the O  & M of their system.
      Topics covered should include the responsibility
      of  the water supply system  operator, water
      sources and treatment, and wells. Any arithmetic
      associated with these topics should also be cov-
      ered. This session should  be handled by a Direct
3.  Small  Water System Visit
   Immediately after Training Session No. 1, the Direct
   Trainer (instructor) should visit  the system of each
   fellowship operator in the program. The purpose of
   this visit is to familiarize the instructor with the facili-
   ties of each operator. The instructor should relate
   material in the training manual to the operator's
   actual facilities. Using this approach the operator
   should be encouraged to identify problems, imple-
   ment  solutions, and improve system O & M.
4.  After Training Session
   After each training session  the  fellowship operator
   returns home and studies the assigned chapters in
   the operator training manual,  WATER SUPPLY SYS-
   TEM OPERATION. The first three  chapters should be
   completed and answers to tests submitted to CSUS
   or the Coordinator for grading  before the next
   training session. Coordinator should visit fellowship
   operators approximately once a month.
5.  Between Training Sessions
   Between each training session the  instructor will
   contact each operator who can be reached by
   phone. The purpose of this call is to determine the
   operator's progress, to relate  training material  to
   any plant problems, and to offer encouragement
   to the operator.
6.  Training Session No. 2 (Two Days)
   Direct training sessions should be scheduled every
   two to four months. Session No. 2 reviews the pre-
   vious  material and  also covers material  on small
   water treatment plants (including fluoridation),
   storage facilities and distribution system  facilities.

      Arithmetic associated with these topics should also
      be covered. Emphasis is placed on those aspects
      which relate to the actual O & M of the fellowship
      operator's facilities. Operators try to  complete
      chapters four through  six before the next training
   7.  Training Session No. 3 (Two Days)
      Session No. 3 reviews the previous material and also
      covers material on  water quality considerations in
      distribution systems, distribution system  operation
      and maintenance,  and disinfection. Operators try
      to complete chapters seven through nine before
      the last training session.
   8.  Training Session No. 4 (Two or Three Days)
      Session No. 4 reviews the previous material and also
      covers material on safety, laboratory procedures
      and any other additional topics the fellowship oper-
      ators feel are essential for successful performance
      of their jobs. An extra  day may be added to the
      final session to ensure that all fellowship operators
      successfully complete the program.
   9.  Audio-Visual Materials
      One complete set of slides used during the training
      session should be left with the Coordinator if opera-
      tors wish to review  them. The slides may also be
      used for future courses.

   TASK 4. Final First-Year Visits
    Approximately one month after the training sessions
   are completed,  the instructors visit each operator in
   the field.  The purpose  of the visit  is to evaluate the
   progress of the operator and the success of the train-
   ing program. The final visit includes  a meeting with
   tribal authorities to inform  them of the  achievements
   and newly acquired abilities of the operators.

   TASK 5. Annual Reinforcement Visit and Workshop
    Annual visits to each operator's facilities can verify an
   operator's progress and reveal subject areas where
   additional training is needed. Operators tend to keep
   their facilities clean  and  properly maintained  when
   they know trainers will be visiting  their water supply
   systems. Information gained during the annual visits can
   be used to prepare an effective training program for
   an annual workshop which all the operators are encour-
   aged to  attend. A  training  advisory  committee  of
   operators should be  formed to provide input for the
   annual workshop.

  TASK 6. Final Report
    A final report should be prepared and submitted to
  the sponsoring  agency. The report  documents the
   procedures developed and evaluates the success of
  the training program. Copies of the report should be
  distributed to other areas to provide the basis for the
  implementation and evaluation of similar programs.

3. Selection and Retention of Operators -
    Operators should be selected for this training project
  on the basis of their:
   1.   Dedication to their job.
  2.   Motivation, and
  3.   Employment  with a water supply system, or an
      expectation  that their tribe will  soon  require a
      qualified operator.
  The selection process should Include:
  1. A brief application form with which operators apply
     for the training program, and
  2. A form to be signed by a tribal official committing
     tribal  support  for the operator's efforts including
     permission to attend training sessions and, if possible,
     financial support. (Samples of these two forms are
     included in the next two pages.)

4. Time, Effort and Budget -
     Considerable time and effort  is required to recruit
  operators, provide  a suitable classroom  environment,
  and deliver an effective training  program. This section
  is included to help  people estimate the time require-
  ments. More time is required the first time a training
  program is offered than subsequent efforts due to
  planning and preparation. The time requirements listed
  below are in terms of  per course or per operator
  because the number of operators participating signifi-
  cantly influences the time spent with each operator in
  the field. Travel times are NOT included because travel
  requirements depend on the distance between each
  operator's reservation and the locations of  all reserva-
  tions in the training  program.

  TRAINER                        TIME
  Project Director           20 days/course"
  Administrative, Secretarial  30 days/course
  Direct Trainers             50 days/course*
  IMS Coordinators           30 days/course*
  IMS Field Personnel          8 days/operator
 * Depends on number of  sites to be visited  (assumed
  15) and  does not include travel time.

     Budget preparation for a training  program must in-
  clude  the following costs:  1) personnel; 2) travel for
  trainers and operators (mileage, per diem); 3) copying
  and reproduction of training materials; 4)  office sup-
  plies; 5) telephone;  6) postage; and  7) final report.
     For details on the effort required, see Section B of this
  Appendix, "Essentials of an Effective Training Program,"
  Part 2, "Tasks."

5. Costs per operator  for a fellowship  training program
  depend  on the number of operators enrolled in the
  program  and the location(s) of the operators' facilities
  with  respect to the other operators and the training
  site. If all budget items listed above are considered, the
  costs for  the first year of  a fellowship training program
  can be estimated using the following information:
    Number of operators                      10 to 20
    Cost per operator                  $3500 to $5000
   Cost per operator(wrrhout two site visits) $2800  to $3300
   Cost per class hour                   $500 to $700
   Cost per class hour(without two site visits) $400 to $470
  Site visits are an extremely important aspect of  the
  fellowship training program. These visits enable  the
  instructor and the operator to become acquainted
  with each other and  provide the instructor the opportu-
  nity to  adjust the training effort to meet the  specific
  needs of  the operators. Operators appreciate relevant
  instruction and respond to personal attention. A quality
  fellowship training program requires a qualified instruc-
  tor with the time and ability to gain the confidence and
  respect of the operators.

                                           APPLICATION FORM
                                   WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM OPERATOR
                                           TRAINING PROGRAM

  A water supply system operator training program is being planned by the (insert agency name). If you are accepted
  for this program you will  will not   receive reimbursement for your travel, lodging and meal expenses.

PHONE (If Available).
Please describe your system if appropriate to the best of your knowledge (it's OK to estimate the answers).


TYPE OF SYSTEM(S) (Wells or Surface Water).


If selected to participate in this training program, I will do my best to attend the training sessions and complete the train-
ing program.
(Your signature)

Please obtain the approval of the appropriate officials listed below.

I  certify that the 	  Tribal Council is  aware  that  (insert operator's  name)
	is applying to participate in a water supply system operator training program. We
support this effort, will grant the opertor permission to attend the training sessions and will do our best to support the oper-
ator and the system financially.

Signature - Tribal Official                       Title of Official                                Date

I certify that (insert operator's name)	is qualified to participate in a water supply
system operator training program. This operator will benefit from the training and is motivated to contribute the effort re-
quired to successfully complete the program.

Signature - IMS Official                         Title of Official                                Date

Submit this completed application to

                    Name of Official


The successful operation and management of a com-
munity water utility system involves many consider-
ations. The following guidelines and suggestions were
discussed and recommended by tribal operators, man-
agers and administrator representatives of 14 commu-
nities. The ideas and recommendations constitute a
framework of "Elements of a Quality Water Utility."

Water Board

  • Establish a Water Board ot 5-9  individuals who are
   appointed by the Tribal Council.

  • The Board should act as a "buffer" between the
   Council and the Utility O & M Organization.

  • Members should represent all villages or water systems
being served. The  following representatives might  be
considered for appointment to the Board:

   — Governor
   — 2-3 Council Members
    - Utility Operators/Supervisors
    - School Board Representative
    - Housing Representative
    - Health Board/Hospital Representative
    - Banking/Financial Representative
   — Business Owners
   — Homeowners
   — Interested Citizens

  • Members should meet monthly, at a minimum. Consid-
   eration should  be given to paying the members a
   stipend of $10-50/meeting.

  • Appointees should be prepared to  serve 1-2 years
   with at least half the members  holding overlapping
   terms. Members should be active in community affairs.
    knowledgeable about the water system, indepen-
    dent and aggressive.

  • The goals and  objectives of the Board should be
considered as follows:
    ' Provide citizen representation of all user systems.
    • Develop and implement a set of  operating by-laws.
    ' Define community water system  problems and pro-
     pose solutions.
    * Provide staffing, salary and personnel management
     oversight to the O & M Organization.
    ' Support the O & M Organization through the provi-
     sion of:

     — Tools to do the job.
     — Competitive/adequate personnel  compensa-
      - Personnel training opportunities.
     — Operator incentives, encouragement and appre-

    " Develop user rates and annual budgets that reflect
     a goal of fiscal self-sufficiency.

    ' Emphasize the need for, and adequately explain to
     Council and users,  the concept  of  depreciation
   * Research all  potential  operating/utility funding

   ' Develop strategies  for acquiring needed equip-

   * Develop fee collection policies and grievance pro-

   ' Prepare and deliver an annual report to the  Tribal

   " Develop  community  education/awareness pro-

  • The Water Board should  provide monthly verbal status
   reports to the Tribal Council and written quarterly/
   semi-annual reports to the Tribal Council.

Tribal Council

The Tribal Council has a  defined role relative to the
successful operation of a water utility system. The Council
  • Give the Board the authority and freedom to operate,
   plan, budget and set user rates consistent with overall
   Tribal interests.

  • Allow the Board to manage its own finances.

  • Support a program of utility fiscal self-sufficiency.

  • Support Board recommendations.

  • Support financial reserves for depreciation.

  • Support the Organization's efforts by touring the sys-
   tem annually with the Board.

O & M Group

The Operation and Maintenance Organization may vary
from one part-time individual to a staff of 3-10 individuals.
Their roles and responsibilities should be defined as fol-

  • Provide an adequate supply of  potable  water to

  • Comply with sampling and Safe Drinking Water Act

  • Protect the Organization's capital investment, and
   assure that all systems function properly.

  • Implement a  preventive maintenance program for
   pumps, hydrants, storage and distribution facilities.

  • Perform corrective maintenance as necessary.

  • Maintain good housekeeping procedures.

  • Maintain records  including, but not limited to:

   — System maps and as-builts
   — Pumping/Water usage
   — Chemical/Power usage
   — Maintenance logs

  • Inventory and purchase  adequate spare parts and

  • Assist Board in planning efforts.

  • Maintain a positive public image by answering com-
   plaints promptly and diplomatically.

  • Inform the Board of system and/or job needs.

Lines of Communication

Meeting and communication protocols are an important
aspect  of a successful program. The following ideas
should be considered when formulating your utility organi-

  • The  Water Board should deliver a  monthly  verbal
   status summary to the Tribal Council. A written report
   should be submitted on a quarterly, semi-annual  or
   annual basis. During the monthly meetings, the Board
   should accentuate the positive effects of their work
   while also pointing out issues requiring tribal consider-
   ation and resolution. At all times, the Utility Organiza-
   tion's operators  should  be encouraged to attend
   these  meetings. The Board's written annual  report
   should address at a minimum:

   — Utility Organization progress
   — System and financial status
   — Positive efforts
   — Operating needs
   — Goals

  • The  O&M Utility Manager should meet monthly with
   the Water Board. At this time a written summary  of
   activities should be submitted which addresses:

     — Water usage
   — Repair activities
   — Daily logs/hours worked
   — System conditions
   — Chemical/Power use
   — Expenditures
   — Sampling results
   — Anticipated activities
   — Anticipated problems

  • Operators should be  encouraged to take photo-
   graphs and/or slides of their systems for use in these
   presentations. Written minutes of the meetings should
   be maintained.
System Finances

Water utility organizations should seek to be financially
independent of tribal reserve monies. A  self-sufficient
budget is one which is within 15 percent above or below
actual costs. The O&M Manager or Supervisor should work
closely with the Water Board and Tribal accounting office
in developing a budget.

  • The budget must consider "direct costs" such as:

   — Salaries and benefits
   — Parts, supplies and materials
   — Equipment/tools
   — Chemicals
   — Power
   — Vehicle O&M
   — Training and travel expenses
   — Postage and office supplies
   — Lab analyses  (consider special annual testing re-
   — Capital equipment
   — Board meeting costs and member stipends

  • The budget must reflect "indirect costs" such as:

   — Bookkeeping
   — Insurance
   — Phone use
   — Taxes
   — Depreciation reserves

  • The budget process should plan for some inventory
   purchases, i.e.' valves, piping, repair supplies and elec-
   trical components.

  • The budget process should plan for the non-collection
   of delinquent accounts, either from a lost revenue or
   short-term cash flow standpoint.

  • Are there any special projects planned for the future?
   Consider the purchase  of fencing, lumber, cement,
   paint, etc.

  • The budget should make allowances for  possible
   "emergency" expenditures of between $1000 and
   $5000. No particular expenditure authorization cap
   should be set on the O&M Manager. Once a budget is
   approved, the Manager needs  the freedom to be
   able to purchase or contract the equipment or ser-
   vices  needed to perform the job. The  Water Board

   should seek Council approval of this issue.

  • Open accounts  should  be set up  with  electrical,
   plumbing and hardware outlets.

  • Verbal or written agreements for parts exchange,
   purchasing or labor assistance agreements should be
   set up with neighboring pueblos, villages or systems
   wherever possible.

  • Unused budget monies should be invested  in short-
   term annuities, treasury  bills or other devices until

  • The Water Board must develop a  plan to  "sell" its
   program  to the Council.  Following  development of
   the budget, the  Board and the O&M organizations
   should be able to describe the goals, objectives and
   benefits the tribe and users will receive for the coming
   year. The justification package should address:

   — How the O&M costs are allocated
   — What services the user will receive
   — Planned project descriptions
   — What will be saved by implementing the proposed
   — What will happen if the budget is not approved

User Rates

Rates  should be set to attain a financially self-sufficient
operating system.  With  many of  the systems surveyed,
such customer charges fell  between $10 and  $15  per
month, for  water service only.  Sewer  services were
charged independently of water fees, but could be billed
together as one monthly "utility" fee. Other considerations
concerning rates include:

  • Utilize a  "flat  rate"  system for simplicity.  Conduct
   careful research on the true administrative and O&M
   costs of metering the entire community.

  • Conduct an annual review of rates.

  • Plan ahead. Consider the need for rate increases at
   least 2-3 years in advance. Start selling  the Tribal
   Council and citizens  on this need as soon as possible.

  • Research the possibilities for formulating an  "elderly"
   subsidy or a "lifeline" program. Such programs should
   be made part of the Water Board's By-Laws.

Fee Collections

The collection of  monthly user  fees is  a sensitive  and
complex issue for many tribal water utility systems.  The
following approaches may reduce the rate of delinquen-
cy in paying for services:

  • Collection policies must be consistently adhered to
    and enforced. All system users must be treated the
    same. This must be known and understood by all users.

  • All customers should receive,  review and sign a  cus-
   .tomer agreement (see following example) which de-
    fines services,  costs, collection policies and action/
    penalties for delinquency in payment.
 • Considerations might also include a $15-$30 hookup
   fee and  the collection  of  one month's fee  as  a

 • Services are usually provided by the utility to the curb
   stop. Additional services  for the household might be
   defined and  offered at established prices for the

 • Billing policies could include a program allowing "di-
   rect  payment" to a bank each month for all  tribal
   utilities. This eases billing problems and is an easier way
   for the consumer to handle such payment.

 • Payment policies should be flexible. Consider an annu-
   al payment plan for users which includes advance
   quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments.

 • Should payment not be  received, a notice of  delin-
   quency should be sent out 30 days later. This notice
   should inform the customer that they have "X  days"
   (consider 7-15) to bring their account current. A sec-
   ond notice should spell out a date of disconnection
   (consider  an additional  7 days).  At this time, the
   customer should also be  notified of a "reconnection"
   fee of $25-$50. Furthermore, the customer should be
   told that any "tampering" with the system could result
   in an additional charge of  $25-$50. Personnel as-
   signed to the task of disconnection should be trained
   to discuss the problem with the user during their visit
   and accept payment prior to closing the  system off.

 • The Water Board By-Laws should consider the inclusion
   of a court resolution policy for users who violate fiscal


Finding and  keeping quality personnel is  important  to
maintaining efficient and effective water utility services.
Considerations, skills and qualifications of utility staff are
described as follows:

 • Potential staff should be interested in the work and
   have a desire to learn. It is important that operators/
   supervisors be prepared to pursue additional knowl-
   edge  and skills relating to water systems,  either
   through home-study courses or outside training oppor-

 • Operators must be reliable and well organized. They
   should be  able to read, write and perform  basic
   mathematical functions.

 • They should articulate their desire to stay in the posi-
   tion for a while.

 • Other candidate selection characteristics include ba-
   sic knowledge of:

   — Plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems.
   — Ability to keep logs and records.  "
   — Ability to work unsupervised.
   — Ability to perform physical tasks, including reason-
      able and appropriate lifting, climbing and digging.
   — Ability to work well with the public.

  • When staffing an organization, consider the need for
   or advantages of hiring individuals who can operate a

  • All  operators should be  prepared to pursue state
   certification as soon as possible.
Staff Oversight

Keeping qualified staff involves several elements. Tribal
management must:

  • Provide adequate tools to perform the job.

  • Compensate operators with salaries comparable to
   industry standards,  typically $6.00-$10.00 per hour.

  • Provide benefits  including, but not limited  to, over-
   time, health insurance, retirement and personal vehi-
   cle use reimbursement.

  • Keep all staff informed of goals, actions and progress
   of the Tribal Council and Water Board.

  • Encourage staff suggestions. Acknowledge  contribu-
   tions with verbal, written or financial "pats on  the

  • Make training opportunities accessible for  the staff.
   Encourage or mandate their participation in state
   operator certification programs.

  • Provide periodic staff evaluations.
Public Education

Community education and  support for the Tribal Utility
System is an important facet of a successful operation.
Efforts should be on-going and might include the following
  • Include articles of interest to consumers with billing

  • Post informative articles in public places, i.e. stores,
   community center.

  • Arrange informative tours of system components for
   school children, citizens, and Council members.

  • Make complaint forms readily available to citizens for
   reporting problems, concerns, etc.

Indian Health Service Role

The role of the Indian Health  Service in  the operation,
maintenance and management of tribal water systems
has not always been clearly understood. The following are
highlights of the agency's role in providing direct assis-
  • Provide assistance in  the planning and development
   of water utility by-laws.

  • Assist in the development of plans of operation, main-
   tenance manuals and user rate studies

  • Conduct annual sanitary surveys.

  • Provide troubleshooting assistance to  correct system

  • Conduct engineering studies and monitor field con-
   struction projects.

  • Identify unmet tribal water  system needs

  • Plan, coordinate and/or deliver training programs to
   utility staff, either on a regional or statewide basis.

                               Shoshone Utility Organization

                               APPLICATION FOR WATER SERVICE

GENERAL INFORMATION:  Present monthly rates are $12.00 for Shoshone & Arapahoe Indian
homes for maintenance charges and an additional $2.00 per month for Non-Indian homes.
The additional $2.00 is being charged to reflect the cost of the water.  Therefore, the
Non-Indian charge will  presently be $14.00 monthly.  Curb stop or shut-off valves and
meters (if required) shall be located three feet outside the highway right-of-way fence.
All homes will be required to have a 5/8" x 3/4" water meter with a Pulsar Direct Read
Box placed on the outside of the home.  Shoshone Utility Organization reserves the right
to install saddles, corporation stops, curb boxes and/or meters, charges for which will
be included in the connection fee.  Water bills will be based upon a flat monthly fee,
but meters will  be read periodically by the Utility Systems Operator.  All water from the
Fort Washakie System is to be used for domestic purposes.  Watering of livestock is not

Fees are listed below for commercial or residential connections.

Bills are due and payable 10 days from receipt.  If a customer wishes to disconnect
service, this must be accomplished by formally submitting a request for discontinuance
of service.  In entering into this agreement with the Shoshone Utility Organization,
you are granting the Utility Organization the right to ingress and egress into your

The Applicant hereby applies for service for an initial minimum period of 12 calendar
months and agrees that he will pay all required minimums and meter charges for that
period, regardless of usage.  The Applicant acknowledges that minimum billings for the
entire 12-month period must be paid in addition to all other charges before a voluntary
disconnect will  be made, and that no refund for any minimum billing during the 12-month
period will be made under any circumstances.

This contract, including the tariff made a part thereof, shall at all times be subject
to such changes or modifications as shall be ordered from time to time by any legally
constituted regulatory body having jurisdiction to require such changes or modifications.

Meters installed shall  become the property of the Shoshone Utility Organization; if paid
for initially by the property owner, such meters shall be considered a contribution in
aid of construction to the Shoshone Utility Organization.


      APPLICANT                                                            DATE



SUO - 8-24-82                                                                          29

                               Shoshone Utility Organization

                               APPLICATION  FOR WATER SERVICE
Service  Requested For:
(Name, Mailing Address,
& telephone Number
TYPE OF ACCOUNT:   House 	  Mobile Home	Enrolled YES	NO

                   Business	Type of Business	
Attach a sketch of how you plan to run water service giving the following information:
                                                  Inspector Verification (Not to be
                                                  completed by customer)
1.   Line Size	
     (160 PSI High Molecular PE is recommended)

2.   In ground materials 	
     (Brass Recommended)

3.   Curb Stop Box	
     (Minneapolis Pattern Recommended)

4.   Fittings below ground 	

5.   Name of Contractor 	

G.   Name of Plumber
7.   Estimated Delivery Pressure 	
     at household

o.   Estimated Delivery Pressure of water
     before tap at connection 	
9.   Estimated Delivery Pressure of water
     after tap at connection 	
10.  Attach sketch

11.  Rights of way and easements required_

12.  If a business, number of points
     of supply (faucets, restroom
     fixtures, sprinkler system, etc)	
13.  Other
After approval has been made by the Shoshone Utility Organization Committee, you will
receive a zerox copy of your application with an estimated connection charge rate and
monthly rate.  The connection fee must be paid before the water!ine is installed.
Please contact Shoshone Utility at 332-3458 concerning when your contractor will run
service.  Maintenance personnel from Shoshone Utility Organization will inspect the
water line as it is being installed to assure specifications are followed and will  do
the actual tapping to the water line.  Contractor will not make waterline installations
on weekends.


                                  BILLINGS AREA OPERATORS

                  BLACKFEET RESERVATION (Blackfeet Tribe)
                  A. Participants
                     Bill Burd, Manager, High Plains Solid Waste Program
                     Lawrence Mad Plume, High Plains Solid Waste Program
                  B. Systems (No formal O & M organization yet)

                     Community          # of Homes     Type of System
                     Babb                   12        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Blackfoot               18        Ground water, hydropneumatic
                     Heart Butte              90        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Last Star                 50        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Seville                  55        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Starr School              61        Ground water, gravity w/storage

                  FLATHEAD RESERVATION (Salish and Kootenai Tribes)
                  A. Participants
                     Allen R. Sloan, Program Manager, Tribal O & M Branch
                     Albert F. Plant, Maintenance, Tribal O & M Branch
                  B. Systems

                     Community          # of Homes     Type of System
                     Arlee                   34        Ground water, hydropneumatic
                     Clarice Paul              13        Ground water, hydropneumatic
                     Dayton                  4        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Dixon                   35        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Elmo                   57        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Evaro                   14        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Houle Villa                5        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Mission Dam              22        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Pache                  46        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Schley                  27        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     St. Ignatius-So.           97        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Turtle Lake              57        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Woodcock              28        Ground water, gravity w/storage

                   FORT BELKNAP RESERVATION (Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes)
                   A. Participants
                     Milton (Sommers) Horn, Utilities Commission Manager
                   B. Systems

                     Community         # of Homes     Type of System
                     Agency                208        Surface water plant, Microfloc
                     Hays/White              59        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                       Cow Canyon
                     Jenny Gray                7        Ground water, hydropneumatic
                     Lodgepole              10        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                     Mission                 37        Ground water, gravity w/storage

                   CROW RESERVATION (Crow Tribe)
                   A. Participants
                     Byron C. Bad Bear, Water Plant Operator, Bureau of Indian Affairs
                     Ronald L. Littlelight, Lead Water Plant Operator, BIA
                     Harold Brien, Water Plant Operator, BIA
                     George W. Peters, Water Plant Operator, BIA
                     Ettinge Little Owl, Water Plant Operator, BIA
                   B. Systems

                     Community         # of Homes     Type of System
                     Crow Agency          246        Surface water treatment plant

                   ROCKY BOY RESERVATION (Chippewa and Cree Tribes)
                   A. Participants
                      Earl (Butch) Nault, Safety & Maintenance Tech., Rocky Boy Health Board
                      Joe Whitehorse, Environmental Supervisor, Rocky Boy Health Board
                   B. Systems
                      Box Elder
# of Homes     Type of System
    26        Ground water, gravity w/storage
    29        Ground water, gravity w/storage
    10        Ground water, gravity w/storage
    34        Ground water, gravity w/storage
     8        Ground water, gravity w/storage
    28        Ground water, gravity w/storage
                   NORTHERN CHEYENNE RESERVATION (Northern Cheyenne Tribe)
                   A. Participants
                      Eugene Seminole, Manager, Northern Cheyenne Utilities Commission
                      Leslie S. Baker, Plumber, Northern Cheyenne Utilities Commission
                      John Paul Flying, Chairman, Northern Cheyenne Utilities Commission
                   B. Systems

                      Community           # of Homes     Type ot System
                      Ashland Hsg              28         Ground water, gravity w/storage
                      Birney                  25         Ground water, gravity w/storage
                      Busby                   99         Ground water, gravity w/storage
                      Lame Deer             408         Ground water, gravity w/storage
                      Muddy Cluster            43         Ground water, gravity w/storage

A. Participants
  L. Patrick Harris, Manager, Northern Arapahoe Utility Organization
  Mike Quiver, Maintenance, Northern Arapahoe Utility Organization
B. Systems
   # of Homes     Type of System
      147         Ground water, gravity w/storage
      227         Ground water, gravity w/storage
A. Participants
  Michael D. LaJeunesse, Water Plant Operator, Shoshone Utility Organ.
  Wayne Molting, Manager, Shoshone Utility Organization
B. Systems

  Community          # of Homes    Type of System
  Ft. Washakie            408        Surface water plant, Microfloc

A. Participant
  Craig E. Menta
B. System
# of Connections
Type of System
Ground water, gravity w/storage,
  chlorination and fluoridation
DUCK VALLEY RESERVATION (Shoshone-Paiute Tribes)
A. Participant
  Larry Manning
B. System
# of Connections
SALT RIVER TRIBE (Salt River Tribe)
A. Participant
  Robert Correa
B. System
  Salt River
# of Connections
WASHOE TRIBE (Washoe Tribe)
A. Participants
  Tom Crawford and Ron Heim
B. Systems

  Carson Colony

# of Connections


Type of System
Ground water, gravity w/storage,
  chlorination and fluoridation
Type of System
Ground water, ground storage with
  variable speed pumps, chlorination
  and fluoridation
Type of System
Ground water, gravity w/storage,
  fluoridation and chlorination
Ground water, gravity w/storage,
Ground water, gravity w/storage,
  fluoridation and chlorination

                   WALKER RIVER INDIAN RESERVATION (Walker River Paiute Tribe)
                   A. Participant
                      Darrel "Woody" Smokey
                   B. System

                      Community        # of Connections  Type ot System
                      Schurz                 225         Ground water, gravity w/storage,

                   HOPI INDIAN RESERVATION (Hopi Tribe)
                   A. Participant
                      Jayson Nieto
                   B. System

                      Community        # of Connections  Type of System
                      Kykotsmovi             165         Ground water, gravity w/storage,
                       Village                            chlorination and fluoridation

                   HOPI INDIAN RESERVATION (Hopi Tribe)
                   A. Participant
                      Claude Pahona
                   B. System

                      Community        # of Connections  Type of System
                      Polacca                340         Ground water, gravity w/storage.
                      Village                              hydropneumatic booster system

A. Participant
  Kernel Murdock
B. Systems

  Community        # of Connections  Type of System
  Ute Tribal               300+       Spring fed infiltration galleries.
    Water System                       chlorination, fluoridation,
                                      gravity w/storage, distribution
  Whiterocks              90        Spring fed infiltration gallery.
    Water System                       chlorination, fluoridation,
                                      gravity w/storage, distribution
  Arcadia Water           16        Ground water, gravity w/storage,
    System                            distribution system

A. Participant
  Roy Montana
B. Systems

  Community        # of Connections  Type of System
  24 systems          25-50/system    Ground water, solar powered jack
                                      pumps and submersible pumps,
                                      hydropneumatic and gravity


A. Participant
  Daniel Lujan, Operator, Isleta Pueblo Water System
B. System

  Community        # of Connections  Type of System
  Isleta Pueblo            840        Wells, gravity w/storage

A. Participant
  Stanley Loretto, Operator, Jemez Pueblo Water & Sewer Systems
B. System

  Community        # of Connections  Type of System
  Jemez Pueblo           390        Wells, gravity w/storage

A. Participant
  Harold Johnson, Operator, Laguna Pueblo Water System
B. System

  Community        # of Connections  Type of System
  Laguna Pueblo         1033        Wells, gravity w/storage

A. Participant
  Joe Quanchello, Operator, Picuris Pueblo Water & Sewer Systems
B. System

  Community        # of Connections  Type of System
  Picuris Pueblo             47        Wells, gravity w/storage

                     SANTO DOMINGO PUEBLO
                     A. Participant
                       Joe Reano. Operator, Santo Domingo Pueblo Water & Sewer Systems
                     B. System
                       Santo Domingo
# of Connections  Type of System
      368         Wells, gravity w/storage
                     SAN JUAN PUEBLO
                     A. Participant
                       Jose Cruz. Operator, San Juan Pueblo Water & Sewer Systems
                     B. System
                       San Juan Pueblo

                     TAOS PUEBLO
                     A. Participant
                       Tony Mirabel
                     B. System

                       Taos Pueblo
# of Connections  Type of System
     523         Wells, gravity w/storage
# of Connections  Type of System
     360         Wells, gravity w/storage
                     ZUNI PUEBLO
                     A. Participant
                       Straillie Edaakie, Operator, Zuni Pueblo Water & Sewer Systems
                     B. System

                       Community       * of Connections  Type of System
                       Zuni Pueblo             1537         Wells, gravity w/storage

                                     Group Photographs
                                 BILLINGS AREA PHOTO (Left to Right)
Front Row:   John Carnegie, Albert Plant, Skip Hayes, Allen Sloan, Ron Perkins, Byron Bad Bear, John Paul Flying, Leslie
Middle Row: Bill Burd, Milton Horn, Mike Quiver, Patrick Harris, Ron Littlelight, Harold Brien, Ettinge Little Owl, Lawrence Mad
           Plume, Joe Whitehorse
Back Row:   Dan Heintzman, Rick Rubendall, Earl Nault, Wayne Molting, Henry Gardipee, Jim Sorensen, Bill Stiffarm, Mike
           LaJuenesse, George Peters, Eugene Seminole, Jim Glen

                                   SOUTHWEST AREA PHOTO (Left to Right)
Front Row:   Joe Olguin, Stanley Loretto. Claude Pahona. Mike Cherniak
Middle Row:  Len Pardee. Tony Mirabel, Joe Reano, Roy Montana. Harold Johnson, Strallie Edaakie, Darrel Smokey, Ron
Back Row:   Kernel Murdock. Robert Correa, Jose Cruz, Craig Menta, Daniel Lujan, Tom Crawford, Larry Manning
Not Pictured: Jayson Nieto and Joe Quanchello

                                  IMS Field Contacts
         Sam Bradshaw, Section Chief
         Phoenix Area IMS
         3738 North 16th St., Suite A
         Phoenix, Arizona 85016-9581
Robert (Skip) Hayes, PE O&M
IMS-PO Box 2143
711 Central Avenue
Billings, Montana 49103
(406) 657-6451
                               Joe Olguin
                               Assistant Principal Engineer
                               Albuquerque IMS
                               505 Marquette NW, Suite 1502
                               Albuquerque, NM 87102
                               (505) 766-2139