Successfully Protecting Your Investment
in Drinking Water Infrastructure:
Best Practices from Communities & Local Experts
A GUIDE FOR LOCAL DECISION-MAKERS
1. RELIABILITY
PROPER
MANAGEMENT
RESILIENCY
Local decision-makers are key players in determining the long-term success of the
water systems they oversee. A critical part of that success is deciding how to invest,
protect and operate infrastructure, a process commonly referred to as asset man-
agement. With a proper plan for asset management, a system can improve ser-
vice and reliability, reduce risk and unexpected costs, and enhance communication
with customers and stakeholders while realizing many additional benefits. The pur-
pose of this document is to highlight some of the benefits of sound planning and
maintenance of infrastructure through asset management.
WHAT IS AN ASSET?
An asset is an infrastructure element that contributes capital value to a water sys-
tem. Typical assets in a water system include pumps, motors, pipes, meters, and any
building, vehicle, tool, piece of equipment, furniture, or machinery used in the op-
eration of the system. Asset management is the practice of getting the most you can
out of your resources by cataloging your infrastructure capital assets and managing
them to minimize your operations and maintenance costs and lower the total cost
of ownership for your system. A high-performing asset management program in-
cludes detailed asset inventories, operation and maintenance tasks, and long-range
financial planning that will increase the value of each of your assets.
2. COST EFFICIENCY
REDUCED COSTS
WATER SYSTEM
PARTNERSHIPS
WATER AND ENERGY
EFFICIENCY
3. COMMUNICATIONS
CUSTOMER
SATISFACTION
"Our goal was to get away from 'run until failure' mode, and get to the point
where we're working on the system in a proactive way instead of reactive."
- Larry Paine, City of Hillsboro, KS
GETTING STARTED
Office of Water (4606M)
EPA 810-F-17-003
May 2017

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BACKGROUND
HOW CAN ASSET MANAGEMENT HELP YOUR SYSTEM SUCCEED?
When your system actively understands and manages assets, you can help your
community better prioritize and fund necessary investments to reduce long-term
costs and risk. Other sectors, such as departments of transportation, use asset man-
agement for their long-term infrastructure management. Some communities are
adopting cross-sector asset management programs where investments are coordi-
nated across infrastructure areas. You can increase cost efficiency, improve system
reliability, and fortify communications by implementing an asset management pro-
gram. The following factsheets describe specific examples of these benefits.
PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT
This document provides examples of common challenges, asset management solu-
tions, and benefits associated with the topics to the right. You can use this docu-
ment to gain an asset management perspective of your own water system and its
assets. Doing so may help you identify small
or large ways that your system can benefit
from asset management. Select a topic from
the right that you are interested in to learn
more about the benefits of asset manage-
ment.
RELIABILITY: System reliability is
achieved when water systems can antici-
pate, prepare for, and make contingency
plans for critical asset failures. Asset man-
agement is an important tool to ensure that
a water system is properly managed and has
the resiliency to adapt to changing needs.
COST EFFICIENCY: Cost savings are achieved when assets are identified,
tracked, and proactively managed to reduce costs and increase water and energy
efficiency. Many water systems partner with nearby water systems to share assets
as a way to reduce costs.
COMMUNICATIONS: Proactive asset management helps systems effectively
communicate challenges and solutions to customers, which helps maintain custom-
er satisfaction and protect human health in the event that assets fail or mainte-
nance activities impact users.
The	NG STARTED guide at the end of the document contains resources
and tips for designing and implementing your own asset management program. The
steps for getting started include:
~	Build a team and gather information.
~	Take inventory and prioritize assets.
~	Plan for the future and determine costs.
~	Create your asset management plan.
See the	G STARTED guide for more detail on these steps to imple-
menting an asset management plan.
Asset management helps local

DECISION-MAKERS ACCOMPLISH

THEIR GOALS TO:
0
Protect public health
0
Improve financial sustainability
0
Set policies so the system can

operate effectively
0
Set and meet customer service

goals
0
Act transparently
0
Communicate effectively with

customers
1. RELIABILITY

PROPER
MANAGEMENT

RESILIENCY

2. COST EFFICIENCY

REDUCED COSTS

WATER SYSTEM
PARTNERSHIPS

WATER AND ENERGY
EFFICIENCY

3. COMMUNICATIONS

CUSTOMER
SATISFACTION

GETTING STARTED

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RELIABILITY ~ PROPER MANAGEMENT
PROPER MANAGEMENT
Systems must routinely make wise operation and management decisions to provide reliable services to their
community. Having an asset management plan in place decreases time for existing and new system
stakeholders/operators to understand the water system status and path going forward. It also allows for better
system management and knowledge retention during staff turnover at a system. The following examples show
how water systems integrated comprehensive planning into their process to resolve debt, improve community
and customer relations, and maintain safe systems.
"Smail towns may not have the capability to run a utility. You're helping to build capabilities
when you put together an Asset Management Plan. When the utility starts running more
efficiently, you're building social capital."
- Larry Paine, City of Hillsboro, KS
CHALLENGE: KEEPING RECORDS OF OPERATIONS AND NEEDS
"I	Clewiston Utilities, a system in Florida serving 10,000 people, had limited staff and money. There was
only so much they could accomplish each year, and it was easy to get overwhelmed. Without an asset
management plan, they found themselves reacting to emergency or unanticipated situations instead of
being proactive.
SOLUTION
Clewiston Utilities developed an asset management plan and underwent a comprehensive planning
process. The asset management plan allowed Clewiston Utilities to begin to transition from reactive to
proactive operation and maintenance of their system's assets. Additionally, it was useful to have a
document as a reference for the city's Board of Commissioners to see the day-to-day operations and
understand what the operator needed. The system also found that the asset management plan could be
used to set the scope for their annual budget.
Subsequently, the system was contacted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
(FLDEP) with suggestions for ways in which the system could improve operations. Having the plan
helped the system respond to the FLDEP's suggestions because they already understood the baseline of
their system and could create a plan of action utilizing their upcoming maintenance schedules and other
planned tasks. Additionally, the system received principal loan forgiveness for their State Revolving Fund
ioan because they met Florida's requirement of having and implementing an asset management plan.
Without the pian already in piace, it likeiy would have been more difficult to show the need to reinvest
in an old system.
The (asset management) project enables us to
better finance capital improvement projects by
acquiring loans and grants to maintain the water
department assets.
- Town of Southwest Harbor, Population 2,375

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RELIABILITY ~ PROPER MANAGEMENT
PROPER MANAGEMENT (CONT'D)
CHALLENGE: SCHEDULING MAINTENANCE OF ASSETS
Pennichuck Corporation is a holding company with five wholly owned operating subsidiaries in New
Hampshire. At Pennichuck Water Works, Inc., in Merrimack, NH, the operator would manage and schedule
tasks based on activities versus assets. Under this management approach, the water system had
performed maintenance on the same fire hydrant more than five times, and it was unclear whether the
maintenance was necessary each time. Each maintenance occurrence cost approximately $6,600 per
incident, totaling $33,000.
SOLUTION
The system determined that if they had an asset management plan to track
the assets in the system, they would have been able to create a better plan
and cut down costs on unnecessary repairs and replacement to focus on the
critical assets and needs. Pennichuck now tracks costs down to specific assets
in their asset management plan. The use of the plan allows Pennichuck to
know when activities related to a particular asset take place and what those
activities are. Inspections on the fire hydrant now occur twice per year, and
maintenance is performed as needed. Considering the large number of
retirements anticipated in the water sector in the near term, Pennichuck also
found their easy-to-use asset management plan an important piece to
capture knowledge and prioritize recordkeeping by managing operations.
Br Wi . ,
Hik": M
LONG-TERM BENEFITS
Proper management of a water system's assets decreases long-term costs and disruptions to the system.
When system operations and capital improvements are planned, they can be managed when determining
annual budgets and which expenditures can be undertaken in a given year without adversely impacting
rates, reliability of the system, or customer satisfaction. The process of setting up and maintaining an
effective asset management plan can support and improve the management of your water system.
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RELIABILITY ~ RESILIENCY
RESILIENCY
Events outside your control, such as storms, are unavoidable and can im-
pact your ability to deliver water to customers. Through asset manage-
ment, systems identify critical assets and plan for potential disruptions.
Having plans in place decreases response time, making it possible to re-
store service quickly when services are unexpectedly interrupted.
CASE STUDY: PENNICHUCK EAST UTILITY, NH
Pennichuck East Utility, part of the Pennichuck Corporation, serves roughly
8,000 people in communities largely located in southern and central New
Hampshire.
CHALLENGE
New Hampshire experienced an ice storm December 2008 that left 30
small drinking water utilities, including Pennichuck East Utility, and their
customers without power and water for 5 days. The experience made Pen-
nichuck aware of the possibility of other severe weather events that could
affect its distribution system.
SOLUTION
The ice storm pushed the water system to think about risks and plan for
them in order to reduce impacts to the system and its customers. They
asked questions to identify the various risks the system would face due to
weather events, such as how long residents would be without water if the
utility lost power. Their top priorities were the ability to respond to weath-
er events by minimizing damage and rapidly recovering from disruptions to
service. The water system found that when they inventoried and tracked
assets, they were able to assess risk and consequences of failure, allowing
them to plan redundancy, contingency, and operations accordingly. Cre-
ating risk event scenarios has also helped them plan to protect their most
vulnerable and critical customers, such as schools and hospitals.
Contingency Planning
Asset management helped a Florida sys-
tem plan for and fund contingencies.
Contingency planning encourages sys-
tems to:
~	Anticipate change and weather
events and emergencies,
~	Determine probable outcomes, and
~	Plan responses, including:
0 What equipment and manpow-
er would be needed,
0 How the system can access that
equipment, and
0 Who they can reach out to for
help with responding to the
situation.
Consider programs like Water and
Wastewater Agency Response Networks
(WARNs) which allows systems to loan
equipment to each other when there is
an emergency. As part of contingency
planning, systems should be able to find
and utilize their necessary equipment
immediately in the event of a disaster.
Example: In the event that a Master Lift
Station fails and overflows, the system
would need to plan for temporary
pumping, electrical assistance, availabil-
ity of replacement pumps, cleanup, and
generators. Unanticipated costs arise
when an emergency occurs, so it is rec-
ommended that municipalities develop
and maintain a contingency fund to off-
set these emergency costs.
LONG-TERM BENEFITS
Taking an asset management approach also helped the system start utilizing information to design more effec-
tively and efficiently and to make capital cost decisions. Asset management creates data which can be analyzed
and managed using available technologies to improve efficiency and understanding so that systems can continu-
ously improve. The water system was able to fully account for and integrate their electronic work order system,
GIS, and real-time data monitoring by taking an asset management approach and prioritizing planning. Having
the appropriate technology and access to data allowed them to own and operate additional assets without
needing to also increase personnel. Gaining this understanding of their system's assets and operations clarified
financing decisions for capital planning and helped the system manage peaks and valleys within current rate
structures to minimize the impact to rate payers.
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COST EFFICIENCY ~ REDUCED COSTS
REDUCED COSTS
While some are unavoidable, many unexpected costs experienced by water systems can be prevented through
proper maintenance or by long-term planning for necessary repair and/or replacement of assets. Asset manage-
ment is also a powerful decision-making tool to identify the most cost-effective approach for managing and in-
vesting in infrastructure. In addition to helping manage the need for and cost of replacement, asset manage-
ment can reduce planned and unexpected operation and maintenance costs by minimizing the potential for
over- or under- maintenance of assets.
CASE STUDY: PORTLAND WATER BUREAU, OR
The Portland water system's service area covers parts of Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties in
Oregon. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the Water Bureau directly served a population of more than 597,000 peo-
ple in approximately 164,000 residential households and 20,000 commercial and industrial customers.
CHALLENGE
The Portland Water Bureau faced a challenge when the electrical system and instrumentation controls at a
pump station began to fail. To address this critical asset, they needed a solution that was financially responsible
and improved the sustainability of the system. In addition to disrupting system operations, failure of the pump
station would lead to basement flooding in homes and other buildings served by the pump station, significantly
impacting customer satisfaction and potentially causing customers to lose trust in the system.
SOLUTION
The water system considered three options: replacing only the parts of the pump station that were failing, also
replacing the pumps with more energy-efficient pumps, or upgrading the entire pump station. They knew that
the electrical and instrumentation controls were going to fail in the near term, at a replacement cost of $1 mil-
lion. By performing an analysis using an asset management approach, they determined that the benefits of hav-
ing more efficient pumps did not outweigh the higher costs of putting in new pumps when considering the
pump use expected over the next 30 years. Additionally, the pipes and the building were in good shape - they
were expected to last for many years, which would not justify a whole building upgrade. Instead of spending $6
million to replace everything at the pump station, the system analyzed their needs and risks and decided to
spend $1 million to replace only those assets that were failing.
LONG-TERM BENEFITS
Utilizing asset management to identify and prioritize the short- and long-term system needs and risks allowed
Portland Water Bureau to realize cost-savings in the short term and make informed decisions about long-term
risk. With effective asset management, water systems can determine which assets have a high consequence and
probability of failure. Determining the financial impact of an equipment failure can help your system define its
best asset management practices, which may include increased level of routine maintenance, redundant equip-
ment installation for critical assets, or planning for the repair/replacement cost of critical assets over time.
"Asset management is like changing the oil in your car. It's preventative maintenance.
Eventually your engine goes out if you don't change the oil regularly. Instead of spending
a large amount of money unexpectedly at a later date, you spend a small amount of
money on a regular basis. Higher costs are associated with deferred maintenance."
-Sterling Carroll, Florida Rural Water Association
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COST EFFICIENCY ~ WATER SYSTEM PARTNERSHIPS
WATER SYSTEM PARTNERSHIPS
Many water systems are able to achieve cost savings and increase reliability of services by developing partner-
ships with other water systems. Partnerships can range from informal arrangements, like sharing equipment, to
more extensive partnerships, like sharing management or physical consolidation. Having an asset management
program allows you to clearly identify areas where a partnership would benefit your system and can facilitate
the process of developing a partnership by demonstrating sound water system management.
CASE STUDY: HILLSBORO, KS
The water system in Hillsboro has approximately 1,100 connections serving a population of approximately 2,900
people.
CHALLENGE
The water system in the City of Hillsboro, KS, was experiencing a low
cash balance from year to year. Without rate adjustments or regular
maintenance of equipment, the system fell into debt and needed sig-
nificant repairs to fix rusted pipes and leaks throughout the system.
The water system considered a partnership with the neighboring sys-
tem of Marion, KS, where Hillsboro would become Marion's water sup-
ply provider. However, Hillsboro did not know what needed to be ad-
dressed to update and maintain their water system sustainably.
SOLUTION
Rate Considerations
Management of water systems is sustained
by the revenues received from their custom-
ers. Developing a rate structure that best
supports the system's priorities and objec-
tives will help systems be sustainable. More
information on pricing and affordability is
available on EPA's website at https://
www.epa.gov/sustainable-water-
infrastructure/pricing-and-affordabilitv-
water-services.
To supply water to Hillsboro and Marion, Hillsboro began identifying critical tasks and making sure that they had
redundancy and the ability to respond quickly to emergency events. As a result of this work, the water system
now knows exactly what they own and has good estimates of replacement costs. They have the ability to share
concrete information with the city council and provide an explanation about their needs and potential solutions.
Previously, if something went wrong, there was little they could do to resolve the issue. Now, they know before-
hand what will need to be replaced, so they can prevent critical failures and unexpected emergency bills.
LONG-TERM BENEFITS
Both Hillsboro and Marion benefitted from the partnership and from Hillsboro's use of asset management. The
two towns now use a joint program to do work orders and communicate about maintenance work orders be-
tween operators in the distribution system and at the treatment plant. This has led to higher customer satisfac-
tion, because customers get faster responses. It has improved productivity of the operators. They can organize
and prioritize work orders. Without a plan, operators were not able to prioritize tasks. In addition to identifying
the critical maintenance and upgrades, the plan also creates routine maintenance schedules which improve the
efficiency of operations and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
Cost Savings Through Partnership
RCAP Solutions has worked with several small water systems in Maine to create their
asset management plan using the Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS). free
asset management software developed by EPA. With this technical assistance, some of
these water systems have used asset management planning to partner on bulk ordering
of chemicals and sharing equipment, saving money and staff time.
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COST EFFICIENCY ~ WATER AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
WATER AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Water loss and energy inefficiency can significantly contribute to systems' operating costs. Asset management
planning can be used to identify losses in the system and implement solutions to save money and time.
CASE STUDY: MONACA BOROUGH, PA
Monaca Borough, a town just north of Pittsburgh, operates its own water and wastewater systems covering
about 2,400 residential and commercial accounts and 30 additional industrial accounts.
CHALLENGE
The Borough was experiencing over 50 percent water loss. Without asset management, the town did not know
where the leak was occurring in order to identify and resolve the issue.
SOLUTION
In 2010-2011, Monaca Borough installed an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Leak Detection Sys-
tem, funded by an energy performance contract. The installation was part of their efforts to better understand
the status of their assets and detect leaks, limiting the water and energy lost by inefficient systems.
Utilizing the Leak Detection System, the town was able to detect a leak at 14th Street/Water Fall accounting for
the loss of over 100,000 gallons per day, previously believed to be a naturally occurring waterfall. The 8" pipe
contained a full circle split at the leak location that had existed within the system for over 20 years.
"Our leak detection was part of the planning process, and our asset management came about after
the installation of the leak detection system. The installation of our AMI system with the leak detec-
tion started our overall assessment management system. We then GIS mapped all of our fire hydrants
and valves throughout our system. The benefits of the new technology have sold us on the im-
portance of asset management, and being able to do it in real time. Not monthly or quarterly!"
- Mario Leone, Manager; Monaca Borough
LONG-TERM BENEFITS
The Borough has since reduced their water loss to under 20 percent. As shown in the table below, by developing
an asset management plan and installing the system-wide AMI and Leak Detection System, Monaca Borough cut
costs for utilities, chemicals, and overtime. These small changes in operational efficiency increased their sys-
tem's revenue, providing more available funding for capital improvement projects.
Revenues
2011
$830,672
2012
$908,474

2013
$1,004,954

2014
$1,018,015
Utilities
$ 104,000
$ 67,112
(-35%)
$ 63,223 I
(-39%)
$ 64,125 (-38%)
Chemicals
$ 3,500
$ 2,073
(-40%)
$ 1,909 I
(-45%)
$ 1,730 (-50%)
Overtime
$ 25,000
$ 18,318
(-27%)
$ 17,179 I
(-31%)
*$ 10,173 (-40%)
Total Expenses
$ 132,500
$ 87,503
(-$44,997)
(-34%)
$82,311 I
(-$50,189)
(-38%)
$ 76,028 (-43%)
(-$56,472)
*Regular wages were $18,173 under budget in 2014 as the system had an employee on
workers compensation.	8
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COMMUNICATION ~ CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Asset management is more than a system used to maintain and repair equipment; it proactively focuses on
identifying cost savings, determining effective investment opportunities, and providing a higher level of service
and customer satisfaction.
"Asset management plans can and should positively impact the organization's culture. Assets are not
limited to Pipe, Service Connections, Plant and Equipment, but should include Easements, Parcels,
Customers, and all aspects of the utility operation."
- Rich Pierson, Gull Lake Sewer and Water Authority
UTILIZING ASSET MANAGEMENT PLANS TO
ENHANCE COMMUNICATIONS
An asset management plan can assist in determining the true cost
of delivering drinking water to customers, including operations,
maintenance, and infrastructure replacement, so that effective
rate structures can be set and customer expectations can be met
both in terms of reliability of safe and efficient services and
consistency of financial load. Water quality and reliability of
service are of utmost importance to customers. Communication is
vital to garner support from customers for improvements to the
water system. If stakeholders can see the benefits associated with
infrastructure investment, they are more likely to support such
improvements. Additionally, sound management practices,
including creating and maintaining an asset management plan,
instill confidence in customers. Key communications benefits
derived from asset management planning include:
~	Buy-in from stakeholders by clearly demonstrating the reasoning behind decisions and ensuring that
information shared internally and externally is meaningful to your audience;
~	Increased public trust and satisfaction through timely communication of accurate information;
~	Improved community involvement due to your ability to communicate your asset management approach to
customers so that they understand the system takes rate-setting seriously and has made informed decisions
regarding which operational costs will be increasing or decreasing during the upcoming cycle; and
~	Better continuity of operations and management and of community relations, which can be achieved by
including a communication plan that addresses internal and external stakeholders as a part of your broader
asset management plan.
EFFECTIVE
COMMUNICATION TIPS
1.	In order to communicate externally, you
have to communicate effectively internally.
2.	Frame the necessary improvements in terms
of public health or water quality when com-
municating with the public.
3.	Have a reference guide with costs of repairs,
examples of critical infrastructure, and
maintenance dates to justify to stakeholders
the need forfinancial investment.
4.	Make sure to include customer satisfaction in
your asset management plan. Be able to
quickly respond to customer concerns.
"Being able to document what a system has and what condition assets are in to ensure
that information can be quickly relayed is an important step in creating and maintaining
trust and satisfaction."
-John Boisvert, Pennichuck Corporation
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GETTING STARTED
| GETTING STARTED
Consider asset management as a strategic decision-making tool that can help your system address high-priority
asset needs that are critical to a water system's performance, identify the costs of operating the system, and
ultimately plan for future capital and operating expenditures. If you want to be more confident in decision-
making and communicating with your community, or if you want to further improve cost effectiveness, asset
management can get you where you want to go.
To get started, a water system should:
~	Identify the team members who will support and implement the asset management program.
~	Determine the asset inventory and prioritize assets.
~	Create and implement an asset management plan.
BUILD A TEAM
Community leaders may be asked to provide their perspective on the political landscape and community needs
and concerns; however, these leaders do not need to be experts in all fields.
Consider who you are adding to the internal and external stakeholder team. Ideally, the team will include indi-
viduals knowledgeable about infrastructure assets, political landscape, financial strategies, data sources and
analysis, and community needs. However, do not let the size of the team prevent you from getting started. A
team can start with a few people, and more team members can be added as needed.
Assemble a team, clarify roles and responsibilities, and determine how to gather asset information that is
already available.
Check out the EPA document Building an Asset Management Team for more information.
TAKE INVENTORY AND PRIORITIZE YOUR ASSETS
Before you can manage your assets, you need to know what you have, what
condition it is in, and how much longer you expect it to last. To complete an
inventory, list all your assets and collect the following information for each:
~	Condition
~	Age
~	Service history
~	Useful life
Once you have inventoried your assets, your next step will be to prioritize your
assets based on their importance to your system by ranking your system's
assets to help you decide how to allocate resources. Factors involved in
prioritization include:
~	How soon will you have to replace an asset (its remaining useful life)?
~	How important is the asset to the provision of safe drinking water (its impact on public health)?
~	How important is the asset to the operation of the system (can other assets do the same job?)?
Ideally, an asset management plan will help you forecast your financial needs well into the future and develop a
rehabilitation and replacement schedule appropriate for your system's priorities.
Data Sources & Tools
Potential sources of data for getting
started:
~	As-built drawings
~	Design drawings
~	Manufacturers' manuals
~	Bid documents
~	Most recent sanitary survey
~	Staff-current and previous
~	Maps, including digital maps
~	Photos and videos
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GETTING STARTED
GETTING STARTED (COA
PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
After prioritizing your assets, you will have to determine how much it will cost to rehabilitate and replace them
as they deteriorate. To properly protect public health and deliver safe water, you need to rehabilitate and
replace your assets in addition to operating your water system. Many systems will need considerable lead-time
to budget and gather the necessary funds.
By developing an asset management plan, you will be able to allocate your resources in the most efficient way.
This includes calculation of the amount of money that you will need to set aside every year (your annual
reserve) to pay for the rehabilitation and replacement of your assets.
Preparing a financial forecast (by estimating how much revenue you expect for the next five years) will help you
determine if you will need to supplement your revenues to carry out your asset management plan. To increase
or more efficiently use your revenues to operate and maintain your system and carry out your asset manage-
ment plan, you can:
~	Create additional reserve accounts. Reserve all or some of the money you will need in a protected capital
improvement reserve account and create an emergency account to fund unexpected repairs and replace-
ments.
~	Form partnerships. Working with other water systems may allow you to lower costs, simplify manage-
ment, and continue to provide your customers with safe drinking water.
~	Consider increasing rates. Alternatively, consider assessing a flat fee for infrastructure improvements or
funding of a reserve account. Check with your state drinking water program for rate-setting information.
~	Apply for financial assistance. Banks and government agencies can provide funds for infrastructure
projects such as treatment facilities, distribution lines, and water source development. If you do not have
enough funds to pay for needed capital improvements, you can apply for loans and grants.
Check out these EPA tools for asset management:
~	The Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS)  A free, easy-to-use, desktop software application that pro-
vides all of the necessary tools to implement an asset management program and develop effective asset manage-
ment plans.
~	Asset Management: A Best Practices Guide  Provides examples of questions to ask when determining an asset
management approach.
~	Asset Management: A Handbook for Small Water Systems  Provides examples of inventory, prioritization, re-
serves, and budgeting worksheets.
~	Asset Management for Local Officials  This guide will help local officials make decisions regarding asset manage-
ment at their systems.
~	Reference Guide for Asset Management Tools  A framework to assist systems in developing and implementing
an asset management plan.
~	More resources for decision makers and operators can be found on the EPA Asset Management Resources for
Small Drinking Water Systems Web page.
A basic asset management plan is based on the best available:
~ Information about the current state of the water system. This includes the existing levels of service, man-
agement strategies, and financial and performance benchmarks.
PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT
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~	Predicted information about the water system. This includes projections about demand, cash flow, and
potential asset failure.
~	Opportunities for technical, managerial, and financial improvements at the water system.
Develop a unique and tailored asset management plan following this workflow:
PLAN
DO
CHECK
ACT
{I
{I
{I
{;
1. Document existing level of
service and existing assets
2. Predict future needs
and future income
4. Implement the a
program
;set management


5. Evaluate progress and identify new
or additional needs or plan elements
3. Plan for future demand, asset
failure, capital needs, and O&M
6. Ask customer's if desired level of service aligns
with asset management plan projections
. Continue implementing plan, communicating with
customers, and routinely reviewing and updating the plan
Remember the importance of recordkeeping and knowledge retention. An asset management plan should be a
living document that is reviewed and updated as necessary and at least annually. Document and maintain
records associated with the asset management program to strengthen knowledge retention efforts at your
system.
OTHER RESOURCES
In addition to the resources referenced in this document, many state drinking water programs also en-courage
asset management by providing training and guidance, assigning Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)
priority points or other incentives to water systems engaged in asset management. Water systems may also
receive asset management assistance from technical assistance providers.
~	Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program:
https://www.epa.gov/drinkingwatersrf
~	Technical Assistance Providers:
https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacitv/capacitv-development-resources-states-and-small-svstems
https://nrwa.org/initiatives/energy-efficiencv/
~	USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/water-waste-disposal-loan-grant-program
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/water-waste-disposal-technical-assistance-training-grants
~	Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center:
https://www.epa.gov/waterfinancecenter
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