WaterEUM — Effective Utility Management

Ten Attributes - 

Product Quality

Produces potable water, treated effluent, and process residuals in full compliance with regulatory and reliability requirements and consistent with customer, public health, and ecological needs.

Link to Example Measures 


Development of Distribution System Water Quality Optimization Plans
This Awwa Research Foundation report offers step-by-step guidance to help water utilities manage their distribution systems for optimum water quality. Why should utilities that are in compliance with regulatory requirements be concerned with distribution system water quality? Optimizing distribution system water quality management can assist utilities in:

  • Reducing the potential that waterborne pathogens may reach customers' drinking water

  • Improving distribution system water quality above and beyond regulatory requirements

  • Preparing for future revisions of the Total Coliform Rule that may focus on distribution system operation and maintenance, instead of numeric evaluation of coliform bacteria

  • Identifying and addressing water quality concerns that can be attributed to the distribution system

  • Addressing customer expectations above and beyond meeting drinking water regulatory requirements

  • Developing programs and practices as recommended by AWWA's distribution system accreditation program

Includes a CD-ROM that contains examples of programs and practices utilities can implement. 2005 - Softbound - 229 pp. ISBN 1583213880; Catalog No. 91069 $$ Order Now 

Guidance Manual for Monitoring Distribution System Water Quality
Guidance Manual for Monitoring Distribution System Water Quality provides water utilities with guidance on how to design and implement a distribution system water quality data collection and analysis program. The report includes a comprehensive approach for collection and analysis of water quality information to make costly infrastructure improvements, document benefits of operational procedures, and address consumer complaints. Includes CD-ROM. 2002 - Softbound - 325 pp. ISBN 1583211861; Catalog No. 90882 $$ Order Now 

Modeling Water Quality in Drinking Water Distribution Systems
This comprehensive text discusses the use of water quality models and their potential for enhancing and understanding the factors that affect water quality in distributed water. It covers the development of the USEPA's EPANET and discusses its application to case studies. The book outlines the major elements involved in water quality modeling. It discusses the development and application of water quality models, and presents the results of applying these models. Storage tank modeling is also covered. 1998 - Hardback - 223 pp. ISBN 0898679729; Catalog No. 20425 $$ Order Now 

National Biosolids Partnership (NBP)
NBP is a not-for-profit alliance formed in 1997 by NACWA, US EPA and WEF to advance environmentally sound and accepted biosolids management practices. NBP's web site includes a technical library and other resources. www.biosolids.org 

National Manual of Good Practice for Biosolids
The manual provides guidance for each process throughout the biosolids value chain based on literature and experience and can be used to optimize existing practice. It is designed to support agencies in the development of biosolids management programs and environmental management systems. (2005) Free Download in PDF 

Operation of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (Manual of Practice No. 11; Sixth Edition)
This newly revised edition integrates the experiences, current practices, and innovations from thousands of wastewater treatment plants. The manual has been updated to reflect the latest trends, regulations, and technologies. Available as a three-volume, hard-cover manual with or without study guide and online by the chapter at www.wef.org. (2016 pages, 2007) $$ Order Now 

Public Works Management Practices Manual
The Manual describes the basic criteria and procedures necessary to perform as a full-service public works agency and provides the framework for the object self assessment of an agency. (2004 [new edition due August 2008]) $$ Order Now 

Storm Water and Water Pollution Issues
Managing storm water correctly and protecting valuable water resources are essential to your community's future. This CD-ROM contains six programs: Building a Livable Community: Working with Developers to Implement Storm Water Best Management Practices. Take advantage of this walk-through of a storm water management plan for a mixed use residential and commercial development that includes water quality ponds, detention basins, backwater channels, creek restoration, and bioswales. Developing an Effective and Enforceable Water Resources Protection Ordinance. Find out how one community met the challenge of developing a ground and surface water protection ordinance acceptable to all parties - concerned citizens, business interests, and regulators - using a watershed approach. Finding All the Pieces and Making Them Fit Together: A Comprehensive Storm Water Management Program. An effective storm water management program needs a holistic approach to address NPDES Phase II compliance, public safety, water quality, funding, and public input and buy-in on which best management practices to adopt. The Cost of Maintaining Water Quality Ponds. Maintenance costs can be significantly reduced if water quality ponds are designed correctly. Learn from the experiences of engineers who have been there - what they would do again, and what they would handle differently. The Latest on Storm Water Phase II. Complying with EPA's Phase II Storm Water rules is still one of your biggest challenges! Listen to a case study featuring the watershed approach and learn about various financing mechanisms used across the country. Think Blue San Diego! Behavioral change is the goal of "Think Blue" San Diego's award winning, bi-national, and bilingual public outreach and mass media campaign for storm water compliance. Learn how you too can create a successful mass media campaign with limited dollars. (CDROM, 2004) $$ Order Now 

Wastewater Collection Systems Management (Manual of Practice No. 7)
This manual is a comprehensive reference addressing procedures, practices, and guidelines for effectively operating, maintaining, and establishing or reestablishing wastewater collection systems as dependable public utilities. This Manual of Practice serves as a systems guide and includes principles of operation and management that have been developed over the years. Collection systems managers will benefit from this guide by being able to establish or reorganize their systems operations. (260 pages, 1999) $$ Order Now 

Water Quality and Treatment: A Handbook of Community Water Supplies, Fifth Edition
Used by more engineers, water operators, and students worldwide than any other text for over 60 years, this renowned text provides a complete technical reference on municipal water quality and treatment in one volume. It begins by explaining drinking water regulations, health issues and goals, water chemistry, and pathogens and other organic and inorganic contaminants. Following this, chapters go into detailed explanations of water treatment unit processes (including membrane technologies), disinfection, fluoridation, and maintaining water quality in the distribution system. An excellent desk reference for the working professional, this book is also ideal for teaching, as it provides sample problems and solutions in each chapter. Water Quality and Treatment, Fifth Edition is an absolutely essential reference for all serious professionals in municipal water supply. 1999 - Hardback - 1233 pp. ISBN 0070016593; Catalog No. 10008 $$ Order Now 

Water Treatment Made Simple for Operators
This book is an easy-to-understand introduction to the increasingly complex functions of water treatment plants. It's a perfect primer for anyone pursuing Water Treatment Plant Operator certification, and a succinct refresher for new hires since it covers all the fundamental proficiencies of water treatment, including laboratory testing, hydraulics, mathematics, chemistry, water transmission, disinfection, and microbiology. Water Treatment Made Simple also serves as a highly illustrative reference featuring dozens of handy problem-solving tables that are invaluable for troubleshooting on site, and brief and simplified versions of fundamental principles in each chapter, supplemented with common problems and possible solutions. (2005) $$ Order Now 

Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Infrastructure Management
This publication presents a coherent, integrated picture of water and sewer infrastructure management and provides comprehensive coverage of the latest research on management practices for water and sewer capital facilities with an emphasis on infrastructure. Taking a life-cycle approach to the management of physical capital facilities, this well-illustrated reference provides the how-to's for planning, budgeting, designing, constructing, and managing the physical infrastructure of water and sewer systems. The integrated presentation of topics allows for direct application of material to job-related functions. (2002) $$ Order Now 


Product quality regulatory compliance
Water product quality compliance, particularly with regards to 40 CFR Part 141 (the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations), the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, and any other relevant federal (Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, etc.) or state statute/regulations and permit requirements. The scope can include the quality of all related products, including drinking water, fire suppression water, treated effluent, reused water, and biosolids, as well as quality-related operating requirements such as pressure and number of sewer overflows.

Example calculations: 

  • Drinking water compliance rate (percent): 100 X (number of days in full compliance for the year / 365 days). This is a QualServe Indicator. 1 

  • Wastewater treatment effectiveness rate (percent): 100 X (365 - total number of standard noncompliance days / 365 days). This is a QualServe Indicator. 2 

  • Number, type, and frequency of "near (compliance) misses": For example, reaching 80-95% of allowable levels of "X" during reporting period, typically per month. Tracking this type of measure could be used to improve performance in these "near miss" areas before violations occur.

Product quality service delivery
Description: This measure assesses delivery of product quality service based on utility-established objectives and service level targets. It focuses on non-regulatory performance targets.

Example calculations: 

  • Drinking water flow and pressure (percent): 100 X [number of customers with less than (flow of "X" gallons per minute (gpm) and pressure of "Y" pounds per square inch (psi)-levels set by utility) / total number of customers] (during reporting period, typically per month).

  • Fire suppression water flow and pressure (percent): 100 X [hours of time when (flow of "X" gpm and pressure of "Y" psi-levels set by utility) is available for fire suppression at maximum day demand / total number of hours when fire suppression water should be available at maximum day demand] (during reporting period, typically per month).

  • Service interruptions (percent): 100 X (number of active account customers experiencing a service interruption of greater than 1 hour / total number of customers during reporting period) (typically per month). Note: the utility may elect to measure planned and unplanned interruptions separately.

  • Water quality goals met/not met: Number of days in reporting period (typically one month) where utility-defined beyond-compliance targets are met/not met.

  • Sewer backups (if not included in permit requirements) (amount and percent): Number of customers experiencing backups each year; 100 X (number of customers experiencing backups each year / total number of customers).

  • Sewer overflows (if not included in permit requirements): Number of sewer overflows per 100 miles of collection system piping.

  • Water reuse (amount and percent):

    • Amount: Amount of water supplied that is from reused/recycled sources.

    • Percent: 100 X (amount of water supplied that is from reused/recycled water / total amount of water supplied).
      Then, as desired, these amounts can be broken into recipients/applications (e.g., irrigation, agriculture, industrial processes, etc.).

  • Biosolids put to beneficial use (percent): 100 X (amount of biosolids produced that are put to a beneficial use / total amount of biosolids produced) (in wet tons per year).


[1] This is one of the 22 Performance Indicators from the Qualserve program, a voluntary quality improvement program designed for water and wastewater utilities by the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation. Reference from the American Water Works Association and the AWWA Research Foundation, Selection and Definition of Performance Indicators for Water and Wastewater Utilities, p. 57. 2004. Note: This material is copyrighted and any reprinting must be by permission of the American Water Works Association. 

[2] Ibid., p. 71. 2004.