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Jennifer Bunton, P.E., Senior Environmental Engineer
Telephone: 515-725-0298 E-mail:
The Department held three public meetings to explain the Report of Findings and ask for additional comments and suggestions. Once this was complete, IDNR used the Report to prepare a strategy to enhance the viability of existing public water supply systems in Iowa. The strategy included a list of measures the Department considered feasible for implementation and listed the methods by which the success of the program would be measured. The EPA approved Iowa's strategy in late 2000. In 2005, the department reconvened the Viability Assessment Advisory Group to update and amend the strategy. In 2010, the strategy was modified to include the Area Wide Optimization Program as a means of prioritizing systems and targeting technical assistance.
Capacity Development Strategy
Also as required by the SDWA, the state was required to report to the Governor by September 30 of 2002, and every three years thereafter, on the "efficacy of the strategy and progress made toward improving the technical, managerial and financial capacity of public water systems in the State." In preparing the initial report to the Governor, IDNR re-convened the Viability Assessment Advisory Group to discuss how the strategy was being implemented and to solicit comments and suggestions. Using this information, IDNR prepared its initial report to the Governor. All Governor's Reports will be available as they are finalized.
Self Assessment manuals are available for as a tool for both new and existing water supplies to appraise their technical, managerial, and financial capability. Please contact Jennifer Bunton at 515-725-0298 or by e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions or suggestions.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was amended by Congress in August of 1996. The intent of this re-authorization was to provide the States with a comprehensive approach to ensure that all citizens would be provided with safe drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has elected to enforce this legislation in a flexible manner, allowing each State to work within a framework suited to its own needs and limitations.
One of the provisions of the 1996 SDWA requires that States develop and implement a capacity development (viability assessment) plan to ensure that public water supplies provide safe drinking water to their public at a reasonable cost for the foreseeable future. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has chosen to use a Self-Assessment Manual as a tool for water supplies to appraise their technical, managerial, and financial capability.
At this time, the only public water supplies required to submit the Self-Assessment Manual for review are supplies applying for State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan moneys, brand new systems, and systems designated as non-viable by the field office during a sanitary survey. The Iowa DNR, however, encourages all supplies to utilize the manual for self-evaluation.
There are two manuals available for self-assessment: one manual for use by municipalities and rural water systems, and one manual for use by systems using wells and hydropneumatic storage tanks, which includes privately owned systems, home-owners associations, mobile home parks, and very small municipal systems serving fewer than 100 people. Please be sure to choose the correct manual for your system, and call 515-725-0298 if you have questions concerning your decision.
Since the manual covers several topics, there are different sources of information you will want to use during its completion.
For questions related to "Assessing Your Facilities,"
For questions related to "Assessing Your Management Capabilities," contact the Field Office or Central Office staff listed above or Jennifer Bunton at 515-725-0298
For questions related to "Assessing Your Finances," completing the "Budget Worksheets," or for any general questions, municipalities may contact Steve Marsh or Jill Soenen of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities at 515-289-1999. All types of systems may contact the Iowa Rural Water Association at 641-787-0330
For general assistance and direction, please contact Jennifer Bunton at 515-725-0298.
Upon completion, please return the manual to:
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Water Supply Engineering Section
Wallace State Office Building
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0034
An advisory review of the Self-Assessment Manual may be made at a later date. The completed manual will be filed by the DNR for future reference. Please retain a copy for your records.