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Ground Water & Drinking Water
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Partnership for Safe Water

The Partnership for Safe Water is a unique cooperative effort between EPA, American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, National Association of Water Companies, and Association of State Drinking Water Administrators. The Partnership encourages and assists United States water suppliers to voluntarily enhance their water systems performance, for greater control of Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other microbial contaminants.

The objective of the Partnership for Safe Water is to encourage water suppliers to minimize the risk to their consumers of exposure to pathogenic microorganisms in drinking water through continuous improvement in surface water treatment plant performance. The Partnership has developed tools to facilitate improved performance, including the core of the program - a self assessment procedure. This procedure is based on a proven technique developed by EPA which results in the systematic analysis, identification and correction of factors which could limit the performance of the treatment system. The self-assessment process requires that the utility honestly and openly examine it's water treatment plant operation, including the physical plant and operations and administration practices, to identify areas of potential performance improvement. The water system then establishes an action plan and begins to work on improvements identified by the self-assessment. The results of the self-assessment are reported to the Partnership and a team of utility peers evaluates the report to determine if the water plant is progressing toward treatment optimization sufficiently to warrant the awarding of the Director's Award.

The utilities must work through the arduous and difficult self-assessment process, identifying factors which may have been limiting the performance of the treatment plants and taking steps to address those factors. By aggressively pursuing the objectives of the Partnership, the water plants demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement in the performance of their treatment facilities to help protect the health of their customers.

  • For a complete list of utilities that have entered this partnership and their accomplishments, see AWWA's Award Winning Utilities page.

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