For Immediate Release
October 21, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Capacity Development Achievement Awards Given to Systems that Exceed
Federal Safe Drinking Water Act Requirements

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) will award 10 public water supply systems with the third annual Capacity Development Awards. The award program is designed to encourage public water systems to go beyond mere compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA). The program is intended to promote exceeding the standards set forth in the Act.

“We commend these 10 entities for going above and beyond the Safe Water Drinking Act to ensure that their consumers and the environment are protected,” said Roderick Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “

The 2009 Capacity Development Achievement Awards will be presented to the following recipients:

Up to five Capacity Development Awards per year will be given for systems serving populations of 500 or less. Up to five additional awards will be given for systems serving populations of between 501 and 3,300 residents. No more than one award each will be granted every year for systems serving between 3,301 and 10,000 people; and for 10,001 or more people. In addition, no more than one wholesale water district will receive an award each year.

The awards are made possible using EPA funds that are allocated to states, and are just one of many activities that KDHE performs for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the SDWA. The majority of SDWA compliance activities performed by KDHE include monitoring public water supplies for health and safety, administering low interest loans to communities that enable them to upgrade and maintain their public water supply treatment systems and providing training and technical assistance to public water supply operators.

The federal SDWA was passed by Congress in 1974 and amended in 1996. The amendments required states to put strategies in place that help public water systems maintain technical, financial and managerial capacity. Originally, the SDWA focused primarily on treatment as the means of providing safe drinking water at the tap. The 1996 amendments greatly enhanced the existing law by recognizing source water protection, operator training, funding for water system improvements and public information as important activities for ensuring safe drinking water from source to tap.