rcap's national programs

Drinking Water and Wastewater Programs for Small Communities

Drinking Water and Wastewater Programs for Small Communities (Funding from Office of Community Services of the US Department of Health and Human Services)

With direct funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services, each RCAP region has a water and wastewater program that provides technical, managerial, and financial assistance to small communities and their water and wastewater systems. Many times communities receive assistance under this funding source to extend or establish new service to parts of communities that previously did not have it.


Solid Waste

Solid Waste Management Program (Funding from US Department of Agriculture, Rural Development)

RCAP’s Solid Waste Program helps reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources through technical assistance and training to improve the planning and management of solid waste sites. Program activities include:

  • evaluating current landfill conditions to identify threats to water resources.
  • providing technical assistance or training to enhance the operation and maintenance of active landfills.
  • provide technical assistance or training to help communities reduce the amount of solid waste coming into a landfill.
  • providing technical assistance or training to prepare for closure and future use of a landfill site.


Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance and Training Program (Funding from US Department of Agriculture, Rural Development)

The “Technitrain” program helps to protect public health and foster economic development in targeted rural communities throughout the United States and its territories by providing onsite, community-specific technical assistance and training that:

  • identifies and evaluates solutions to water and waste disposal problems.
  • assists communities in preparing funding applications for their water and waste projects.
  • improves operation and maintenance of existing water and waste-disposal facilities.

This program is part of RCAP’s overall mission of working with small, rural communities to increase local capacity. With an increased ability to tackle their own challenges, communities can better manage their assets, maintain compliance with state and federal water and wastewater regulations, work toward sustainable operations, and adhere to USDA Rural Utility Service (RUS) loan and grant procedures and requirements before, during, and after a construction project.

Private Wells

Training and Technical Assistance for Private Well Owners to Help Improve Water Quality (Funding from US Environmental Protection Agency)

Approximately 30 million Americans receive their drinking water from private wells. Protection of private wells does not fall under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), so these well owners often face challenges including where to go or whom to contact for good and timely information and technical assistance on all aspects of private well ownership, including well construction, operation, maintenance, testing, local and state health requirements as well as other relevant regulations or programs, local ground water quality concerns, and well emergency contacts and procedures.

Under EPA National Priority Area 4, RCAP has partnered with the Illinois State Water Survey and Illinois Water Resources Center at the University of Illinois (UI) to provide training and technical assistance to owners and managers of private drinking water wells. The objective is to protect the quality of water in private drinking water wells and to protect water quality by minimizing contamination via drinking water wells. Technical assistance is being provided on-site as well as through phone and electronic communications. Training for private well owners is being accomplished through multimedia learning, face-to-face presentations, and webinars.

Drinking Water Compliance

Training and Technical Assistance for Small Drinking Water Systems to Achieve and Maintain Compliance through Assessing and Addressing Deficiencies (Funding from US Environmental Protection Agency)

The project, which addresses EPA National Priority Area 1, provides compliance-based, capacity-building training and technical assistance for operators, board members, and managers of tribal and non-tribal small community and non-community water systems with the objective of protecting human health by reducing exposure to contaminants in drinking water. The project targets small public water systems (those serving populations of fewer than 10,000 people). RCAP has partnered with the American Water Works Association (AWWA), University of Illinois (UI), Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA), and United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET). In addition to traditional training and technical assistance activities, the unique aspects of the RCAP approach include an analysis of drinking water system failures and the root causes of those failures, and a way of reaching remote water systems through “Distance Assistance.”

Services RCAP Provides

In-person technical assistance to address water-supply and waste-disposal needs that is tailored to each community

Training and assistance in the areas of utility management and finances for community leaders, elected officials and utility board and staff members

Publication and dissemination of informational and instructional materials

Small amounts of financing assistance to undertake infrastructure improvements (through the RCAP Revolving Loan Fund)