Tuesday, September 10, 2024
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Location Name
Kentucky’s Sanitary Survey Process Modernization

Safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water is fundamental to the protection of public health. Many public water systems (PWS) in Kentucky face an array of challenges in meeting safe drinking water standards. Capacity Development is a process for PWSs to acquire and maintain adequate technical, managerial, and financial (TMF) capacity for operation. TMF capacity enables water systems to consistently provide safe drinking water to the public. Every state has developed a Capacity Development Program to help PWS build TMF capacity. The Sanitary Survey provides the information needed to identify challenges facing PWS and to connect them with resources, training, and funding opportunities to ensure their resiliency and sustainability to provide safe, reliable drinking water. Until now, the Sanitary Survey has been conducted and maintained on Word documents. The information gathered could only be examined one system at a time or compiled manually. The lack of this information in digital format that can be queried has hampered the ability of DOW to identify which areas of TMF capacity that should be an area of focus and to prioritize PWSs needing more support. After a multi-year effort, the Sanitary Survey is now in digital format. The Sanitary Surveys were brought into Esri’s Survey123 software. Working on tablets or laptops, inspectors or managerial & financial assessors answer questions for each survey. How they answer determines which further questions are asked, streamlining the survey. For instance, if a PWS does not use flocculation in its process, no flocculation questions are asked. After completion, the software also generates a document that is essentially the same as past Sanitary Surveys. This document is sent to the PWS and is also stored with past surveys in the official repository. During the summer of 2023, the Division of Water hired several interns to data-enter past Sanitary Surveys, and, with Federal Fiscal Year 2024, technical inspectors and managerial & financial assessors have begun using the software to enter their surveys. Already, the database has been used to create informative dashboards, generate summary information for the Capacity Development Triennial Report to the Governor and the Division’s Annual Report to the USEPA Kentucky Public Drinking Water Capacity Development Program. T The Division now has the capacity to more efficiently collect, extract, and analyze data from the sanitary survey. The ability to analyze areas of greatest challenge for PWS allows the Division to focus training, technical, managerial, and financial assistance to areas most in need. The end result will be increased capacity to provide safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water.