Public Water System Assistance Program
Water is a priceless commodity that is critical to both human and community economic development. The governing bodies of the more than 1,300 small and rural water systems in Mississippi continue to face many pressing challenges in managing these systems due to increased legal mandates and poor management practices. As a result, the Mississippi Legislature enacted Senate Bill 2597, in 1997.
The bill requires members of any governing board, on any community water system, elected, or re-elected after June 30, 1998, to attend a minimum of 8 hours management training within two years following his or her election. Systems operated by municipalities with a population greater than 10,000 are excluded.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service Community Resource Development responded to the legislation by developing a partnership with the Mississippi State Department of Health to provide overall coordination of the Public Water System Board Management Training Program.
To comply with the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), which requires each state to implement a Capacity Development Program to improve the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of the state's public water systems, the Mississippi Legislature revised the Mississippi Safe Drinking Water Law (MS SDWL) in 1997. In response to this legislature, the Mississippi State University Extension Service Community Resource Development obtained funds from the Mississippi Department of Health in order to implement and coordinate a Peer Review Program for public water systems in Mississippi.