Capacity development is a process for water systems to acquire and maintain adequate technical, managerial and financial (TMF) capacity. TMF capacity creates sustainable systems that are able to consistently provide safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water to the public. Systems commencing operation after Oct. 1, 1999, must demonstrate TMF capacity, in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, in order to obtain a permit-to-dispense from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Systems commencing operation prior to Oct. 1, 1999, are encouraged to implement capacity development activities into their daily operations to increase the systems TMF capacity. All public water systems are eligible for TMF assistance from the department.

2020 Public Drinking Water Technical, Managerial, and Financial Capacity Survey

The 2020 Technical, Managerial, and Financial (TMF) Capacity Survey is a voluntary survey administered by the Public Drinking Water Branch to community and nontransient noncommunity water systems. The survey provides the department with baseline information about the needs of drinking water systems and helps ensure the efficacy of the state’s Capacity Development Strategy.

The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. If you have questions about the survey or need assistance, please contact us at 573-526-6925 or by email at

TMF Capacity

Technical Capacity: The water system meets standards of engineering and structural integrity necessary to serve customer needs. Technically capable water systems are constructed, operated and maintained according to accepted quality standards.

Managerial Capacity: The water system’s management structure is capable of providing proper stewardship of the system. Governing boards or authorities are actively involved in oversight of system operations.

Financial Capacity: The water system can raise and properly manage the money it needs to operate efficiently over the long term.

TMF Assistance

Circuit Rider Assistance
The department contracts with Missouri Rural Water Association to provide technical experts, also known as circuit riders, to assist public drinking water systems with a wide range of issues including water loss, rate setting, asset management, flushing and compliance assistance.

A survey of water systems in 2018 indicated water loss assistance was a high priority. In 2018, circuit riders assisted 110 water systems in locating leaks totaling an estimated 46 million gallons of water lost per month. Quickly locating and repairing leaks reduces water loss and the associated costs of pumping and treating that water.

Circuit riders also provide rate assistance. Rate assistance helps water utility personnel and management understand that rates must be sufficient to ensure revenues cover the expenditures of the system. Circuit riders conducting rate studies also advise water systems on budgeting, asset inventory and management, and strategic planning.

To request TMF assistance from the department, click here.

Technical Assistance Providers

Capacity Development Strategy and Reports