Overview image of a public drinking water facility

Public water systems can face unique financial and operational challenges in consistently providing drinking water that meets national primary drinking water regulations (Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR Part 141) and Missouri’s drinking water regulations (Code of State Regulations 10 CSR 60). Water system capacity is the ability to plan for, achieve and maintain compliance with applicable rules and regulations. Capacity development is a process water systems use to acquire and maintain adequate technical, managerial and financial (TMF) capacity.

TMF capacity creates sustainable systems that consistently provide safe, reliable and affordable drinking water. Public water systems that began operating on or before Oct. 1, 1999, are encouraged to implement capacity development activities to increase their TMF capacity. According to Section 1420(a) of the Safe Drinking Water Act, public water systems that began operating after Oct. 1, 1999, must demonstrate TMF capacity in order to obtain a permit to dispense from the department.

Resources for Public Water Systems

The department developed a capacity development strategy to assist public water systems in acquiring and maintaining TMF capacity. The department is committed to helping public water systems provide safe drinking water through publications, training and technical and financial assistance. Each area of TMF capacity is discussed further below, along with any resources available to help public water systems build their TMF capacity. All public water systems are eligible for TMF assistance. 

Technical Capacity

Technical capacity is the physical and operational ability of a water system to meet SDWA requirements. Technical capacity refers to the physical infrastructure of the water system, including the adequacy of source water and the adequacy of the treatment, storage and distribution infrastructure. It also refers to technical knowledge, the ability of system personnel to adequately operate and maintain the system.

Managerial Capacity

Managerial capacity is the ability of a water system to conduct its affairs in a manner enabling the system to achieve and maintain compliance with SDWA requirements. Managerial capacity refers to the system’s institutional and administrative capabilities, and includes ownership accountability, staffing and organization and effective external linkages.

Financial Capacity

Financial capacity is the ability of a public water system to acquire and manage sufficient financial resources to allow the system to achieve and maintain compliance with SDWA requirements. Financial capacity includes revenue sufficiency, credit worthiness and fiscal management and controls.

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 water systems with a wide range of issues including water loss, rate setting, asset management, flushing plans and compliance assistance. Every year circuit riders assist water systems across the state in locating hundreds of water main leaks and conserving millions of gallons of water. Quickly locating and repairing leaks protects public health and reduces costs associated with pumping and treating 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 system's expenditures. Circuit riders conducting rate studies also advise water systems on strategic planning, budgeting and asset inventory and management.

Technical Assistance Providers

To request TMF assistance from the department, fill out a Drinking Water System TMF Assistance Request or contact the department's Capacity Development Unit by email at capacitydevelopment@dnr.mo.gov or telephone at 573-751-5924.