What is a Water System Management Plan?

A water system management plan (WSMP) is a document that outlines a public water system’s technical, managerial, and financial capacity to operate sustainably. It is required by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) for all new community and nontransient noncommunity public water systems in Indiana.  Additionally, it must be approved by IDEM prior to the submission of an application for construction permit.

A WSMP is needed to ensure that public water systems can provide safe and reliable drinking water to their customers. The plan helps to identify and address any potential risks to the water system, and it provides a roadmap for the system to improve its performance over time.

A WSMP typically includes the following information:

  • A description of the water system, including its sources of water, treatment facilities, distribution system, and customer base,
  • An assessment of the water system’s current technical, managerial, and financial capacity,
  • A plan for addressing any identified deficiencies, and
  • A plan for monitoring and evaluating the water system’s performance over time.

A well-written and implemented WSMP can provide several benefits to public water systems, including:

  • Improved water quality: By identifying and addressing potential risks to the water system, a WSMP can help to improve the quality of drinking water delivered to customers.
  • Reduced costs: A WSMP can help identify and address inefficiencies in the water system, which can lead to reduced operating costs.
  • Improved compliance: A WSMP can help public water systems to comply with all applicable regulations.
  • Increased public confidence: A WSMP can help to build public confidence in the water system by demonstrating that the system is well-managed and capable of providing safe and reliable drinking water.

IDEM provides a guidance document on its website that outlines the key elements of a WSMP. Commonwealth Engineers assists public water systems with developing and implementing WSMPs.

To learn more about WSMPs, when one is required, and how Commonwealth Engineers might be able to assist, contact Andrew Cochrane, PE, CFM.