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ACTAT Program

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The Appalachian Community Technical Assistance and Training (ACTAT) Program offers free technical assistance and training to small water and wastewater utilities in east Tennessee. See below for more information about the program and how to get involved.

About the Program

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has partnered with West Virginia University and the University of Kentucky to help small Appalachian communities improve the level of service provided by their water and wastewater utilities. Improvements in the operation and maintenance of these systems will not only improve the quality of life for the community, they are often the first step toward future development and economic growth.

We use multiple methods of assistance to support utilities including regional- and utility-specific workshops, tailored educational materials, and hands-on technical assistance. After initial conversations with utility staff, board members, or local decision-makers, ACTAT staff match appropriate experts in engineering, business and management, law, public health, communications, and stakeholder engagement to personalize training and/or technical assistance.

All workshops and technical assistance are offered free of charge.

Where We Work

The ACTAT Program is focused on economically distressed or at-risk counties, where median household incomes are less than 80% of the respective state’s median household income. These counties are highlighted in the figure below.

TN county map

Appalachian Economic Level by Tennessee County.  Figure reproduced from Appalachian Regional Commission map “County Economic Status in Appalachia, Fiscal Year 2022” using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and U.S. Census Bureau. 

Workshops Offered

Our staff are prepared to conduct the following workshops for your utility:

Hydraulic Modeling of Water Distribution Systems 

Asset Management and Capital Improvement Plans 

Sustainable Management of Small Utilities

Additionally, we are able to facilitate workshops on other topics through our partnership with the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI) at the University of Kentucky and the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) at West Virginia University. Additional workshop topics are listed below:

Topic Offered By:
AWWA M36 Water Auditing KWRRI, University of Kentucky
Basic Mathematic Skills for Operators ( coming soon KWRRI, University of Kentucky
Emerging Contaminants of Concern ( coming soon) KWRRI, University of Kentucky 
Overview of the Safe Drinking Water Act NESC, West Virginia University
Overview of the Clean Water Act NESC, West Virginia University
Stakeholder Engagement NESC, West Virginia University

Continuing education units (CEUs) are available for each workshop upon request.

Technical Assistance

After an initial meeting with utility staff, board members, or local decision-makers, we are able to provide free technical assistance. Depending on the specific need of the utility or community, we may offer assistance ourselves, request assistance from other university staff with the appropriate area of expertise, or help solicit external assistance. 

Contact Us

To learn more about the program, or to request training and/or technical assistance, please contact:

Pic of S Hoagland

Pic of J Schwartz

Visit our website for more information.