Asset Management Program for Small Systems (AMPSS)
Asset Management Assistance at the TWDB
The TWDB has created funding opportunities to assist water and wastewater utilities to create and implement asset management plans. While much of the funding is directed to small, rural utilities, there are also opportunities for larger utilities.
The TWDB is currently soliciting for participant systems and contractors for the 2nd Round of funding of the Asset Management Program for Small Systems (AMPSS). Please join the TWDB mailing list to be notified of further developments, including opportunities to apply.
1. What is asset management?
Asset management can be defined as "a planning process that ensures you get the most value from each of your assets and have the financial resources to rehabilitate and replace them when necessary." This includes developing a plan to reduce costs while increasing the efficiency and the reliability of your assets. Asset management can help you get the most value out of the assets that make up your water or wastewater system by prioritizing repairs and budgeting for equipment replacement. It can also help you maintain the financial capacity to make scheduled repairs and planned replacement of assets before there is a crisis.
Some of the basic questions asked and answered while doing asset management planning include:
- What do you want your assets to do?
- What assets do you have?
- Which assets are critical to doing what you need?
- How are you going to operate and maintain, repair, replace, and rehabilitate your assets over the long term to manage them most cost-effectively?
- How will you pay for the operation over the long term?
2. Why does TWDB offer asset management assistance programs?
As the primary Texas state agency responsible for long-term water planning, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has seen firsthand, the value and importance of water and wastewater systems having comprehensive plans in place for the sustainable management of the utilities. TWDB has also observed that many small utilities struggle to find the time and resources to create these plans when dealing with the day-to-day challenges of running a water or wastewater system. Because of this need, TWDB has implemented three different funding opportunities related to asset management planning.
3. What types of asset management assistance funding does TWDB provide?
Asset Management Program for Small Systems (AMPSS)
- A program to assist small systems create an asset management plan with a pre-qualified contractor, at no cost to the system.
State Revolving Fund (SRF) Programs
- Zero percent interest loans for the creation and implementation of asset management plans.
The Asset Management Program for Small Systems (AMPSS) is a funding opportunity offered by TWDB to assist small water and wastewater systems by creating a comprehensive plan for managing the systems in a financially and technically sustainable manner.
Systems participating in AMPSS will be able to choose a pre-qualified contractor to work with to create an asset management plan, operations and maintenance manual, compliance manual and other management tool. There is no financial match required by the system, but they will be required to contribute at least 80 hours of their staff time towards the project.
This project will help systems take a thorough inventory of their assets, determine the condition and criticality of each asset, plan for short-, medium-, and long-term capital improvement projects, ensure adequate maintenance is being planned for and conducted, and prepare the system for accessing the State Revolving Fund programs. Together, these tools and information will help the systems prepare for the future, train new staff, and communicate the needs of their system to their staff, governance, and citizens.
Water or wastewater systems that
- serve 5,000 service connections or less and are eligible for funding through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund or Drinking Water State Revolving Fund; or
- serve 10,000 people or less, are not located within the boundaries or extra-territorial jurisdiction of any municipality with a population over 10,000 people and are eligible for funding through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund or Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
Benefits and Terms
Up to $100,000 worth of data collection, system analysis, and planning activities
- The final products of the program include:
- Asset Management Plan
- System Operations and Maintenance Manual
- Compliance Manuals
- Training for system management and staff
- Installation of all tools that were developed on the system's computers
- Presentation to system management and governing bodies
- There is no financial match required by the system
- A minimum of 80 hours of system staff time on the project is required
- A contract will be executed between the contractor and the TWDB, while a Memorandum of Understanding will be executed between the participating system and the TWDB
How to Participate in AMPSS
- For Contractors - Firms interested in being contractors for AMPSS projects need to reply to the AMPSS Request for Qualifications (RFQ) posted on the State of Texas, Electronic State Business Daily website. A link to the RFQ is also posted on the TWDB Stakeholder Opportunities webpage. Firms that submit their Statement of Qualifications, in accordance with the RFQ, and meet the minimum qualifications will be placed on a list of qualified contractors. The systems participating in AMPSS will then choose a contractor to work with from the list of qualified contractors. Once the system has selected the contractor they wish to work with, a contract will be drawn up and executed between the TWDB and the contractor. Statements of Qualifications will be accepted from September 18, 2023 through October 18, 2023. Questions about the RFQ should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy to email@example.com.
- For Water or Wastewater Systems - Systems interested in participating in AMPSS need to complete and submit an application. The application has been posted on this webpage on September 18, 2023 and will be accepted through November 2, 2023. When the application period ends, the applications will be scored and ranked based on criteria that can be found below. Systems selected to participate in AMPSS will be contracted and provided with the list of contractors that responded to the RFQ and met the minimum qualifications. Participant systems will then choose their top 3 preferred contractors to work with and submit those choices to TWDB. TWDB will then initiate and execute contracts with the selected contractors and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the participant systems. The contractors will then begin working with the participant systems to complete the deliverables of AMPSS.
5. SRF Programs
Preparation of Asset Management Tools
- Zero percent interest loans of up to $100,000 used for the creation of an asset management plan
- Offered through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) or Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)
- Typically, part of a larger SRF application/project, but not required
- All systems eligible for SRF funding are eligible for this funding, regardless of size of system
Implementation of Asset Management Plans
- Zero percent interest loans of up to $500,000 used for the implementation of projects listed in the system's current asset management plan
- Offered through the DWSRF or CWSRF
- Funding would go towards a DWSRF or CWSRF application/project
- Eligible systems for this funding included small systems that are eligible for AMPSS and have a current asset management plan that meets that scope of work requirements for AMPSS
6. What is in the AMPSS Scope of Work?
Asset management plans must follow the methodology and meet all requirements associated with and listed in the most recent version of the TCEQ’s Managing Small Public Water Systems (RG-501) and Managing Small Domestic Wastewater Systems (RG-530), as applicable to the type of system, along with supplemental requirements. The work must include the tasks and requirements as outlined below:
- Conduct a system evaluation (asset identification, location, and date of service or approximate age), as needed, resulting in an inventory of the System(s) and prioritization of assets,
- develop a comprehensive plan for managing System(s) assets,
- develop a budget for managing System(s) assets,
- develop an implementation plan, including a time schedule, for implementing and updating the asset management plan, and
determine whether a rate study is necessary.
The resulting asset management plan must fulfill the general requirements of a Fiscal Sustainability Plan as outlined in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act at 33 U.S. Code § 1383(d)(1)(E), which requires:
- an inventory of critical assets that are a part of the treatment works;
- an evaluation of the condition and performance of inventoried assets or asset groupings;
- a certification that the recipient has evaluated and will be implementing water and energy conservation efforts as part of the plan; and
- a plan for maintaining, repairing, and, as necessary, replacing the treatment works and a plan for funding such activities.
Further, in the section of the asset management plan that discusses funding sources, it must identify current TWDB financial assistance programs, including the CWSRF and DWSRF programs as applicable, that may be utilized to meets the system's needs. The asset management plan must include an analysis of whether current utility rates would provide adequate revenue to meet future System(s) needs but it does not have to include a full rate study that establishes a new rate structure.
Additional recommendations and guidance should be discussed and included in this plan to assist utility staff in communicating the importance of infrastructure investments and on-going comprehensive maintenance to the system’s governing body. This should include strategies for using the asset management plan and visual aids to communicate the system’s short-term and long-term needs to an audience that is less technically versed in water and wastewater system operations.
- Emergency Preparedness / Weatherization / Resiliency - Identify assets that are critical to the operation of the system and determine their ability to remain functional in adverse weather and prolonged electrical grid outages. Identify recommendations related to emergency preparedness and operations. Update and include in the final report, Emergency Preparedness Plans for the system.
- For Water Systems: Source Assessment and Planning - Identify the system’s drinking water source, develop any appropriate best management practices for sustaining the source (at a minimum develop or update the system’s conservation and drought contingency plans), and identify options for alternative sources, if they are needed. It will discuss plans for water conservation and detecting and minimizing water loss.
For Wastewater Systems: Sustainable Systems - Create a plan to manage the system more efficiently by conducting an energy assessment of the system and including recommendations for energy-efficiency improvements, and potential public participation programs.
- Operations and Maintenance - Create an operations and maintenance manual for the System(s) that includes a plan for scheduling and performing preventative and general maintenance. The plan may identify other resources available to the System(s) such as TCEQ's Financial, Managerial, and Technical Assistance program.
As part of the operations and maintenance manual, two separate “quick-guides” for operators and utility staff shall be developed. The first shall be a concise list of the maintenance activities that should be conducted on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis to maximize the useful life of the assets and keep them in optimal working order. The second shall be a concise list of the operational processes that are needed on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis to maintain required levels of service and ensure compliance with applicable rules and regulations. These guides should resemble checklists that can be easily used in the field.
- Compliance - Create a compliance manual that includes copies of all required reports, compliance checklists and tables for keeping track of State and/or Federal requirements. The compliance manual may be incorporated into the Operations and Maintenance manual. (For wastewater systems, checklists 1-7 in Part D of Managing Small Domestic Wastewater Systems (RG-530) are not required to be completed.)
7. Where Can I Get More Information?
In order to provide you with a single point of contact at the TWDB, our project implementation staff is organized into six regional project implementation teams. Each team is led by a manager who serves as the primary point of contact for both our existing and future customers. For assistance with the application or any questions related to your project, please look up contact information for your Regional Team.
You can also contact AMPSS Program Coordinator, Patrick Kading.