SMART About Water Training Resources:

Train-the-Trainer Seminar

Press Release: August 8, 2008

WVU's NESC Trains Source Water Specialists - Seminar Will Help Small Communities Address Water Quality

Morgantown, W.Va.—On August 5, 6, and 7, 2008, West Virginia University’s National Environmental Services Center ( NESC) hosted a national training seminar about developing source water protection plans in America’s small communities.

The seminar—a key activity in the SMART About Water program, a $3 million, 18-month grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—featured NESC staff working with Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) trainers and source water specialists from around the country. These trainers will go on to assist small communities in their efforts to create their own source water protection plans, with a special focus on addressing untreated wastewater from failing septic systems.

“Nothing is more important than a clean, safe supply of water,” said Gerald Iwan Ph.D., NESC’s executive director. “

Good water is the key to a host of other issues, including quality of life, public health, environmental protection, and economic development. And, because failing wastewater systems are the main water pollution problem in many communities, correcting this situation is a logical first step.”

The seminar focused on ways that community leaders can develop source water protection plans to improve water quality in their communities. The training also showed how social marketing techniques—an innovative approach that uses commercial marketing tools to stimulate community action—can be used to achieve source water protection goals. By next summer, NESC and RCAP expect to have offered training and technical assistance about source water protection in nearly 250 communities in each of the 50 states.

Located at West Virginia University, the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) helps small and rural communities with their water, wastewater, management, and infrastructure resilience concerns. To learn more about NESC, call (304) 293-4191. or visit To learn more about the SMART About Water program, go to