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Operation and Maintenance Best Practices


The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's Village Safe Water (VSW) and Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) Programs, in collaboration with the Rural Utility Business Advisor (RUBA) Program and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), have developed criteria for assessing operations and maintenance capacity of rural water and wastewater utilities. The criteria, referred to as Operations and Maintenance Best Practices, has been used for determining eligibility and prioritization for community sanitation projects since mid-2015.

Scores are broken into three categories: Technical, Financial, and Managerial. For all questions or concerns pertaining to Technical scores, please contact your assigned RMW. Contact your assigned RUBA regarding Managerial and Financial scoring concerns. If you feel that any portion of your community's score is inaccurate, it is important that you contact either your RMW or RUBA so that the data may be updated or corrected . RMW or RUBA contact list (PDF).

Scores are published twice per year, according to the timeline below. It is important to note that the Best Practice score accounts for 15% of the points possible for SDS project scoring and 40% of the points possible for CIP project scoring. The most effective way to increase your community's chance of receiving project funding is by improving your Best Practice score. The most effective way to increase your Best Practice score is by working with RUBA and your RMW.

Best Practices Timeline

Resources to Help Communities Improve Best Practices Scores

Category Scoring Criteria Contacts Resources and Sample Documents
Operator Certification
Preventive Maintenance Plan
Operator Certification Program
RMW Program
Drinking Water Program
Operator Certification and System Classification Database
Example Preventive Maintenance Plan (PDF)
Drinking Water Watch Database, Monitoring Summary Access
Utility Management Training
Meetings of the Governing Body
Rural Utility Business Advisor (RUBA)
Video Overview of Managerial Capacity
RUBA Training Calendar
Sample Ordinance (PDF) and Sample Meeting Minutes (PDF)
Worker's Compensation Insurance
Payroll Liability Compliance
Video Overview of Financial Capacity
Sample financial report (PDF)
Sample financial report (PDF)

August 2018 Best Practices Scores by Community

Select a community from the tabs below to see the August 2018 Best Practices Score:

Previous Best Practices Scores

Sanitary Deficiency System (SDS)

To review projects in SDS for your community, follow the steps below to access projects in the Sanitation Tracking and Reporting System (STARS):

1. Access the Alaska Area Login for STARS
2. Click on the "Public Access" link to access Alaska's SDS projects contacts page.
-Do not enter any information in the "Login Name" or "Password" boxes.
3. At the bottom of the page click on "Proposed Alaska Sanitation Needs - By Community."
4. Select a community to view on the SDS list.