Operation and Maintenance Best Practices

Background

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 new criteria for assessing operations and maintenance capacity of rural water and wastewater utilities. The new 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. A contact list can be found here.

Scores are updated quarterly so that communities can see progress as they work with RUBA and RMWs on improvements. The scores are published twice per year, in conjunction with the federal Sanitation Deficiency System (SDS) and state Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding opportunities. 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.

Review Projects in SDS for your Community by:

Public Access to Projects in the Sanitation Tracking and Reporting System     (STARS).

To access the projects follow the steps below:
1. Access the Alaska Area Login for STARS by clicking here.
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.