Capacity Development and Water Loss Control

Capacity Development is a fundamental component of the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act that creates a framework for states to support the technical, managerial, and financial aspects of public water supply operation. To be viable and sustainable, it is critical that a water system be operated by a well-trained and capable staff, supported by effective management and sound financial policies. It is the goal of DEQ’s Capacity Development program to provide or locate resources and education to help Oklahoma’s water systems in these important areas of operation.

Contact Info

For more information about public water supply capacity development and/or water loss control, or to sign up to participate, please contact the Capacity Development Section , at (405) 702-8100.

Capacity Development Assessments

Upon request, any Oklahoma public water supply can request a Capacity Development Assessment from DEQ. An agency specialist will meet with water system management and conduct the assessment, which is a comprehensive examination of the system's management and operations. The purpose of the assessment is to help pinpoint areas in water system operations that might significantly impact the ability to sustainably produce water now and in the foreseeable future.  For any deficiencies that are found, DEQ can provide or arrange for technical assistance to help the water system correct the problem. The assessment and technical assistance are provided at no cost to the water system, and help is provided strictly on a non-enforcement, voluntary basis.

All Oklahoma public water supplies are eligible to use the services provided through this program. The DEQ Capacity Development Program is committed to helping small water systems provide safe drinking water and to maintain compliance with the SDWA by providing or coordinating assistance in the following areas:


O & M Plans, Preventative Maintenance Plans, Water Loss Auditing, Leak Detection, Meter Analysis


Customer Service Policies, Standard Operating Procedures, Personnel Policies, Governing Documents / Bylaws, Communication Policies, Emergency Response Plans


Rate Studies, Financial Management Policies, Asset Management

Water Loss Control

Leaky pipes, line breaks, inaccurate metering, and data management problems at Oklahoma water systems result in the loss of billions of gallons of water and millions of dollars in revenue every year. ODEQ has partnered with the Oklahoma Rural Water Association (ORWA) to help water systems reduce water loss, keeping more water in water systems’ pipes and more revenue in water systems’ bank accounts. The free and voluntary program includes a water loss audit conducted by DEQ personnel, a copy of the American Water Works Association auditing software, leak detection and meter accuracy analysis technical assistance by ORWA personnel, and training in all aspects of water loss control so water systems can continue work to control loss on their own.

By participating in the program, water systems are able to quantify and assign cost to all forms of non-revenue water and to target loss reduction strategies for maximum effectiveness. The resulting savings in both water and revenue can be substantial.