Environmental Engineering Division


Environmental Health Procedures Manual


Permits Archive



Training and Certification

Source Water Assessment & Wellhead Protection

Infrastructure and Capacity Development

Compliance and Enforcement

Data Management


Central Office

District Offices




The Environmental Engineering Division provides administrative, engineering, and other regulatory/oversight services to promote the development and improve public health relating to environmental exposures. The major components of the Division include:

Regulatory Management Program - Federal and state laws, rules, regulations, and policies relating to the environment and human health are constantly changing and becoming more complex. This component assures that these requirements are continuously monitored, reviewed, adopted, and communicated to the staff, public, local health departments, regulated community, and others. The overall goal is to assure regulatory compliance in the least restrictive possible manner.

Plan Review and Permitting - The division reviews all proposed plans and specifications for public water supplies, public swimming pools, animal and fish waste disposal facilities, and waste water systems to assure that proposed projects are designed in accordance with design standards and will perform as needed to provide adequate public health protection and service. Approximately 500 technical reviews are performed each year with about 275 approvals issued.

Construction Inspection Program - Primarily done through the district offices, utility construction inspections are routinely conducted to assure compliance with permits and design standards.

Sanitary Survey Program - The district office engineering and sanitary staff routinely conduct sanitary surveys of all public drinking water systems throughout the state. These are detailed engineering and regulatory on-site reviews of each system to assure compliance with the latest federal and state requirements for drinking water systems.

Data Management and Compliance Program - Approximately 40,000 monitoring and operational reports from more than 2000 public water supply systems. Each system is evaluated for more for more than 200 different contaminants and treatment techniques. Each of the reports is reviewed to determine compliance with the requirements of the state's Public Water Systems Regulations. Routine reports of drinking water quality violations are submitted to the United States Environmental Agency and public notification requirements are sent to the utility so customers are kept informed.

Enforcement Program - Public water and waste water utilities that repeatedly fail to monitor and correct violations are targeted for administrative enforcement (see Reports, Administrative Orders) that may include court action. Significant non compliers (systems that have been in non compliance for four months or more in the past year) are targeted for enforcement action. Tools to protect public health include treatment notifications, boil water advisories, and public notifications. Approximately 80 boil water advisories are issued each year to protect public health. The division prepares an annual compliance report (see Reports, Compliance Report) detailing monitoring and maximum contaminant level violations for all 2000 public water supplies in the state.

Training and Certification Program - The division provides training opportunities, tests and certifies water treatment, waste water treatment operators, water well drillers, and monitoring well drillers. Approximately 5000 water treatment plant operators, 3000 waste water plant operators and 300 monitoring well drillers are licensed by the division. The division conducts numerous short courses to provide training to operators wishing to become certified or upgrade present certification to a higher classification. Examinations are administered to on a quarterly basis to some 750 applicants yearly. (Certification applications are available in the forms area). Training offerings and presentations are provided to other agencies, organizations, engineers, sanitarians, and local health departments.

Source Water Protection - Source water and well head protection provides guidance and technical expertise to public water supply systems in the areas of hydrogeology, engineering, geology, hydraulic modeling and simulation, and hydraulic characteristics for the development of protection programs designed to inventory, monitor, and manage actual and potential sources of pollution and assess contaminants that may adversely affect public water supply water sources.

Wellhead Protection Program - This program is a component of Source Water Protection. It's mission is to establish a zone of protection around each water supply well to prevent unwanted contaminants and pollutants from entry. The zones, or wellhead protection areas, are established using complex technical procedures. Once delineated, the areas are used by local authorities and governments to establish wellhead protection programs for their water systems.

GWUDI Program - GWUDI is a federal acronym for "Ground-Water Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water." This program, using on site data and technical evaluations, determines whether or not a public water system using a ground water source (well) is influenced by surface water. If so, the system must meet more rigorous regulatory requirements.

Capacity Development Program - This program is designed to assure that the state's public water systems have adequate and up-to-date capability in terms of physical facilities and the technical, financial and management capacity to properly operate and maintain them.

The Capacity Development Program prepared a Draft Capacity Development Strategy outlining how the Division proposes to implement this program. Public input on the draft strategy was received from June 16, 2000 through July 21, 2000. Additionally, a public meeting was held on July 14, 2000. Comments received and actions taken in response to those comments are summarized in the Capacity Development Strategy Comment and Response Log. Following receipt and review of public comments, the final Capacity Development Strategy was completed and submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency on August 4, 2000.

Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Fund - The fund capitalized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency provides loans for the funding of drinking water infrastructure projects needed to achieve and maintain compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and the states Public Water Systems Regulations. The Intended Use Plan prepared each year details the intended use of funding available. The Draft Intended User Plan (for federal fiscal year 2001) is available for public review. The program is coordinated with other funding under the auspices of the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council.

Added February 7, 2002 - FY2001 Comprehensive Funding/Project Priority List Summary (in PDF format).

Water Fluoridation Program - Provides oversight of fluoridation programs currently provided 335 public water purveyors providing fluoridated water to 1.2 million people. The program provides technical assistance, operator training and certification, and monitoring surveillance to assure that optimum fluoridation levels are maintained to provide maximum dental benefit.

Lead and Copper - Corrosion Control Program - Provides surveillance to assure that public water supply systems conduct periodic monitoring for possible lead and copper contamination. The program also provides technical assistance to assist water plant operators in implementing corrosion control programs. The program is responsible for enforcing the ban on the use of lead pipe and solder in drinking water systems. (View federal regulations from the EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water web site, Document CFR141 (PDF), scroll to section 141.40)

Water Vending Machine Program - Reviews permit applications and issues permits for the installation of drinking water vending machines and conducts reviews of water monitoring results.

Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention Program - Establishes requirements for the prevention of cross connections and backflow to prevent drinking water from being contaminated by such contaminants coming from such sources as boiler feed water, fire sprinkler systems, chemical and waste lines, and other toxic water system interconnections. Also provides training and technical assistance to water systems, local health departments, consulting engineers and others in the establishment of cross connection programs and evaluation of various hazards required to provide public health protection.

Emergency Planning and Preparedness Program - Provides technical professional engineering expertise in assisting water and waste water utilities and emergency service officials in preparing for emergencies of various types. Also responds to emergency situations to provide on site emergency assistance to help utilities restore service while protecting public health. This program is coordinated with the state, federal, and county emergency services offices.

Technical Services Program - Provides detailed, on site assessments of large, public water and wastewater systems and other environmental facilities to evaluate compliance with regulatory requirements. Detailed reports are developed to assist utilities in the development of capital improvement, operation and maintenance programs to correct deficiencies. Technical services also include health risk assessments, regulatory guidance, and evaluations to determine the most feasible alternatives for utilities to provide maximum public health protection.

Waiver Program - The program makes professional health risk assessments using vulnerability and susceptibility analyses of possible public water supply system source contaminants. Monitoring requirements may be reduced or waived for contaminants that are not found and do not compromise human health which results in reduced costs to the utility and ultimately the customer.

Waterborne Disease Surveillance Program - Along with the medical and epidemiological community, this program assists in preventing, regulating, and reporting waterborne disease outbreaks. The source of such outbreaks may be due to microbial, chemical, or radiological contaminants.

Public Information and Assistance Program - Provides the public and others information and guidance regarding regulatory requirements, agency oversight, health effects, health risks, and other topics.

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Last Updated: July 15, 2002