Alternative Drinking Water Systems: Use by Very Small Communities, Related Cost Savings, and Technical Assistance Provided by EPA and USDA [open pdf - 924KB]
From the Document: "Nationwide, many small communities--those with populations of 10,000 or fewer people--face challenges addressing their drinking water needs. These communities may be unable to afford construction of a new system or replace aging infrastructure. Communities typically pay for drinking water infrastructure through rates charged to users of these systems and other sources, such as local taxes. Small communities have fewer users across which to spread rate increases, making operation, maintenance, and infrastructure projects less affordable. In addition, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents, small communities face other challenges that limit their ability to achieve and maintain system sustainability, including challenges in recruiting and retaining certified operators and maintaining expertise to choose, operate, and maintain systems. [...] This report describes (1) what is known about the use of alternative drinking water systems serving 500 or fewer people; (2) what is known about the range of any cost savings to communities of 500 or fewer people using alternative drinking water systems; and (3) drinking water technical assistance programs administered by EPA and USDA and the types of assistance provided by these programs."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/