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Community Engineering Corps Can Assist with Underserved Community Needs

The Community Engineering Corps® (CE Corps) combines the strengths of three allied organizations — American Water Works Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, and Engineers Without Borders USA — to assist underserved U.S. communities in meeting their infrastructure needs and improving the quality of life for each of the communities’ members.  Since the program launch in February 2014, CE Corps has seen successes across the U.S.  Currently, more than 25 projects are in varying stages of progress.  Several of these project communities were first introduced to CE Corps through their state primacy agencies.

CE Corps volunteers work with U.S. communities that do not have the financial resources to hire engineers.  They work directly for communities, or for organizations that represent communities.  All publicly owned water systems are eligible to apply for technical assistance.  Private water systems held by a for-profit entity serving a nontransient community are also eligible as are private water systems held by nonprofit organizations serving private nonprofit businesses.  There are no costs associated with CE Corps assistance to qualified disadvantaged or underserved communities.

Cedar Gulch South Dakota is an example of a project “in the works.”  Cedar Gulch requested technical assistance because of compliance problems related to radium and gross alpha.  They are working with a volunteer team from Virginia to develop a work plan to assess the best compliance options:  a new well, centralized treatment, point-of-use treatment, and/or possible regionalization with a neighboring community.  A second example is Delta Junction, Alaska, where the Snowed Inn RV and Trailer Park has applied for technical assistance to address violations listed on the community’s 2014 Sanitary Survey and to help identify potential grants that could fund capital improvements to the water and sanitation systems.  This project is currently open and CE Corps is accepting volunteer project team applications.

Getting a Project Started:

  1. Visit the CE Corps website for FAQs, application instructions, and additional information
  2. Complete and submit the Community Application for a Community Engineering Corps Project through either cecinfo@ewb-usa.org or www.communityengineeringcorps.org

For More Information:  Send your questions to Lindsey Geiger, Project Engineer, American Water Works Association at lgeiger@awwa.org