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E-Splash November 2013 - Small Systems
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash -  November 2013


Small Systems Committee
Kathy Rodgers, Illinois State Water Survey

Going Electronic

The Future of Monthly Operating Reports

We’re going electronic, folks! On July 15, 2013 the Environmental Protection Act was amended so that IEPA may require the electronic submission of any information required to be submitted to Illinois’ EPA. Currently, the IEPA is developing the administrative rules to go along with electronic reporting. It might be a few more years until full electronic implementation is feasible; but the process is in motion. It appears the time is coming when paper submission of the monthly operating reports will be phased out. In its place, will be an online data management system that will enable you to submit reports electronically by uploading spreadsheet templates to a website. The system will deliver monthly operating data to the IEPA in a more useful and meaningful way. It will be able to display and aggregate data in ways that will help the IEPA better understand changes that might be occurring in your water plant. To accomplish this, the Illinois EPA is working with Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) to develop an electronic reporting system for monthly operating reports, known as the eMOR project.

As some of you are already aware, a great deal of effort has gone into developing electronic monthly operating reports (eMOR) to standardize the data submitted to the IEPA. We started by taking the IEPA Class C and Class D facilities’ monthly operating reporting templates and added facility customization options and embedded conversion calculations so that one template could be used for multiple facilities. Then we asked water operators to test them using their own data and provide feedback. The eMOR project team feels that any success in standardizing these templates should be attributed to those water operators who actively participated in their development. After many long conversations, countless emails, and a few lunch meetings to iron out the questions and concerns of operators, the new Class C and Class D templates have been approved for general use by the IEPA. What that means is that you can start using the templates now to enter and print your data for submission to the IEPA. You must still print and submit paper copies to the IEPA for now, until such time as they officially change the reporting requirements. What the next eMOR project goals are have yet to be decided, but the future of the program related to developing templates for Class A and B systems will be determined by IEPA probably this fall. It’s a complicated process and as the systems become more complex, so does the approach taken to standardizing the data.

You might be asking, "Why go thru so much trouble? I have a very nice template of my own.” As true as that might be, standardization of the eMOR templates will allow report data to be imported into a database management system and provide the IEPA with tools to better analyze water use and operational data. The eMOR templates will also assist in eliminating redundant reporting requirements. One of the goals of the eMOR program is to meet the reporting requirements of the Illinois Water Inventory Program (IWIP) at the ISWS by utilizing the water use data from the eMOR templates. . Using the eMOR data to satisfy IWIP requirements will mean one less report to submit.

Once the report data is archived electronically, what will we do with this new found wealth of information? Well, that is the fun part. With the reports formatted consistently and the data stored in a central location, it is possible to analyze the data in any number of ways, for an array of reasons. Right now, our team is developing ideas for creating reporting tools that will allow a dashboard view of your water system’s operating information. For instance, data can be displayed in graph form to show trends that illustrate slow increases in water use, alerting you to potential infrastructure problems. This feature could enable you to catch a water leak before costing the water utility thousands of dollars in lost revenue, that you might not have noticed until it became a major problem months down the road. It will also allow you to demonstrate facility needs to your water board by using the historical data from your water system. Don’t just tell them what needs to be fixed or changed; show them undeniable facts that will help explain your system requirements.

Although monthly operating reports presently still need to be mailed in; by switching now to the eMOR templates you can begin compiling facility data that will be saved and stored for future use. You can simply print it out to mail it to IEPA, as well as upload the spreadsheet on the ISWS eMOR site. The eMOR project is ongoing, so stay tuned for further updates.

If you have any questions, comments or would like to participate in the eMOR project please feel free to contact Kathy Rodgers via email ( or phone (217-820-8377).

Sample Ordinances, Resolutions and Agreements

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If you have a sample ordinance, resolution or agreement you would like added to this collection, please email it to All private information will be removed and it will be added for sharing among members. Please feel free to download any of the documents you see below.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Lease Agreement - Tricom and City of Batavia DOC (27 KB) Administration 2/6/2012
Council Memo - Tricom and City of Batavia DOC (21 KB) Administration 2/6/2012
Resolution - Tricom and City of Batavia DOC (25 KB) Administration 2/6/2012

Small systems

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Small Systems resources, documents and photos.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Private Well Class information PDF (176.43 KB)  more ] Administration 11/20/2012


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