Source Water Protection: Noncommunity Transient Grants - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Source Water Protection
Noncommunity Transient Grant

Applications for this grant program are accepted between Wednesday, March 1, 2017 and Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT).

Notification of Grant Availability

This notice applies to the noncommunity transient public water systems.

The Minnesota Department of Health announces the availability of funding to support source water protection grants for noncommunity transient public water systems. Noncommunity transient systems are defined as public water systems that serve at least 25 people at least 60 days of the year, but do not serve the same 25 people over that period of time. Source water protection activities that are funded under this grant program must support measures that address a potential contamination source that presents a high risk to a source of drinking water as determined by the Minnesota Department of Health. The funding for noncommunity transient systems grants is provided under Chapter 2—S.F.No. 1; Art. 2; Sec. 8 (b) Minnesota Session Laws 2015. 


The Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota constitution provides funding to the Minnesota Department of Health to establish the noncommunity transient public water system grant program. This program will be administered through the Drinking Water Protection Section.

The fundamental goal of source water protection is to prevent contamination from entering sources of public drinking water at levels that present a risk to people.  Source water protection applies to all types of public water systems and is based on requirements in the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and authorities granted to the Minnesota Department of Health by the state legislature. 

These are competitive grants for noncommunity transient public water systems that will help implement source water protection measures that must address a public health risk that has been identified by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Grant Awards

The total amount of funding that is available under this notice is $75,000. The minimum amount for any grant is $250 and the maximum amount is $10,000 and require an equal cost share. However, when more than one qualifying noncommunity transient public water systems apply under the same grant request, the cap amount will be increased by as much as $10,000 for each additional public water system up to a maximum grant amount of $30,000.

Matching Funds

An equal cost share is required for receiving a grant. Cost sharing is subject to an audit and must be allowable under cost principles and verifiable to records. Applicant must include a signed statement or acknowledgement that proves availability of funds to support the cost share.

The public water supplier (PWS) can use its own financial resources, or funding obtained from a private or federal grant to meet the cost share requirement for a transient grant. The following may not be used as cost share for a transient grant: drinking water revolving fund (DWRF) money; another state grant; another Clean Water Fund grant.

Funding Period

All of the funds that are awarded under this program must be expended by June 30, 2018. Based upon availability of funds, noncommunity transient system source water protection grants will be offered annually, during the months of March and September.

Termination for insufficient funding

The State may immediately terminate this grant if it does not obtain funding from the Minnesota Legislature, or other funding source. Termination will be by written or fax notice to the Grantee within a reasonable time. The State will not be assessed any penalty if the grant is terminated because of the decision of the Minnesota Legislature, or other funding source, not to appropriate funds. The State must provide the Grantee notice of the lack of funding within a reasonable time of the State’s receiving that notice.


A source water protection noncommunity transient competitive grant is intended to support implementation of the source water protection measures that address a potential source of contamination exhibiting a high risk that is recognized by the Department of Health either 1) in a sanitary survey; or 2) through corrective actions relating to monitoring for a contaminant that may result in an acute public health concern.

A public water system must meet the following conditions in order to qualify under this notice:
  • Be a noncommunity transient public water system and
  • The public water system is not currently subject to administrative penalty action by the Minnesota Department of Health for violation of state or federal public water system regulations.
  • A PWS that is subject to administrative penalty action from MDH for violating public water system regulations should not receive any type of grant until a compliance agreement is in place. The PWS may apply for a grant to implement the actions scheduled in the compliance agreement.
    Each eligible noncommunity transient public water system can submit only one application per grant program announcement.

Scope of Work

Grant funding is to be used solely to support work that:
1) Is identified as a corrective action in an MDH-prepared sanitary survey
2) Needs to correct an acute public health concern that has been identified by monitoring of the drinking water.

Indirect or administrative costs related to using a source water protection transient grant are not eligible. Fundable activities involve costs that are associated with implementing and completing the project.

The work to be performed must meet applicable state regulations, particularly plan review and inspection requirements.

Grant money can only be used for:
  • Design/development costs (engineer, plumber, well contractor);
  • Material costs, treatment equipment, well casing, piping;
  • Salaries of plumbers, well contractor, laborers for installation of well, treatment equipment, well sealing, water service line, etc.

Please note that no equipment is to be purchased or construction is to take place until the construction plans have been reviewed and approved by this office, and a grant agreement signed with MDH.

Activities not fundable include:
  • Activities that are not protecting drinking water;
  • Activities that are already completed;
  • Routine maintenance/operation of infrastructure;
  • Illegal activities (do not meet state/local construction requirements);
  • Construction permits or fees; well sealing fees payable to MDH
A grant application must identify:
  • A description of the work that is to be performed;
  • The entity responsible for completing the work;
  • The cost of performing the work;
  • Two bids for any procurement or acquisition of services. (Provide justification if you choose the higher bid.)
  • The outcome or deliverable that will be achieved by conducting the work;
  • A detailed budget to include an estimated start date for the work to be performed.

Due Diligence Review

If awarded a grant, a Due Diligence Review form is required for MDH to research the organization's financial and organizational health and capacity to make an informed funding decision.

Application Review Process

Applicants may submit a grant application either by mail or electronically using the form provided by the Minnesota Department of Health. Applications must be received by our office by 4:30 p.m. CDT on Saturday, March 25, 2017. 

Applications must be sent to:
Kris Wenner
SWP Grant Coordinator

Minnesota Department of Health
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975

Hand deliver during business hours - Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.:
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101

Fax: (651) 201- 4701 (attention: Kris Wenner)

The Minnesota Department of Health is not responsible for grant applications that are lost in the mail or delayed in electronic transmission. For emailed or faxed applications, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure delivery. Upon receipt, a grant application will be assigned a time and date which will be used to place the grant on the priority for funding waiting list once the Minnesota Department of Health has determined the minimum score to qualify has been achieved.

Applications received after the deadline will be disqualified from consideration.

Application form

You may obtain a copy of the grant application form by:

  • contacting the person listed above; or
  • downloading the Transient Grant Application Form

The following documentation is required to be submitted along with the grant application:

  • The formal correspondence from the Minnesota Department of Health that describes the work that will be conducted (most recent Sanitary survey; NOV/APO with compliance agreement; or Project evaluation form from MDH Drinking Water Protection staff).
  • A signed statement or acknowledgement on letterhead that 1) confirms that the applicant has the financial resources needed to provide the cash match for all of the activities that are discussed in the grant application and 2 ) is signed and dated by the person who is authorized to sign on behalf of the public water supplier.
  • Two detailed quotes from two different contractors showing specific materials, labor, time, etc.

Scoring Grant Applications

Grant applications are scored using a standard set of questions and associated point values.

The total score for each grant will be used to place it on a priority list providing that the total score meets or exceeds the minimum value. Once on the list, grants will be funded based upon:
- score
- date placed upon the list, and
- availability of grant funds

A grant application will only apply to the grant notification under which it was submitted. Therefore, if a noncommunity transient public water system does not receive a grant under this announcement, it must reapply.

MDH will assign points based upon the following grant review questions:
1. Is supporting documentation attached to the application? If not the grant review cannot proceed further. Grantee must check all that apply (at least one):
  ___Sanitary survey
  ___NOV with project evaluation form
  ___APO with compliance agreement and project evaluation form
  ___Project evaluation form - This form will be filled out by the MDH staff assigned to the area where the PWS is located. The applicant has to contact the designated MDH staff before submitting the application
2. Is the work that is to be performed described in enough detail with associated costs so that the Minnesota Department of Health can clearly communicate to the public how the money is being spent to protect drinking water?
0 to 20 points
3. Will the grant result in correcting an acute public health concern? Non-acute contaminants will be considered but at a lower priority.
0 to 35 points
The 35 points will be awarded based on the following priorities:
A. Contaminant of public health concern (0 to 15 points):
  • Acute microbial:
      a. Surface Water, E. Coli, treatment technique (turbidity, chlorine contact)
15 points
      b. Groundwater, Groundwater under the direct influence (GUDI), E. Coli or history of E. Coli
15 points
      c. Public health exposure risk (failed SSTS or sewer line)
15 points
      d. Groundwater/Surface water/Total coliform
10 points
  • High microbial risk (Ground Water Rule assessment monitoring)Acute chemical (nitrate/nitrite, fuel, agricultural chemicals, solvents)
10 points
  • Acute chemical (nitrate/nitrite, fuel, agricultural chemicals, solvents)
10 points
  • Non-acute contaminants, arsenic, volatile organic compounds, etc
5 points
  B. Method of correction (0 to 10 points):
      a. Consolidation/connection to a community public water system
10 points
      b. Alternative water supply/construction of a new well, repairing existing well
10 points
      c. Treatment surface water or groundwater under the direct influence of a surface water source
10 points
      d. Removal of potential contamination source
10 points
      e. Management of potential contamination source
5 points
      f. Treatment of groundwater source
5 points
      g. Sealing of existing well(s)
5 points
  C. Water Quantity (max 10 points).  
Scoring results
The minimum score required to be placed on the grant award list is
30 points
The maximum score that can be awarded is
55 points

Note: MDH reserves the right to consider the application incomplete and to assign zero points if the applicant has not provided enough documentation. Points are assigned on a scale basis and depend on how much detail is provided on the application form.

Trade secret information

The source water protection measures that are contained in a source water protection plan have already been reviewed and approved by the Minnesota Department of Health. Those that have been communicated to a public water system through formal correspondence from the Minnesota Department of Health have also been reviewed and approved. Therefore, the scoring serves to prioritize work that will provide the greatest public health benefit that is achieved using public funding. The Minnesota Department of Health does not anticipate that trade secret information will be compromised as a result of the information presented in a grant application nor documenting the work that is performed and reported under a grant agreement.

Notification process

The Minnesota Department of Health will provide written notification to grant applicants of the scoring results after April 12, 2017. Successful applicants will be informed that either 1) they will receive a grant using the amount that has been budgeted for this application period or 2) they are being given priority for funding in the next application period using the score and time and date that was assigned to their application when it was received by the Minnesota Department of Health. Successful applicants may be required to provide additional information necessary for the grant agreement.

If awarded a grant, NO work should begin until ALL required signatures have been obtained on the grant agreement, and grantee receives a signed copy of the grant agreement.

Rejected applicants are encouraged to reapply to the upcoming grant programs.

Allocation of the grant award

The public water system will be reimbursed once all the project duties and the grant reporting requirements have been successfully met and MDH is satisfied that the project has been completed according to the terms of the grant agreement. All work will meet plan review and inspection requirements, and will be done in accordance with all Local, State and Federal Regulations.

The public water system has the obligation to pay any third party (contractor) hired for the purpose of completing the work before or immediately after receiving payment from MDH.

Grantee reporting requirements

A public water system who receives a noncommunity transient grant must report the results of each work item that is funded by providing all of the following information:
  • the results of performing the work that is described in the grant application
  • a summary of the costs that are attributed to performing each work item
  • a summary of the contribution that a recipient makes to the award – referred to as cost-share
  • a narrative report

Additional requirements will be listed in the grant agreement, based upon the nature of the project.

Application Questions

Questions regarding grant application should be directed to:

Kris Wenner
SWP Grant Coordinator

Noncommunity Transient Grant: Frequently Asked Questions

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Updated Monday, February 13, 2017 at 11:35AM