Safe Water Program Improvement (SWPI) logo

Safe Water Program Improvement e-Learning Series (SWPI)

Take CDC’s Safe Water Program Improvement e-Learning Series (SWPI) for safer well water through stronger public health programs.

SWPI helps health department programs strengthen services to people that use wells, cisterns, springs, and other private drinking water systems not covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Oversight for these systems vary, but core elements of successful, sustainable programs are similar. SWPI walks through the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services and the Environmental Public Health Performance Standards, and provides examples of using them to identify and fill program gaps in these types of drinking water programs.

What Are the Benefits of this Training?

  •  10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services and the Environmental Public Health Performance Standards WheelIt’s free and flexible: Take the courses you want, when you want in this online program.
  • It’s practical: Improve drinking water in your community by improving your program.
  • It’s strategic: Gain experience with the framework used in accreditation of health departments as you apply the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services and the Environmental Public Health Performance Standards to your drinking water program.

What Topics Are Addressed?
SWPI includes 9 courses. Take all of them or pick and choose (the first one is required, then take courses in any order, but we recommend taking them in order for the greatest benefit):

Course Title

What You Will Learn About

Contact Hours

SWPI101: Introduction: The 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services and Unregulated Drinking Water Programs

SWPI 101 introduces the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services and will start the discussion on how they relate to unregulated drinking water systems (UDWSs).


SWPI102: Assessment: Monitor Health

SWPI 102 covers Essential Service 1. This course will discuss the importance of a community environmental health profile (CEHP) and how they can impact an UDWS program.



SWPI103: Assessment: Diagnose and Investigate

SWPI 103 covers Essential Service 2. This course will describe the relationship between epidemiology, laboratory and environment in diagnosing and investigating UDW-related diseases and other health concerns.


SWPI104: Policy Development: Inform, Educate, Empower, and Mobilize

SWPI 104 covers Essential Services 3 and 4. This course will highlight the importance of thorough health and risk communication planning for UDWSs.


SWPI105: Policy Development: Policies and Plans

SWPI 105 covers Essential Services 5 and 6. This course will discuss the importance of developing a Community Environmental Health Improvement Plan (CEHIP) and how to use policies to address UDW-related issues through interventions, improved services, or actions.


SWPI106: Assurance: Laws and Regulations

SWPI 106 covers Essential Service 6. This course will discuss the significance of environmental laws, rules and regulations in the protection of public health and the role of environmental health professionals in enforcing them.


SWPI107: Assurance: Linking People to Services

SWPI 107 covers Essential Service 7. This course will assist with identifying barriers that prevent the public from accessing services. Identifying and building referral networks to provide resources and services will be discussed along with ways to identify and initiate quality improvement for effective service delivery.


SWPI108: Assurance: Assuring a Competent Workforce

SWPI 108 covers Essential Service 8. This course will focus on developing a competent environmental health workforce that will carry over to environmental health programs such as UDWSs. If oversight of UDW programs falls outside of the public health agency, they are encouraged to incorporate all relevant performance improvement measures noted in this course.


SWPI109: Assurance: Evaluation and Research

SWPI 109 covers Essential Services 9 and 10. This course will focus on the different types of program evaluation and what is needed to initiate quality improvement. Also covered will be possible areas of research and research partnerships.


What Are People Saying?

“This course will allow me to think more on the sources of unregulated drinking water instead of totally focusing on the public sources of water. It will also help me be ready with answers to questions from people using unregulated drinking water sources.” ‐Pilot Tester comment

We tested this course among drinking water and other environmental health staff:

  • 4 in 5 identified specific actions they could take in their job as a result of SWPI
  • 9 in 10 said they would recommend SWPI to a colleague

How Long Does It Take?
For pilot testers, the average time to finish the courses ranged from just over 1 hour for the shortest course to just over 2 hours for the longest.

Who Developed SWPI?
Several groups and individuals worked together to create this training series. CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health collaborated with the National Network of Public Health Institutes, Texas Health Institute, Tulane University, NEHA, and additional subject-matter experts in performance improvement and drinking water.

Want More?
Explore these CDC resources for more information.


  • Captain Mark D. Miller, MPH, RS, USPHS
  • Captain Michael E. Herring, REHS, MPH
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