Section 38. The director, from funds appropriated or provided by grants, with the approval of the commissioner, shall provide for the conduct of research and demonstration projects relating to water pollution control and other scientific and engineering studies relating to environmental quality. Such projects and studies may include, but shall not be limited to, new and improved methods of controlling and discharge of untreated or inadequately treated sewage, stormwater, or industrial, chemical, radioactive, flammable, toxic, explosive or other wastes hazardous to the public or the environment. The director may also contract for the development of comprehensive river basin, water quality management, or waste treatment management plans. The commissioner shall also provide training and technical assistance to municipalities and other public entities in the implementation and administration of title 5 of 310 CMR 15.00 and in the development, implementation and administration of other wastewater management and water resource protection programs, including providing funding for the transfer of related technologies such as, but not limited to, computers, software and alternative wastewater treatment systems, and shall require as a condition of receipt of such training and technical assistance that municipalities and other public entities, including the local boards of health, provide advice and other reasonable assistance to homeowners in their efforts to conform with the provisions of said title 5 and to minimize the financial impact of such compliance. The director shall provide for inservice training programs in methods of water pollution control, in accordance with the provisions of section twenty-eight A of chapter seven, and may conduct or support programs for the training of waste treatment plant operators. For the purposes of this section, the director may contract with any person, or any instrumentality or agency of the federal government or of any other state, or any interstate agency.