EPA Posts New Online Source Water Quality Doc

On September 21, EPA posted a new product: Online Source Water Quality Monitoring for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems as part of the Surveillance and Response Systems (SRS) project.

Online source water quality monitoring can provide real-time data to support applications such as treatment process optimization, detection of contamination incidents, and monitoring threats to long-term source water quality.  This document, Online Source Water Quality Monitoring for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems, presents a systematic framework for designing an online source water quality monitoring system to meet the unique goals of a specific drinking water utility.  It also contains links to several resources as well as embedded templates to guide a reader through the design process. This document can be downloaded for free from EPA’s Water Quality Surveillance and Response System website at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/online_source_water_monitoring_guidance.pdf

ASDWA and EPA WSD Explore Hazard Mitigation

On September 15, ASDWA and EPA cohosted a webinar and interactive discussion to showcase their new document, Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters: A Starter Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities.  The event was designed to help state drinking water program staff better understand the benefits of hazard mitigation initiatives, how to connect and collaborate with their state hazard mitigation officers (SHMOs), and how to share this important information with their water systems.  EPA’s Water Security Division was joined by state primacy and state hazard mitigation staff from Utah and Iowa for the event.

If you were not able to participate in the webinar, please visit ASDWA’s security web page at www.asdwa.org/security and scroll to the Important Documents Section.  There you will find:

+ A link to the video recording of the webinar

+ A link to the Hazard Mitigation Guide

+ A link to FEMA’s list of State Hazard Mitigation Officers

For more information about the Hazard Mitigation Guide, please visit EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/hazard-mitigation-natural-disasters

National Preparedness Month – Weekly Focus is on Emergency Response

This week’s National Preparedness Month focus is Emergency Response. Planning ahead for an emergency can reduce the public health and economic consequences of natural or man-made disasters.

EPA’s Water Utility Response On-The-Go mobile website puts emergency response resources in the palm of your hand.  New features – including local weather watches and warnings, customizable contact lists, and enhanced damage assessment forms – improve real-time access to information and tools that water utilities may need during an emergency.  Bookmark Response On-The-Go on your mobile device today!

We should all plan for emergencies today to reduce future impacts.  Whether you are updating your Emergency Response Plan, identifying mitigation projects, or connecting to a mutual aid network, EPA has tools and resources to help your utility prepare for disasters.  Click this link for more information https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse

New Water Quality Surveillance Doc

EPA’s Water Security Division has just released a new product as part of the Water Quality Surveillance and Response System.  The Guidance for Designing Communications Systems for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems can be downloaded at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/srs_communications_guidance_081016.pdf

Online water quality and enhanced security monitoring components of a Water Quality Surveillance and Response System (SRS) require that data be transmitted from remote monitoring locations to a control center using a wired or wireless data communications system. This new guidance document describes the overall process for identifying available communications technologies, establishing evaluation criteria, comparing alternatives, and selecting a technology (or technologies).

Do you know what’s happening in your distribution system?  Watch the video below to learn about Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems.



Week Two – National Preparedness Month Activities

As you know, September is National Preparedness Month! Take action today to prepare your utility for emergencies.  Our EPA colleagues have arranged a different informational focus for each week during the month.

This week’s focus is Community Preparedness.

The two part message is to plan for water emergencies in your community to reduce the impacts of a water or wastewater service disruption and to build relationships with key partners.

The recommended actions are to update your contact list, plan a community meeting, or inform your customers about the value of water!

Click this link https://www.epa.gov/communitywaterresilience to learn more and access community preparedness resources.

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and communities across the nation are taking action to prepare for the next emergency. The United States Environmental Protection Agency is participating in these efforts by sending weekly communications on steps that can be taken at the local level to enhance resilience to water emergencies.

National Preparedness Month 2016 Infographic-page-001

EPA Webinar Invitation: see what’s new with CREAT version 3.0

CREAT 3.0 Update Webinar
Dear CREAT users,
We invite you to join us for a webinar to introduce you to the new features offered in the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) version 3.0 and to answer any questions you might have regarding the updated tool or the Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative.
CRWU will offer three webinars on:
  • Wednesday, October 19 at 1:00pm EDT
  • Wednesday, October 26 at 1:00pm EDT
  • Wednesday, November 2 at 1:00pm EDT
If you or your colleagues are interested in attending, use the link below to reserve a ticket for any of the webinar dates.
Webinar login and call-in information will be provided after registration. Any questions can be directed to Zach Rybarczyk at rybarczyk.zachary@epa.gov.
Thank you,
Curt Baranowski, Steve Fries, and Zach Rybarczyk
CREAT Version 3.0
We encourage new users to register and explore CREAT prior to the webinar. The latest version of CREAT is web-based and features a series of easy-to-use modules, a user-friendly interface, updated climate data projections and improved monetized risk results.
EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative’s mission is to provide drinking water, wastewater, and storm water utilities with the practical tools, training, and technical assistance needed to adapt to climate change by promoting a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options.
For more information on CRWU efforts, please visit us at www.epa.gov/crwu.
For any help, feedback or questions, please contact us at CRWUhelp@epa.gov.

Emergency Response Tools in the Palm of Your Hand

EPA’s Water Security Division invites you to check out the updated Water Utility Response On-the-Go Mobile Website.  This updated tool offers several new features including:  local weather watches and warnings, customizable contact lists, and enhanced damage assessment forms.  Use this tool to improve real-time access to information and tools that any water utility may need during an emergency. Bookmark it on your mobile device today!

Click here to visit the Response On-The-Go site

Cyber Evaluation Tool Webinar

Editor’s Note:  This invitation comes from our colleagues at DHS ICS (Industrial Cyber Security) Workgroup.  Please share this with your water utilities.  As well, consider participating yourself so that you’ll know what tools water systems have to evaluate their cyber programs.

Do you have cybersecurity concerns?  The ICS-CERT Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET) Version 8.0 tool is designed to help you quickly gain a clear cybersecurity operating picture, establish your priorities, and tighten up your organization’s cybersecurity.  The CSET tool is an easy step by step, tax software like, guide to help you best understand what you need to do and where to focus your efforts.

Join us for an introduction webinar to the updated CSET 8.0.  See the new features, learn how to use CSET to increase your cybersecurity defenses, and ask questions to the CSET development team.

DATE:              September 20, 2016

TIME:               10:00AM-Noon (eastern)

REGISTER:    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8105066833474858754


If you happen to be in Ft. Lauderdale between September 13 and15, you may also participate in the ICS Joint Workgroup Fall Meeting.  More information about this meeting may be found at this link Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group (ICSJWG) 2016 Fall Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, September 13-15, 2016.

Public Health Surveillance Can Help Detect Contamination

This is another in the series of guidance documents developed by EPA’s Water Security Division (WSD) to help water utilities be more proactive in their efforts to protect drinking water and work collaboratively with their critical customers.

How can drinking water utilities use public health surveillance as part of their ongoing resiliency initiatives?  WSD has published a new document that can help with overall water quality surveillance and response (SRS) activities.

The new Public Health Surveillance Design Guidance for SRSs (PDF) provides guidance for leveraging ongoing public health surveillance in detecting possible drinking water contamination incidents.  It also explains how public health data – such as emergency room visits or poison control center calls – can be used to detect possible drinking water contamination incidents and contains an interview form to help drinking water utilities engage their public health partners and learn about ongoing surveillance activities.