AWWA Releases The Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox

In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EPA, ASTHO, ASDWA,  and the National Environmental Health Association, AWWA has completed a new communication toolbox for utilities.  The Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox provides a consistent guide to preparing, distributing, and evaluating drinking water advisories.

Drinking water advisories cover a wide range of situations with varying degrees of severity, ranging from impending construction to main breaks, boil water notices, and chemical contamination.  Distributing the appropriate type of advisory is critical and will determine the next steps to take.  The toolbox provides tools and guides tailored to an advisory’s severity.  Each type of advisory requires a unique approach for collaborating with partners—such as the local health department—and working with the media.  “Currently, there’s some confusion about how to best prepare for a range of advisories and how to best communicate what customers should do,” said Alan Roberson, AWWA’s director of federal relations.  “This toolbox allows utilities to more confidently issue both mandatory and non-mandatory advisories and better communicate with their customers.”

Earlier this summer, CDC and AWWA released a related toolkit concerning emergency planning for hospitals in the event of a water disruption.  Both the earlier toolkit and the drinking water advisory toolbox can be found on the CDC website.

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