Two New Incident Action Checklists for the Water Sector

The EPA Water Security Division (WSD) published ten “rip & run” style checklists in January 2015 to facilitate water sector response immediately before, during and after an emergency. These concise Incident Action Checklists outline critical measures that drinking water and wastewater utilities can take to protect their system against various natural hazards.

WSD is excited to announce the publication of two new Incident Action Checklists:  Cybersecurity and Harmful Algal Blooms.  As with the 2015 versions, these new checklists include potential impacts to the water sector; actions to prepare for, respond to and recover from the specific incident; a contacts section that utilities can fill out with their own local information; and a resource section. With a concise structure and targeted focus, the Checklists offer utilities a unique resource focusing on response actions that should greatly increase the water sector’s resilience to cybersecurity and harmful algal bloom incidents.  Download the Checklists today at:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dawn Ison at or by phone at 513-569-7686.



November is Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Month

As we continue to strive to ensure that water systems are strengthened against manmade threats and natural disasters, our colleagues at EPA’s Water Security Division are showcasing three tools that every water system should be familiar with…and be using to full advantage!

  1. Public Health Surveillance Guidance:
  2. The Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT):
  3. the Water Lab Alliance Toolkit:



EPA Homeland Security Research Webinar on R&D Solutions to Water Emergencies

Our EPA Homeland Security R&D colleagues are hosting a webinar on “Research and Development Solutions to Water Emergencies.”  The webinar will describe tools and strategies that EPA provides water utilities to improve drinking water and wastewater system resiliency to disasters, and to quickly recover from contamination involving chemical, biological, radiological (CBR) agents

DATE:              August 17, 2017

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)




An overview of the following tools and methods will be presented:

  • EPANET-RTX (Real-Time eXtension) which are software libraries to support real-time modeling and real-time analytics of water distribution systems
  • Water Network Tool for Resilience (WNTR) which can be utilized to model and evaluate the resilience of specific water distribution systems
  • Riverine Spill Modeling System (RSMS) that supports emergency response decisions regarding drinking water plants intakes on the Ohio River. There are plans to expand this tool to other river systems
  • Decontamination methods for oil spills that impact water distribution systems, and treatment of contaminated water.

EPA’s Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery, that assists sampling and analytical method selection, also will be featured as will current research on potential exposure pathways related to high consequence pathogens (e.g., Ebola virus, Bacillus anthracis spores) in wastewater.

In Need of Analytical Support?

Access EPA’s Laboratory Compendium to view labs across the nation and their capabilities. The Lab Compendium is an online database of nationwide environmental laboratories available to EPA; Federal, state, and local emergency responders; laboratory personnel; and water utilities.  The database contains each laboratory’s capabilities to analyze chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants.  Click here to access


Public Health Surveillance Webinar

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a webinar entitled, “Public Health Surveillance (PHS) for Determining Drinking Water Contamination.  PHS involves the analysis of public health data to detect and increase in disease or illness in a community and an investigation to determine whether the increase in illness may be due to drinking water contamination.

DATE:              April 19, 2017

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)


During the webinar participants will:

  • Learn about common public health partners and surveillance practices
  • Learn how to work with public health partners to leverage existing public health surveillance capabilities to monitor for possible drinking water contamination
  • Find out where to access resources to learn more about public health surveillance

Attendees may be eligible for one continuing education contact hour.

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.

WLA Training Opportunities in May

If you haven’t already registered, now is the time to sign up for two webcasts being offered by the EPA Water Security Division’s Water Lab Alliance.

The Perfect Storm, Ice Cold – WLA-RP Tabletop Exercise (TTX) Webcast

DATE:              May 11, 2016

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)


This TTX webcast will examine the coordination of laboratory services in response to a drinking water contamination incident. The scenario-based exercise provides utilities, state and local governments, emergency responders and laboratory personnel with the opportunity to answer questions based on their real-life experiences. In addition, participants can also rely on their knowledge of emergency response best practices and procedures contained in the Water Laboratory Alliance Response Plan (WLA-RP).

WLA Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training Webcast

DATE:              May 18, 2016

TIME:               1:00 – 2:00PM (eastern)


This webcast will provide an overview of the COOP Template for Drinking Water and Wastewater Laboratories and demonstrate how the COOP Template fillable form can be easily used by laboratories to develop a personalized COOP.


There is no cost to participate in either of these events; however, you must register in advance.

EPA Repeats Decon Strategies Webcast

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting three more opportunities for states, utilities, labs, and other interested parties to view a webcast on Decontamination Strategies for Utilities – How to use EPA’s Disposal Guide.  Each event will last at least 30 minutes and may last as long as an hour depending on the number of questions posed by participants.  The content for each event is the same and replicates the February 22 webcast – so, if you missed that one, there are three more opportunities!

DATES:           March 7, 22, and April 5

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)


Each webcast will describe and illustrate the usability of the Containment and Disposal of Large Amounts of Contaminated Water: A Support Guide for Water Utilities when handling large amounts of contaminated water.  Multiple stakeholders (i.e., water utility operators and managers, laboratories, first responders, and local, state and Federal agencies) can enhance preparedness using this guide.

There is no fee to participate in this webcast; however, space is limited, so please sign up soon.  You are also encouraged to share this announcement with your colleagues. The link to the webcast will be provided following registration.

Questions?  Please email Marissa Lynch (EPA Water Security Division) at


EPA’s Water Lab Alliance Hosts Training for Labs and Utilities

The Water Lab Alliance is preparing to host a series of webinars that cover an array of lab related activities and at least two topics of more particular interest to the water utility community.  Continuity of Operations Planning and Tabletop Exercises are just two of the lab related events.  Please share this information with your labs!

Two other web trainings in the series are a bit broader in scope and are recommended for water utilities as well as the laboratory community:

Decontamination Strategies for Utilities – How to use EPA’s Disposal Guide will be broadcast several times – February 22, March 7, March 22, and April 5 – in hour long webcasts.

On April 26, Unknown Sampling Guidance will be the focus for the hour long web event.

To register for any and/or all of these events, please go to the Water Security Division WLA webpage at:

More information on each of these events are available by clicking this link WLA Training Opportunities Flyer

EPA’s Water Lab Alliance to Host COOP Template Training Webcast

EPA’s Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) Team invites you to attend the upcoming WLA Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training Webcast.  State primacy agencies are encouraged to participate and invite their labs to join as well to make sure that their respective COOP plans are well aligned and harmonized.

DATE:              Thursday, January 21, 2016

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER: There is no cost to participate but you must register in advance.

The webcast will provide an overview of the COOP Template for Drinking Water and Wastewater Laboratories developed by EPA’s WLA Team and also demonstrate how the COOP Template fillable form can be used by laboratories to develop a personalized COOP.

The COOP template helps create a plan that contains information to:

  • Establish policies and procedures to assure continuous performance of laboratory testing
  • Provide communication and direction to stakeholders
  • Minimize the loss of assets, resources, critical records and data
  • Reduce or mitigate disruptions to the laboratory’s operation
  • Effectively manage the immediate response to an emergency

Questions?  Send an email to the WLA Team at