Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold

 As you know, our colleagues at EPA’s Water Security Division have put together a series of Incident Action Checklists.  Last month, we talked about two new additions for HABs and Cybersecurity.  This month, we’re taking a look back at one of the earlier published checklists.

Now that colder weather seems to have arrived across much of the country, it may be time to remind your water utilities that there’s also a checklist that deals with Extreme Cold and Winter Storms.  This checklist outlines possible winter cold impacts for a water system such as loss of power, pipe breaks, and source water impacts from road salt.  The document also puts appropriate response and recovery actions into a checklist format that communities should find useful.  Generally divided into segments of planning, coordination, communications, personnel, power and fuel, and service areas, the eight-page document is a handy quick reference for water and wastewater systems.  It also has a useful reference links list for more information.  Take a look at the checklist here.

 

 

Advertisements

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: https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/incident-action-checklists-water-utilities.

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

 

EPA Drought Guide Now Includes Response Template

EPA’s Drought Guide, originally published in March of 2016, is an interactive tool designed to assist small- to medium-sized water utilities with responding to drought. The guide, which includes best practices and customizable worksheets, focuses on short-term emergency drought mitigation actions that also build long-term resilience to drought.

Based on feedback gathered from stakeholders, the Guide has been revised to include a new Drought Response Plan Template. This template offers a step-by-step approach to creating a response plan in a customizable, fillable format.

The expanded Guide continues to include an interactive drought case studies map, a multimedia GeoPlatform website documenting, in both video and written form, the unique stories of seven utilities across the country that have responded successfully to extreme drought conditions. Two new case studies are in the works and should be viewable by the end of the year.

You may download the updated Drought Response and Recovery Guide and Template at: www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/drought-response-and-recovery-for-water-utilities

Questions? Please contact EPA’s Dawn Ison at 513-569-7686 or by email at ison.dawn@epa.gov

 

EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program Update

Our colleagues at EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program have shared information on new and updated products and projects of interest to drinking water programs.  The focus is principally on treatment and distribution system protection and modeling as well as decontamination projects.

For example, the Updates contains articles and reports on the following:

  • A Software Framework for Assessing the Resilience of Drinking Water Systems to Disasters with an Example Earthquake Case Study
  • Water Security Toolkit User Manual: Version 1.3
  • Treatment of Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances in Wash Water Using Granular Activated Carbon and Mixed-Media

The full update is available at this link Product+Newsletter+Oct+2017.pdf

Responding to a Water Contamination Event – Webinar Series

Please join EPA’s Water Security Division in recognizing the importance of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure during Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month for a webinar series on free tools you can use to respond to a water contamination emergency at your utility.

 

The webinar series will focus on the following topics:

Preparing Your Water Utility for an Emergency

DATE:              November 2, 2017

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

 

Responding to a Contamination Incident

DATE:              November 8, 2017

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

 

Recovering from a Contamination Incident

 DATE:              November 15, 2017

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

 

TO REGISTER FOR ONE OR MORE EVENTS:  Click this link and select the dates to register for the appropriate event.

National Preparedness Month – Week 3

 

This week focuses on risk assessment.  Conduct a risk assessment to find out your vulnerabilities…Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool

Drinking water and wastewater utilities of all sizes can use VSAT to enhance their security and resiliency. Utilities can:

  • Identify the highest risks to mission-critical operations
  • Find the most cost-effective measures to reduce those risks

VSAT Version 6.0 complies with the water sector risk assessment standard and can offer liability protection under the Department of Homeland Security’s Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act program. EPA strongly encourages drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators to use VSAT 6.0 to conduct or update an all-hazards risk assessment.

For more information on water resilience, visit www.epa/gov/waterresilience

EPA WSD Webinar Opportunities

Our colleagues at the EPA Water Security Division (WSD) are offering to webinar opportunities.

I.  Analytical Preparedness – Full Scale Exercise Toolkit

 DATE:              Thursday, August 24

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

REGISTER:      https://us-epa-ap-fse.eventbrite.com

The Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) toolkit is an interactive resource that can help users to plan and conduct exercises that involve the coordination of analytical support. Water utilities, laboratories and other response partners can use the AP-FSE Toolkit to design exercise that meet their objectives. The toolkit includes scenarios and document templates that can be used as is, or tailored to meet their needs. This training will cover:

  • How participating in an AP-FSE can increase preparedness
  • How the toolkit and its resources can be leveraged to plan and conduct an exercise
  • How to coordinate analytical support and further develop relationships with response partners

 

II.  Decontaminating a Utility After a Contamination Event

DATE:              Wednesday, September 20

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

REGISTER:      https://us-epa-decontamination-strategies.eventbrite.com

Water utilities can face major challenges when responding to all-hazards contamination incidents. These challenges can include isolations, treating contaminated water, and decontaminating water utilities as well as the infrastructure needed to enable recovery and return to service. This webinar will provide a detailed overview of an upcoming decontamination tool that will help utilities be prepared prior to an incident. The tool will cover the three phases of remediation: characterization, decontamination and clearance. In addition, the webinar will address how utilities can contain and dispose of large amounts of contaminated water.

 

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)

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8046096733945995267

 

 

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.

EPA WSD Hosts Two Late July Training Opportunities

Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) Toolkit Training

July 25, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET

The Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) Toolkit is an interactive resource that can help users to plan and conduct exercises that involve the coordination of analytical support. This training will cover: how participating in an AP-FSE can increase preparedness, how the toolkit and its resources can be leveraged to plan and conduct an exercise, and how to coordinate analytical support and further develop relationships with response partners.

Register:  https://us-epa-ap-fse.eventbrite.com

 

Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training

July 27, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET

It is imperative that laboratories be able to continue their essential functions when incidents occur that disrupt normal operations. This webinar is designed as an introduction to the WLA COOP template, providing a basic overview of the COOP template contents and a demonstration on how to use the template’s fillable form.

Register:  https://us-epa-wla-coop.eventbrite.com

New Water Quality Monitoring Stations Guidance

EPA’s Water Security Division has completed development of a new guidance document:  Guidance on Building Online Water Quality Monitoring Stations for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems.

This document:

(1) describes common types of monitoring stations,

(2) covers the types of basic equipment that should be included in all stations,

(3) covers accessories that can be added to a station to enhance its functionality, and

(4) discusses station fabrication and installation considerations.

If you’re interested in accessing this document prior to publication, please contact Matt Umberg at umberg.matt@epa.gov no later than June 27, 2017.  Otherwise, watch this space for a publication link as it becomes available.