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:  https://www.epa.gov/waterqualitysurveillance/water-quality-surveillance-and-response-system-public-health-surveillance
  2. The Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT):  https://www.epa.gov/waterlabnetwork/access-water-contaminant-information-tool
  3. the Water Lab Alliance Toolkit:  https://www.epa.gov/waterlabnetwork/water-laboratory-alliance-tool-kit

 

 

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EPA WSD Offers Several Trainings & Webinars

Our colleagues in EPA’s Water Security Division want to make sure that you know about upcoming training and webinar opportunities.  Please read below for a variety of offerings:

WLA Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training – October 24, 2017 at 11:00 AM 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 Water Laboratory Alliance COOP template, providing a basic overview of the COOP template contents and a demonstration on how to use the template’s fillable form. Register for the training at https://us-epa-wla-coop.eventbrite.com

SRS Capabilities Assessment Tool Webinar – October 26, 2017 at 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will provide a first look at a test version of the Water Quality Surveillance and Response System (SRS) Capabilities Assessment Tool. This tool presents drinking water utilities with questions to assess their current surveillance and response capabilities, provides recommendations for how they can improve those capabilities, and identifies resources they can use to implement each recommendation. In addition to demonstrating how the tool functions, EPA will be soliciting stakeholder input and inviting stakeholders to participate in a round of testing.  Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-of-srs-capabilities-assessment-tool-tickets-38556887689?ref=enivtefor001&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=inviteformalv2&ref=enivtefor001&utm_term=attend

WCIT Training – October 26, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET

This training is designed to introduce and refresh users on the Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT), a secure on-line database with comprehensive information about chemical, biological and radiochemical contaminants of concern. The training will include step-by-step instructions for tool functions such as contaminant search, finding and accessing field and confirmatory methods and generating public information reports. Register for the training at https://usepa-wcit-training.eventbrite.com

Responding to a Water Contamination Event Webinars November 2, 8, and 15, 2017 @1:00 PM ET

The Water Security Division will conduct a series of one-hour webinars entitled “Responding to a Water Contamination Event.” The webinar series will inform drinking water and wastewater utilities of free tools and resources that can help prepare for, respond to, and recover from water contamination. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/responding-to-a-water-contamination-event-webinar-series-tickets-38156431915

 DPAS Webinar – November 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET

The Water Security Division is developing the Decontamination Preparedness and Assessment Strategy (DPAS) to assist water utilities in preparation for contamination incidents. This webinar will provide an overview of DPAS, which is an interactive PDF walking the user through the complexities of the three phases of remediation: characterization, decontamination, and clearance. Register at https://us-epa-dpas.eventbrite.com

 

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

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

 

Have an Emergency?  Did You Know…

The National Library of Medicine has decision support tools for emergency responders to help identify chemicals in mass casualty incidents, and once identified, to provide treatment support. These tools are available online and as apps to download on smart devices. Find links to apps here: https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/toolsnlmdimrc.html

Be prepared ahead of time for a chemical spill or toxic chemical attack; familiarize yourself with these tools and incorporate them into drills.  Take a look at:

CHEMM-IST is a prototype decision support tool developed by experts in medicine and emergency response as an aid for identifying the chemical a patient was exposed to in a mass casualty incident. The focus of CHEMM-IST is only on severe cases. CHEMM-IST assumes that the patient has been exposed via the air, with potential toxic effects from inhalation, and also possible toxic effects from deposits on the skin from the air. Go to https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/chemmist.htm

WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) is a system designed to assist emergency responders in hazardous material incidents. The key feature of WISER is the support for identifying an unknown substance. WISER Help Identify can help an emergency responder identify and validate the unknown substance based on the following:

  • signs/symptoms of victims of exposure
  • physical properties of the substance gathered by observation or sensors
  • hazard values from NFPA 704 placards
  • the ability to categorize a substance, such as a substance used in a meth lab, a flammable substance, etc.
  • transportation identification, including DOT placards, type of road trailer, and type of rail car

For more information, go to https://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/

Just a Reminder…

EPA’s Water Security Division invites you and your water utilities to attend a webinar to showcase available tools and resources helpful in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from all types of emergencies.

DATE:              November 9

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-free-preparedness-resources-for-water-utilities-webinar-tickets-27410156516

For more information, please refer to our blog of October 3 on this event.

EPA Water Security Division Publishes ‘WHAT’S GOING ON’ Electronic Update

As many of you know, our colleagues at EPA’s Water Security Division are working diligently to make sure that you have the best available tools, training, and strategies to enhance your resiliency and water security posture.  To help showcase ‘what’s going on’ at WSD, they have published an electronic newsletter that contains lots of great info.  Please see below:

Is Your Water Utility Prepared to Handle Contamination Incidents?

The Water Quality Surveillance and Response System Exercise Development Toolbox (EDT) helps drinking water utilities test, evaluate and improve their investigation and response procedures for distribution system contamination incidents. The toolbox can also serve as a database for procedures and future exercises. The EDT is available at:  http://www.epa.gov/waterqualitysurveillance/water-quality-surveillance-and-response-system-exercise-development-toolbox

Training Resources to Build Your Water Resilience Knowledge

The EPA provides opportunities to help build water resilience knowledge within the water sector. Some trainings offer continuing education units/credits for operator certification requirements. To find out more and stay informed on training opportunities, please visit and bookmark http://www.epa.gov/waterresiliencetraining

Want to Know the Costs and Consequences of an Emergency?

Watch and share EPA’s newly released video about the Water Health and Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT). The video demonstrates how WHEAT helps water and wastewater utilities estimate the economic costs and public health consequences of a water emergency. The video is available at: http://www.epa.gov/waterriskassessment/find-out-about-health-and-economic-impacts-water-utility-emergencies

Lab Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) — Get Free Training

Is your lab well prepared to continue with essential activities if a major operational disruption occurs? Every lab should have an effective COOP in place. Join the free online training July 21, 2016 at 1 p.m. EST — and take a big step toward enhancing your lab’s resilience! Register here http://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-wlas-continuity-of-operations-plan-coop-template-training-tickets-20739688968

Boost Your Lab’s Stature: WLA Prospective Member Webcast

Do you want to enhance your lab’s visibility and credibility in the water analytics community and water sector at large? Learn about the benefits and process of becoming a Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) member: Participate in the WLA Prospective Member Webcast on June 15, 2016 at 1 p.m. EST. To register, click here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-wla-prospective-member-webcast-tickets-21115629416

View the Webinar on Free Preparedness Tools

If you missed the May 11, 2016 webinar on “Free Preparedness Tools for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities,” hosted by the EPA, you can still catch it online! Tools featured include: Drought Response and Recovery Guide for Water Utilities, Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters, Water Quality SRS Exercise Development Toolbox and others. View the webinar at: http://epawebconferencing.acms.com/p84fwh79d4f/

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)

REGISTER:      http://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-water-laboratory-alliance-response-plan-tabletop-exercise-tickets-19411573539

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)

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-wlas-continuity-of-operations-plan-coop-template-training-tickets-20739688968

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.