The March ORD Monthly Webinar Series Features Water Security & Resiliency

DATE:              Tuesday, March 27

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

In this webinar, EPA’s Office of Research and Development is exploring two aspects of water security and resilience – improving emergency response through the Water Lab Alliance (WLA) and sampling and analysis tools for water emergencies.

The Water Lab Alliance presentation will provide an overview of WLA, highlighting several of its available tools and resources that systems – including small systems – can use to improve emergency response.

The Sampling and Analysis Tools presentation will describe sampling and analysis tools that EPA provides to water utilities for improving drinking water and wastewater system resilience to disasters and to quickly recover from chem/bio/rad agents.

Please share this invitation with your state’s water systems and those in your program with an interest in security and resilience.


More WSD Webinars…

Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) Training

DATE:              March 22, 2018 and

April 19, 2018

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

                        11:00-Noon (eastern)-April

REGISTER:      Click Here for both events

This training is designed to introduce and refresh users on WCIT (water contaminant information tool), 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.

Upcoming Decon R&D Conference

EPA is hosting the 2017 International Decontamination Research and Development Conference (May 8-10, 2018 at the US EPA Campus in Research Triangle Park, NC).  While the larger Conference focuses on R&D for a range of chemical, biological, and radiological contamination incidents; this year, there will be a particular emphasis on the Decontamination Preparedness and Assessment Strategy (DPAS) and its Preparedness Checklist.

During the Conference, participants will be able to start the planning process and to identify what they need to do when they return home. Each attendee could complete the Preparedness Checklist and other worksheets using a real-world system that they have knowledge of as either an operator, TA provider or consultant. An example utility will also be described that can be used to review the strategy.

For more information about the Conference, please review the proceedings from the 2016 event at this link 2016 DECON CONFERENCE REPORT

If you are interested in participating in this Conference, please contact Marissa Lynch at EPA’s Water Security Division.

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


Protective Action Guide for Radiological Incidents

On June 6, EPA released a draft Protective Action Guide (PAG) and planning guidance for radiological incidents.  As you know, DHS and EPA have recommended that water systems be prepared for all types of incidents – chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear.  To date, more focus has been given to chemical and biological incidents.  This PAG, however, is intended to guide water systems in protecting against short term health risks during response to radiological incidents.  It explains how to calculate Derived Response Levels (DRLs) for radionuclides likely to appear in drinking water following a radiological contamination incident.  DRLs are concentrations of radionuclides in drinking water that correspond to EPA’s proposed PAG of 100 mrem and 500 mrem.  It does not replace the radionuclide MCLs designed to protect public health over the long term.


A Federal Register notice and opportunity for comment on this draft should be published soon.  Meanwhile, use this link to learn more about the PAG.


EPA and Idaho National Lab Create a First-of-Its-Scale Water Security Test Bed

EPA’s Cincinnati-based Homeland Security Center Research Center has announced the construction of a new Water Security Test Bed (WSTB) at DOE’s Idaho National Lab.  The WSTB is designed to help address the gaps related to the science and engineering of decontaminating water distribution systems and safely disposing of high-volumes of contaminated water.


The WSTB replicates a section of a typical municipal drinking water system including a piping system with roughly 445 feet of pipe and two fire hydrants laid out in an “L” shape using 40-year-old, eight-inch cement mortar lined, ductile iron pipes, excavated after twenty years of use for water conveyance. Researchers built the WSTB above ground for easy access during experiments, and to facilitate fast leak detection.


Over the next several years, EPA and partner researchers will conduct experiments using simulants of various biological, chemical, and radioactive materials that simulate high toxic versions of these agents. At this “full” sized system, researchers will demonstrate approaches to contamination detection, sensor and model testing, infrastructure decontamination, water treatment and cyber testing developed at lab and pilot scale.


You may view a video that showcases the WSTB at  If you are interested in working with EPA researchers at the WSTB, please contact  For more information on EPA’s homeland security efforts, please visit:…

EPA Publishes Homeland Security Research Newsletter

Our colleagues at the EPA Homeland Security Research Program have shared their latest newsletter that includes information of interest to state drinking water programs.  You can download the entire newsletter at September2015.pdf.  Included are technical briefs that cover a range of topics such as computer tools; sampling and analysis; fate, transport & persistency; and decontamination studies.  You are encourage to share this information, as well, with your colleagues in the lab community.


Are You Familiar with WCIT?

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a series of hour-long web trainings on WCIT – the Water Contaminant Information Tool – designed both for the new user and users who would like a quick refresher on how it works.  There are numerous training dates between now and June 30.

For those not familiar with WCIT, it is “…a secure on-line database with comprehensive information about chemical, biological and radiochemical contaminants of concern for the Water Sector. WCIT compiles drinking water- and wastewater-specific data in a one-stop, easy-to-use tool.”

So, bring your phone and your computer and learn about:

  • A comprehensive WCIT overview
  • The information WCIT contains
  • How the tool can be used
  • The benefits of use for different stakeholders

You will also receive include step-by-step instructions for tool functions such as contaminant search, finding and accessing field and confirmatory methods, generating public information reports and several other functions. The course will be limited to twenty participants per training, so sign up for your preferred date today.  Just click this link Register at U.S. EPA.


Still need help?  Send your question or request to


From time to time, ASDWA receives very helpful updates from our colleagues at EPA’s National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC).  And, as they have reminded us this time, “Many of our products have multiple uses, not just homeland security applications.”  Please take a few moments to read through this impressive product list and consider how you can make the connections between these tools and products and other aspects of your drinking water program.


Threat Ensemble Vulnerability Assessment- Sensor Placement Optimization Tool (Teva-Spot) Graphical User InterfaceUpdated software

The original TEVA-SPOT software guided utilities in selecting the optimal number and location of water quality sensors to best meet their monitoring and security needs. The Consequence and Vulnerability Assessment Tool greatly improves this software by providing functions that enable utilities to make informed risk assessment and risk management decisions related to contamination events or operational upsets in water distribution systems (WDS). The tool can be used to prepare for events or to guide response as events are occurring.

PBPK Literature Visualization Project: ModelMapSoftware

Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling is a mathematical modeling technique for predicting the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of synthetic or natural chemical substances in humans and other animal species. PBPK modeling is used in pharmaceutical research and drug development, and in health risk assessment. This second generation computational and informatics tools can be used to automatically organize and give rapid access to the body of PBPK modeling literature.

I-WASTE online tutorial

I-WASTE was developed to address waste management information gaps. I-WASTE provides information on types and volumes of waste materials and potential contaminants generated during an incident, location and contact information for potential treatment/disposal facilities, as well as health and safety information to ensure public and worker safety during the removal, transport, treatment, and disposal of contaminated waste and debris. The online tutorial was developed to assist EPA’s On Scene Coordinators and others in the use of the tool.


Protecting Water Supply Critical Infrastructure: An OverviewBook chapter

This book chapter discusses the general principles and characteristics of water and wastewater system security. The chapter also summarizes current research as it relates to system security, focusing on intentional threats to water systems.


Configuring Online Monitoring Event Detection SystemsReport

CANARY is an EPA-developed software that enhances the detection of contamination incidents in drinking water distribution systems. One of the challenges to more widespread use of the software is the configuration process. This report presents a set of rule-of-thumb configuration parameters that can be used by water utilities as they start to use the software. In addition, a logical process is laid out for a more comprehensive approach to selecting configuration parameters.

Real-Time Analysis of Moisture and Flow Data to Describe Wet Weather Response in a Permeable Pavement Parking LotSymposium Paper

CANARY event detection software was used for the purposes of detecting and identifying system response to rainfall in a permeable pavement stormwater underdrain in an academic parking lot in Cincinnati, OH. The results show that the software, originally designed for water quality detection in drinking water systems, proved adept at identifying a change in both underdrain flow and subsurface moisture in response to precipitation.

LabLogic Radiation Detection Online Water Quality Monitoring SystemReport

The purpose of this report is to provide EPA testing results of an on line radiation monitor for drinking water called the Beta Ram (B- Ram) by LabLogic Inc. Previous water monitoring systems have not been able to detect radiation at or near Protective Action Guides based upon 500 mrem/yr. This device using a scintillation principle of detection was able to detect at these lower activity levels. This information will help inform buyer decisions in the marketplace

Quantitative Analysis and Stability of the Rodenticide TETS (Tetramine) in Finished Tap WaterJournal Article

The determination of the rodenticide tetramethylenedisulfotetramine (TETS) in drinking water is reportable through the use of automated sample preparation via solid phase extraction and detection using isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The method was characterized over twenty-two analytical batches with quality control samples. Accuracies for low and high concentration quality control pools were 100 and 101%, respectively. The minimum reporting level (MRL) for TETS in this method is 0.50 ug/L. Five drinking waters, representing a range of water quality parameters and disinfection practices, were fortified with TETS at ten times the MRL and analyzed over a 28 day period to determine the stability of TETS in these waters. The amount of TETS measured in these samples averaged 100 ± 6% of the amount fortified suggesting that tap water samples may be held for up to 28 days prior to analysis.


Decontamination of Chemical Agents from Drinking Water Infrastructure: A Literature Review and Summary

This report summarizes the current state of knowledge on the persistence of chemical contamination on drinking water infrastructure along with information on decontamination should persistence occur. Decontamination options for drinking water infrastructure have been explored for some chemical contaminants, but important data gaps remain. In general, data on chemical persistence on drinking water infrastructure is available for inorganics such as arsenic and mercury, as well as select organics such as petroleum products, pesticides and rodenticides. Data specific to chemical warfare agents and pharmaceuticals was not found and data on toxins is scant. Future research suggestions focus on expanding the available chemical persistence data to other common drinking water infrastructure materials. Decontaminating agents that successfully removed persistent contamination from one infrastructure material should be used in further studies.

Decontamination of Biological Agents from Drinking Water Infrastructure: A Literature Review and Summary Journal Article

This article summarizes the current state of knowledge on the persistence of biological agents on drinking water infrastructure along with information on decontamination should persistence occur. Decontamination options for drinking water infrastructure have been explored for some biological agents, but data gaps remain. Data on bacterial spore persistence on common water infrastructure materials such as iron and cement-mortar lined iron shows that spores can be persistent for weeks after initial contamination. Decontamination data shows that common disinfectants such as free chlorine have limited effectiveness. Decontamination results with germinant and alternate disinfectants such as chlorine dioxide are more promising. Persistence and decontamination data was collected on vegetative bacteria, such as coliforms, Legionella and Salmonella. Vegetative bacteria are less persistent than spores and more susceptible to disinfection, but the surfaces and water quality conditions in many studies were only marginally related to drinking water systems. However, results of real-world case studies on accidental contamination of water systems with E. coli and Salmonella contamination show that flushing and chlorination can help return a water system to service. Some viral persistence data was found, but decontamination data was lacking. Future research suggestions focus on expanding the available biological persistence data to other common infrastructure materials. Further exploration of non-traditional drinking water disinfectants is recommended for future studies.

Decontamination of Radiological Agents from Drinking Water Infrastructure: A Literature Review and SummaryJournal Article

This article summarizes the current state of knowledge on the persistence of radiological agents on drinking water infrastructure along with information on decontamination should persistence occur. Decontamination options for drinking water infrastructure have been explored for some important radiological agents (cesium, strontium and cobalt), but important data gaps remain. Although some targeted experiments have been published on cesium, strontium and cobalt persistence on drinking water infrastructure, most of the data comes from nuclear clean-up sites. Furthermore, the studies focused on drinking water systems use non-radioactive surrogates. Non-radioactive cobalt was shown to be persistent on iron due to oxidation with free chlorine in drinking water and precipitation on the iron surface. Decontamination with acidification was an effective removal method. Strontium persistence on iron was transient in tap water, but adherence to cement-mortar has been demonstrated and should be further explored. Cesium persistence on iron water infrastructure was observed when flow was stagnant, but not with water flow present. Future research suggestions focus on expanding the available cesium, strontium and cobalt persistence data to other common infrastructure materials, specifically cement-mortar. Further exploration chelating agents and low pH treatment is recommended for future decontamination studies.