Environmental Finance Center Network Hosts Two Useful Small System Webinars

EFCN Partners Host Several Useful Small Systems Webinars

The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) receives funds from EPA to provide information and assistance for small systems.  While most of their efforts look within a system’s technical, managerial, or financial capabilities, the two webinars below look at planning and resilience efforts.

Managing Disasters Before Disasters Strike

DATE:              Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar will explore emergency management and resilience strategies that can help small systems prepare for disasters. Discussions will cover trends in hazards, critical infrastructure stressors, and what steps small systems can take to adapt to an uncertain future.

Risk and Resilience: Assessing Vulnerability for Coastal Communities

DATE:              Friday, November 2, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

In light of an ever-changing climate and increasingly stressed infrastructure, we must take steps towards preventing and mitigating the duration and severity of water service interruptions. This webinar will discuss the importance of understanding risk, explore what it means to be a resilient coastal system, and suggest strategies for conducting basic vulnerability assessments.

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AWWA Offers Emergency Preparedness & Response Video DVD

Our colleagues at AWWA have developed a DVD/video that covers key emergency preparedness requirements to help water utilities establish an acceptable level of emergency preparedness based on both identified and perceived risks.  It steps you through eight basic activities that include elements ranging from commitment to preparedness to risk assessments to training and partnerships.

This link takes you to the AWWA webpage that offers a preview of the video, information about its content, and an order form.  The cost is $199 (for AWWA members) and $285 for others.  States may find this useful as a training tool.

 

EPA WSD to Host ‘Analysis of Online Water Quality Data’ Webinar

Registration is now available for the next webinar in the “Water Quality Surveillance and Response” series hosted by EPA’s Water Security Division.

DATE:              August 14, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

Two presentations will be offered during the web event.  The first will describe methods for conducting an exploratory analysis of historical water quality data collected from a water distribution system using online monitoring instruments. The second will describe how source water constituents of concern can be estimated in near-real-time using continuous water-quality data.  Representatives from EPA and USGS will lead the discussions.

This flyer contains more information about the event and the presentations.  SRS Webinar Series_August Webinar_Email Flyer 07052018

Two New WSD Webinars

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting two new webinars as part of their Water Quality Surveillance and Response Webinar Series.  See below for details.

  1. Risk of Drinking Water Contamination and Actions to Prepare

DATE:              March 20, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar focuses on:

  • The risk of drinking water contamination through case studies of real world incidents
  • How readily available data can be used to detect a wide range of water quality problems
  • How response planning can help to effectively manage a water contamination incident

  1. Online Water Quality Monitoring for Source Waters

DATE:    April 10, 2018

TIME:    1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  Click here

This webinar focuses on:

  • How West Virginia American Water designed an effective source water monitoring system
  • Common design considerations for implementing an online water quality monitoring system
  • How to select monitoring locations and parameters to meet utility unique monitoring goals

Different approaches to information management and data analysis

UNC-EFC Tackles Financial Resilience

The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill hosts a blog site that looks at water and wastewater needs, issues, concerns, and successes. One of their most recent posts looks at Local Government Financial Resilience and Preparation Before a Natural Disaster.

As the blog post notes, “…municipalities are becoming extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, making it necessary for local governments to become more resilient to catastrophes. Natural disaster resiliency often focuses on the built environment and hazard mitigation, but what about weathering the storm from a financial perspective?”  It goes on to suggest that communities should consider the following steps when evaluating the potential financial impacts of a natural disaster:  identify the probability and type of likely disasters, set a planning timeline, know about available funding sources, and set up a rainy day fund.

The blog post also contains numerous links to resources that can help a community understand and plan financially for a disaster.  One that stands out is Financial Planning for Natural Disasters: A Workbook for Local Governments and Regions.  The Workbook “…is designed to help local governments and regions understand their financial vulnerabilities to natural disasters, evaluate their financial capacity to cover the costs of those disasters, identify strategies to close the gap between financial vulnerability and capacity, and identify and address the spillover effects of neighboring local governments’ financial vulnerabilities to disasters.”

Homeland Security Research Webinar Series

Please join our colleagues from EPA’s Homeland Security Research Center as they host a webinar to discuss how Small and Large Water Systems are Piloting Real-time Data Analytics to Improve Water Quality and Preparedness.

DATE:              March 12, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Here

EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program has developed and pilot deployed real-time analytics hardware and software (RTX:LINK and EPANET-RTX) in both large and small systems (Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Colorado).  The RTX:LINK and EPANET-RTX applications to the City of Flint, Michigan will help with daily operations by monitoring system-wide flows, pressures, and water age in real time.

The RTX:LINK hardware/software tool provides a simple and secure access to key water utility operational data streams, using web-based dashboards for trending and alerting. RTX:LINK helps drinking water utilities more easily access and use their water system SCADA data to provide improved water system operations and management through the power of real-time analytics.  EPANET-RTX software integrates a utility’s SCADA data with their hydraulic network model for real-time prediction of system-wide flows, pressures, and water quality. RTX:LINK has been piloted in the cities of Milford, Ohio and Flint Michigan and is in the process of being deployed at additional small and large systems across the U.S.

This webinar will describe these hardware/software tools and talk about how they are transforming the way hydraulic modeling of drinking water systems is performed and how the tools can be used to improve a water utility’s preparedness and response capabilities.

Do You Know About VSAT Web 1.0?

Last Fall, EPA’s Water Security Division released a web-enabled version of the Water or Wastewater Utility Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT).  The new VSAT model is also more appropriate for smaller systems.  Simply, VSAT Web is a user-friendly tool that can help drinking water and wastewater utilities of all sizes to enhance their security and resiliency.

With VSAT Web, a utility can:

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

Additional Highlights of VSAT Web Include:

  • Designed for mobile devices like tablets and iPads, as well as personal computers
  • Runs on most Internet browsers.
  • No VSAT Web user data is stored by or visible to EPA
  • Complies with risk assessment standards, and
  • Offers liability protection under the Department of Homeland Security’s Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act program.

Click Open VSAT Web 1.0 to view the document.  ASDWA encourages you to share this information with your water systems to make sure they have access to the most recent risk assessment tools!

 

EPA WSD Offers Webinars, Workshops, and Requests for Input

Below are some upcoming resilience opportunities available to state drinking water programs as well as water and wastewater utilities. Please share these opportunities.

Webinars and Workshop 

Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) Training

February 22, 2018 at 11:00 AM ET

 

This training is designed to introduce and refresh users on 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: https://usepa-wcit-training.eventbrite.com

Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training

February 28, 2018 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:  https://us-epa-wla-coop.eventbrite.com

 

Nevada Water and Emergency Services Sectors Coordination Workshop

March 13, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

The U.S. EPA Water Security Division and the Las Vegas Valley Water District will be hosting a Water and Emergency Services Sectors Coordination workshop on March 13, 2018. The free one-day workshop will include presentations from drinking water and wastewater utilities, as well as local, state and federal emergency response and law enforcement agencies.  It will also include a tabletop exercise involving a possible intentional water contamination incident that impacts water and wastewater services, law enforcement, local emergency management, public health, and local hospitals. The workshop aims to increase coordination and communication between water utilities, emergency management, and law enforcement.  It will also provide law enforcement personnel with a better understanding of water system infrastructure and operations.

The target audience is:

  • Drinking water and wastewater utilities
  • Local, state, and federal law enforcement departments and agencies
  • Local, state, and federal emergency management agencies

To register, please visit:  https://epa-nv-water-ess-workshop.eventbrite.com

 

Requesting Partners Input

Water and Healthcare/Public Health Workshop.  The U.S. EPA Water Security Division plans to conduct a workshop in the western U.S. and is seeking interested stakeholders in the area.  The one-day workshop will comprise presentations discussing cross-sector communication between the local area water utility and healthcare/public health entities.  A water loss scenario in the afternoon provides the opportunity to discuss improvement to existing communication protocols between the water and health sectors. For more information, please contact Chrissy Dangel, 513-569-7821).

Water Sector Power Resilience Summit – To be held in September 2018

EPA plans to partner with water associations, state agencies, water utilities, energy providers, energy associations and other key partners to host a two-day Water Sector Power Resilience Summit.  The objective of the summit is to discuss and advance the water sector’s preparedness for a long-duration, widespread power outage.  We are still in the early planning stages, but plan to host an event for 150-250 people in the DC-area in September 2018.  We are looking for volunteers to participate in a summit planning team that will help to develop the summit agenda, identify potential speakers, and share information about the summit to water sector stakeholders.  We anticipate that volunteers would participate in approximately six one-hour teleconferences between January and September 2018 and spend several hours reviewing documents or completing action items from the teleconferences during that eight-month time period.  For more information, please contact Lauren Wisniewski 202-564-2918.

 

 

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 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.