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.

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EPA Water Security Division – Two New Products

Designing Customer Complaint Surveillance for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems

This document provides guidance for using customer calls and existing utility complaint management systems for detecting possible drinking water contamination incidents. Customers throughout a utility’s distribution system can provide near real-time input regarding changes in the taste, odor, or appearance of drinking water. The document provides guidance on using customer feedback to monitor for changes in water quality. Specific guidance is provided for complaint collection, information management, alert investigation procedures, and communicating with customers. This document is expected to be published in early October and posted to: https://www.epa.gov/waterqualitysurveillance/customer-complaint-surveillance-resources

Designing Enhanced Security Monitoring for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems

This document provides guidance for enhancing security monitoring at distribution system facilities that are determined to be at risk of intentional contamination. The document covers equipment to delay and detect unauthorized entries using hardening and intrusion detection. It also provides guidance on site selection, physical security equipment, communications, information management, alert investigation procedures, and partnerships with law enforcement to respond to unauthorized intrusions. This document is expected to be published in late September and posted to: https://www.epa.gov/waterqualitysurveillance/enhanced-security-monitoring-resources

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.

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

EPA WSD Releases New Response On-the-Go Mobile App

 

 

  EPA’s Response On-The-Go Mobile Application provides users with real-time access to valuable tools and response information including location-based hazardous weather updates, interactive maps and charts from the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and EPA Incident Action Checklists that outline disaster-specific response actions.

During hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages and other emergencies, water utility personnel and first line responders must ensure that they are coordinating closely with stakeholders, maintaining awareness of threats to the water system and surrounding community, and documenting response actions. The App can be downloaded for free for use on a variety mobile devices and tablets. For more information, visit https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/water-utility-response-go-mobile-application-and-website

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.

 

What Have Others Done Webinar Now Available

If you were not able to participate in the May 24 EPA webinar that showcased “What Have Others Done” in the emergency services arena, you may now download a recording of the event as well as obtain copies of the presentations.  Click https://www.sendthisfile.com/8HAuEtbhOdt3Ys4E8jZ90W6z.  These materials are available only through June 7.

National Institute of Standards & Technology Releases Planning Guide Briefs

Communities striving to improve their resilience by better planning for and dealing with hazard events will want to review six new “Guide Briefs” issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The documents complement NIST’s Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, which lays out a six-step process to plan for resilience in the face of natural, technological, and human-caused hazards.

Each of the Guide Briefs is intended to be used in conjunction with the NIST Guide, although several can be used independently by any community interested in taking steps to improve its resilience. For example, Guide Brief 12, “Short-Term Implementation Tasks”(link is external), suggests ways that communities can shorten recovery time as longer-term solutions are being put in place. These short-term tasks could include:

  • Developing a post-event recovery plan that streamlines the permitting process, adds resilience during repairs, protects the natural environment, preserves the community voice in approval of construction projects, and handles and processes the increase in construction activities.
  • Developing processes and guidelines for post-event assessments to accelerate evaluation and designation of buildings that can be used while being repaired.
  • Adopting the latest building codes and enforcing design and inspection requirements.

This link https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2017/05/nist-releases-six-new-community-resilience-planning-guide-briefs contains additional information.

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