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

 

 

Advertisements

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

 

The Perfect Storm, Ice Cold:  WLA-RP Tabletop Exercise Webcast

EPA’s Water Lab Alliance is continuing its tabletop exercise (TTX) webcast series in 2016.  The scenario is…no power, no phones, ice-covered roads, microbiological and chemical water contamination, multiple contamination sites, no in-house capability to detect suspected contaminants, calls from the press, incident command system established…what do you do?

This webcast is designed as a “virtual training course,” delivering a complete learning experience that includes facilitated interaction between students and instructors.  It examines the coordination of laboratory services in response to a drinking water contamination incident.  The scenario-based exercise provides laboratory personnel, utilities, state and local governments, and emergency responders with the opportunity to answer questions based on their real-life experiences and knowledge of emergency response practices and procedures contained in the Water Laboratory Alliance Response Plan (WLA-RP). Exercise participants will receive information on Water Sector emergency response “best practices” and water security tools and resources including the Water Contaminant Information Tool, Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery, and the Laboratory Compendium.

The most recent TTX targeted audiences in EPA Regions 1, 2, and 3.  While all of these Tabletop Exercises are open to any interested participant, we encourage you to invite your colleagues and Response Partners to attend the same Tabletop Exercise as you!

Mark your calendars now!  The dates and suggested regional distribution for the 2016 webcasts are:

  • January 27 (Regions 4, 5, & 6)
  • March 23 (Regions 7 & 8), and
  • May 11 (Region 9 & 10)

Each of these no cost, two hour events is scheduled from 1:00-3:00 PM (eastern)

To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/myevent?eid=18582024335

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 WCIT@epa.gov

Updates for WCIT and WHEAT Now Available

EPA’s Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) has just added 11 contaminants to the online database.  The 11 new contaminants are:

  • Aluminum sulfate
  • Ammonium Hydroxide Chlorine Dioxide
  • Dioxins
  • Furans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Ozone
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Sodium Hypochlorite
  • Sodium Sulfite
  • Sodium Thiosulfate

This brings the total number of searchable contaminants in the WCIT database to 113.  WCIT also now includes a CBR Advisor, an interactive expert system that supports real-time responses to contamination incidents, as well as serving as an individual or group training tool.  “CBR” stands for chemical, biological and radiological contaminants.  For more information on WCIT, please visit the EPA Water Lab Alliance page at http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/wla/index.cfm#factsheets

 

WHEAT, the Water Health and Economic Analysis Tool is now available in version 3.0.  WHEAT is designed to help drinking water utilities in quantifying human health and economic consequences using a variety of scenarios that pose a significant risk to the Water Sector.  WHEAT 3.0 supports consequence analyses for three scenarios:

  • Loss of one or more assets
  • Release of a stored hazardous gas, and
  • Intentional contamination of a drinking water distribution system.

Users must register with EPA to gain download access to the WHEAT tool.  For more information and to download the tool as well as a quick reference companion guide, please go to EPA’s Water Security Tech Tools web page at http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/techtools/wheat.cfm

 

EPA Shares Tool Links from Recent Webinar

On May 6, EPA’s Water Security Division hosted a webinar to showcase and explain uses for several of its more popular tools.  The list below captures the links to the various tools for those who’d like to know more about the specifics and their intended use.  Also, if you missed the web event, here’s the link to the recorded event https://epa.connectsolutions.com/p84sm4i6o48/.  Please take a look at these tools and share them with your water systems.


Prevention Tools:

Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT) http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/techtools/vsat.cfm

Water Health & Economic Tool (WHEAT) 3.0 http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/techtools/wheat.cfm

 

Preparedness Tools:

Community-Based Water Resiliency (CBWR) http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/communities/index.cfm

Climate Resilient Evaluation & Awareness Tool (CREAT) http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/climate/index.cfm

Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/climate/index.cfm

Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water System: Emergency Preparedness, Response and Climate Resiliency (TTX Tool) http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/techtools/ttx.cfm

How to Develop a Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/emerplan/upload/epa816k11003.pdf

 

Response Tools:

Water/Wastewater Agency Response (WARN) http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/mutualaid/index.cfm

Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/wla/index.cfm

Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) http://water.epa.gov/scitech/datait/databases/wcit/index.cfm

 

Recovery Tool:

Federal Funding for Utilities in National Disaster (Fed FUNDS) http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/funding/fedfunds/index.cfm

NEW DATES – WLA Summit

EPA’s Water Security Division has announced a rescheduling of the Water Lab Alliance Summit.  Originally scheduled for August 27 -28, the NEW DATES are November 20-21.  The Summit will still be held in Chicago, IL.  Information on hotel accommodations will be provided soon.

Audience:  EPA is interested in laboratory, water utility, emergency response, public information officer, and first responder community attendance and participation at this event.

The Summit will actively engage a vast array of technical and leadership personnel from the Water Sector, laboratory, and emergency response communities who will learn about WLA program elements, practice the WLA Response Plan (WLA-RP) for water contamination incident response, and provide hands-on experience with EPA security-related tools and resources.

Focus:  In addition to showcasing the benefits of the WLA program, the Summit offers attendees information about how to identify laboratories with additional capacity and/or specific capabilities, discuss challenges and solutions to laboratory capability and capacity, and explore EPA tools and resources in a hands-on environment.

Tools:  Among the tools and demonstrations planned are the Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT), the Compendium of Environmental Testing Laboratories, EPA’s Web-based Electronic Data Review (WebEDR) application, Unknown Contaminant Sampling guidance, and ultrafiltration of large-volume samples for pathogens and toxins.

Register:  https://www.thetestportal.com/2013_WLA_Summit_Registration.

For more information and updates on the WLA Security Summit, please check the WLA website at WLA@epa.gov or give them a call at 703-818-4200

 

WLA Security Summit Set for Chicago

EPA’s Water Security Division has tentatively scheduled the fourth Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) Security Summit for August 27 -28, 2013 in Chicago, IL.

The Summit is an exciting opportunity for environmental laboratories, utilities, first responders, and others to learn and share information on responding to water contamination incidents, through a variety of planned activities including:

  • Interactive table top exercises
  • Hands-on demonstrations of water security related tools and resources
  • Engaging presentations on planning ahead and responding to water contamination events

Equally exciting, is the fact that the 1 ½ day WLA Security Summit is absolutely free of charge. If you are interested in attending please RSVP by sending an email to WLA@epa.gov.

Details on hotels, the agenda, and registration will be distributed once finalized. Please stay tuned for more information on the upcoming WLA Security Summit.  Please see this flyer WLA Summit 2013 _06102013 for more information about the Summit.   Additional information on the WLA can be found on the online WLA Training Center.

EPA Water Security Division Shares Highlights

In late December, the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water posted information about new additions to their web page.  One, Water Security & Resiliency Highlights, should be of great interest to all state security coordinators.  It contains information not only about programs and activities that support the Agency’s security mission – to sustain protection for public health and the environment; recognize and reduce risk; maintain a resilient infrastructure; and increase communication, outreach and public confidence – it also identifies publications and tools that can be very helpful.

Read about tools such as the Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) – a comprehensive database that contains information for 102 chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants of concert; FedFUNDS – a web based tool that can provide tailored information, tips, and examples on how utilities can apply for Federal disaster funding support; and the All Hazards Consequence Management Planning document the includes customizable checklists for preparedness, response, and recovery actions.  For more information about these and other water security projects, visit www.epa.gov/watersecurity.

EPA Expands and Enhances WCIT: A Robust Tool for the Water Sector

EPA is announcing a major expansion and additional enhancement of the Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT). WCIT is a secure, on-line database profiling chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants of concern for drinking water and wastewater utilities. The Agency has now added a compendium of 700 new contaminants with details on more than 212 analytical methods. EPA has also completed enhancements of the WCIT search feature. Expanding the range of data in WCIT enables water utilities, public health officials and federal, state and local agencies to better plan for and respond to an “all-hazards” contamination incident. Registering for WCIT is easy and free.  To apply for access to WCIT, please visit http://www.epa.gov/wcit