Water: Legislation & Directives
Water Security Initiative
The Water Security (WS) initiative is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that addresses the risk of intentional contamination of drinking water distribution systems.
EPA established this initiative in response to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9, under which the Agency must
"develop robust, comprehensive, and fully coordinated surveillance and monitoring systems, including international information, for…water quality that provides early detection and awareness of disease, pest, or poisonous agents.”
EPA is implementing the WS initiative in three phases:
- Phase I: develop the conceptual design of a system for timely detection and appropriate response to drinking water contamination incidents to mitigate public health and economic impacts;
- Phase II: test and demonstrate contamination warning systems through pilots at drinking water utilities and municipalities and make refinements to the design as needed based upon pilot results; and
- Phase III: develop practical guidance and outreach to promote voluntary national adoption of effective and sustainable drinking water contamination warning systems.
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- Water Security Initiative - Program Overview and Available Products - Fact Sheet (PDF) (4 pp, 1MB)
EPA 817-F-10-011, September 2010
- Water Security Initiative - Program Overview and Available Products - Trifold (PDF) (2 pp, 1MB)
EPA 817-F-10-012, September 2010
- Water Security Initiative System Architecture (PDF) (151 pp, 2MB)
EPA 817-D-05-003, December 2005
This document, which refers to the Water Security Initiative by its previous name, WaterSentinel, provides more detail on WS contamination warning systems components and design.
EPA is currently implementing the first contamination warning system pilot in partnership with the City of Cincinnati at the Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW). This pilot consists of all five monitoring and surveillance components (online water quality monitoring, sampling and analysis, enhanced security monitoring, consumer complaint surveillance, and public health surveillance) and a consequence management plan. Implementation of this pilot began in June 2006, and deployment of the pilot components was completed in July 2007. The next stages of this pilot include full operation and evaluation.
In April 2008, the Agency awarded funding for contamination warning system pilots in New York City and San Francisco. Pilot projects at up to two additional cities may be awarded later this year. These additional demonstration pilots were selected through a national competition. They will be three year projects carried out as cooperative agreements with the Agency.
- Cincinnati Pilot Post-Implementation System Status (PDF) (135 pp, 3MB)
EPA 817-R-08-004, September 2008
This document describes the status of the Cincinnati drinking water contamination warning system pilot following the installation of all monitoring and surveillance components. It provides detailed information on enhancements in the areas of on-line water quality monitoring, contaminant sampling and analysis, enhanced security monitoring, consumer complaint surveillance, public health surveillance, and consequence management.
- Water Security Initiative: Interim Guidance on Developing Risk Communication Plans for Drinking Water Utilities (PDF) (45pp, 2MB)
EPA 817-F-13-003, April 2013
The purpose of this document is to assist drinking water utilities with developing and implementing an effective Risk Communication Plan (RCP) to respond to drinking water contamination incidents.
- Water Quality Event Detection System Challenge: Methodology and Findings (PDF) (98 pp, 5MB)
EPA 817-R-13-002, April 2013
This report describes the methodology and results from the Event Detection System (EDS) Challenge. Water Quality Event Detection Systems use algorithms with various degrees of sophistication to analyze distribution system water quality data in real time and provide an alert if conditions are deemed abnormal. This study demonstrated a rigorous procedure for the objective analysis of EDS performance, analyzing both invalid alerts and anomaly detection rates. Five commonly used EDSs were evaluated using an extensive dataset containing utility water quality data and simulated contamination events.
- Water Security Initiative: Guidance for Building Laboratory Capabilities to Respond to Drinking Water Contamination (PDF) (64 pp, 1MB)
EPA 817-R-13-001, March 2013
This document provides an overview of the role of sampling and analysis in a contamination warning system, provides a framework for building laboratory capabilities for response to water contamination, presents contaminant classes of concern to water security, lists methods for a representative number of contaminants from those classes and provides information on the role of national laboratory networks in responding to drinking water contamination events.
- Water Security Initiative: Customer Complaint Surveillance - Vendor Integration Webcast (Flash file)
(22MB, 45 minutes) Please allow sufficient load time.
This media presentation provides an overview of the desired features and process for establishing a Customer Complaint Surveillance (CCS) system. Audience: Vendors and integrators of call and work management systems.
Disclaimer: The Water Security Initiative is a voluntary program for water utilities. Any references to individual entities, products or services are for informational purposes only. No endorsement by EPA is intended or implied.
- Water Security Initiative: Commissioning Security Systems for Drinking Water Utilities (PDF) (32 pp, 173K) | Word Version (32 pp, 2MB)
EPA 817-R-12-002, February 2012
This report discusses commissioning of security systems and provides a step-wise commissioning process and commissioning forms for use by drinking water utilities. Commissioning is the testing of both new and upgraded systems to verify that the operation and performance meet contract document requirements. The objectives of commissioning are to ensure security systems perform as designed, meet the owner’s needs, and minimize nuisance alarms that can reduce operator confidence in the systems.
- Interim Guidance on Developing an Operational Strategy for Contamination Warning Systems (PDF) (88 pp, 1MB)
EPA 817-R-08-002, September 2008
This document will assist drinking water utilities with the development of recommended standard operating procedures for day-to-day operations of the monitoring and surveillance components of a contamination warning system. The guidance emphasizes development of an operational strategy in a manner that integrates the components to provide a timely indication of a possible contamination incident in the distribution system. A case study of the operational strategy developed for the Cincinnati contamination warning system pilot is presented.
- Interim Guidance on Developing Consequence Management Plans for Drinking Water Utilities (PDF) (101 pp, 3MB)
EPA 817-R-08-001, September 2008
This document will assist drinking water utilities with the development of plans for responding to and recovering from a contamination incident in the distribution system. Once a possible contamination incident has been identified by routine monitoring and surveillance components, the consequence management plan defines a process for establishing the credibility of the suspected incident, the response actions that may be taken to minimize public health and economic consequences, and a strategy to restore the system to normal operations. Example decision tree templates and corresponding action items are provided.
- Interim Guidance on Planning for Contamination Warning System Deployment (PDF) (123 pp, 882K)
EPA 817-R-07-002, May 2007
This document will assist drinking water utilities in planning for contamination warning system deployment based on the model developed under EPA's Water Security initiative (formerly known as WaterSentinel). In particular, this document may aid respondents to an upcoming EPA Request for Applications (RFA). Under this RFA, the Agency would make financial awards for drinking water utilities to implement and evaluate contamination warning system demonstration pilots. (RFA closed)