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Water: Tools and Technical Assistance

Tools and Technical Assistance

DSC_0614sm EPA provides tools and technical assistance to the water sector and other organizations to help ensure the continued security of our nation's drinking water and wastewater systems. Available resources assist water utilities in performing risk assessments and developing effective emergency response plans. Trained environmental professionals, scientists, and engineers provide information on technological advances in water security and supply technical assistance to the water sector and other agencies. Health care providers can access resources that can help them to recognize and manage waterborne disease. The tools listed below can help water utilities and public health and safety personnel to develop and apply appropriate antiterrorism measures and to respond effectively in the event of an incident.

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  •     CREATClimate Resilience Evaluation and Assessment Tool (CREAT)
    This PC-based tool is under development to assist drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change impacts and in assessing the related risks at their utilities.  

  • CBWR ToolCommunity-Based Water Resiliency Electronic Tool (CBWR)
    An easy way to assess your community's current resiliency to water service disruptions, and learn about tools and resources that can be used to enhance resiliency.

  • Click here to enter Fed FundsFederal Funding for Utilities - Water/Wastewater - in National Disasters(Fed FUNDS)
    Fed FUNDS is an intuitive web-based tool that provides tailored information for water and/or wastewater utilities to obtain information on federal disaster funding programs. Using Fed FUNDS, a utility can easily identify appropriate funding opportunities, gain insight on the application process, access customized forms to document costs, download successful utility applications, and contact utility funding mentors. Fed FUNDS features federal disaster funding programs from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Small Business Administration (SBA).

  • NewThreshold Analysis Tool (TAT) (Zip) (4MB) – an informational tool to assist water utilities in tentatively identifying or developing thresholds for a Customer Complaint Surveillance (CCS) component in a Surveillance and Response System (SRS). It does not purport to provide or produce an accurate, comprehensive, or exhaustive analysis of all potential threshold values from user-provided data, nor does it purport to identify appropriate threshold values for detecting drinking water contamination, to identify instances of actual drinking water contamination or to verify the need for or accuracy of water contamination alarms. The information contained in the TAT was developed using statistical methodology. It should not be relied upon exclusively in developing SRS alarm thresholds, refining existing thresholds, or verifying actual alarms a utility may have received.

  • vsat logo Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool (VSAT)– A risk assessment software tool for water, wastewater, and combined utilities of all sizes. The tool assists drinking water and wastewater owners and operators in performing security threats and natural hazards risk assessments, as well as updating utility Emergency Response Plans. EPA, in collaboration with Water Sector partners, has updated VSAT to be consistent with the 2007 Risk Analysis and Management for Critical Asset Protection framework. The upgraded tool includes a new user-interface, an enhanced natural disaster threat assessment process, and a revised risk assessment approach.

    • wheat logo Water Health and Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT) - A consequence analysis tool designed to assist drinking water and wastewater utility (water sector) owners and operators in quantifying human health and economic consequences for a variety of scenarios that pose a significant risk to the water sector.  WHEAT is a generalized, threat-neutral consequence analysis tool designed to be used by utility owners and operators to supplement their expert opinion in risk assessment methods by providing a more detailed consequence analysis.  WHEAT software analyzes two kinds of scenarios for drinking water and wastewater utilities:  1) the loss of one or more assets; and 2) the release of a stored hazardous gas.

    • WCIT tool The Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) - is a secure, online database developed by the U.S. EPA that provides information on contaminants of concern for water security. As a planning tool, WCIT can be used to help create and update emergency response plans and site-specific response guidelines. As a response tool, WCIT can be used to provide real-time data on water contaminants to help utilities make decisions if contamination occurs.

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    • The PC-based Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water Systems: Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Climate Resiliency (TTX Tool) contains materials that assist those interested in planning and facilitating tabletop exercises that focus on Water Sector-related issues. The TTX Tool expands on the capabilities of the first version of the tool, published in 2005. Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water Systems: Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Climate Resiliency
      EPA 817-C-10-001, June, 2010
      This PC-based Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water Systems: Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Climate Resiliency (TTX Tool) contains materials that assist those interested in planning and facilitating tabletop exercises that focus on Water Sector-related issues.


    Technical Assistance

    • Alarm Estimation Tool Microsoft Excel File (263K)
      The Alarm Estimation Tool (AET) is a spreadsheet designed to assist drinking water utilities with establishing alarm thresholds for the Customer Complaint Surveillance component of a Contamination Warning System. The AET provides estimates of the number of alarms expected based on user-supplied data, user preferences and statistical variables. The AET provides both tabular and graphical output displays, and a user's guide is included as a separate spreadsheet tab.
      Document Type: Technical Assistance
      Date Published: February 2011
    • Decontamination and Recovery Planning - Water and Wastewater Utility Case Study PDF (12pp, 875K)
      This report documents the planning and experiences of a large combined water and wastewater utility related to decontamination and recovery. The study outlines specific planning steps that may be beneficial to other utilities in their planning and preparedness to respond to a contamination event.
      EPA 817-F-08-004
      September 2008

    • waterISAC Exit EPA Disclaimer - WaterISAC is a service developed to provide America's drinking water and wastewater systems with a source of information about water system security and with a secure Web-based environment for early warning of potential threats. Relying on information gathered from federal intelligence, law enforcement, public health, and environmental agencies, and from utility security incident reports, WaterISAC analysts produce and disseminate physical and cyber security information to the water sector.
      WaterISAC was established by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, with support from EPA and guidance from other national water organizations. Its information and tools provide an important link between the water sector and such agencies. In addition, WaterISAC provides a variety of resources to help utilities complete and continually improve the vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans required by law for many water systems.

    • Control Systems Security Website Exit EPA Disclaimer
      The Department of Homeland Security, Control Systems Security Program is excited to announce a web site developed as a resource for control systems security personnel. The site provides Control System Security Program activities as well as information on cyber threats, vulnerabilities and mitigations. It also provides a convenient event listing that the CSSP is participating in, and an extensive listing of reference documents and other related web links.
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    • Emergency/Incident Planning
      Effective remediation and response planning help protect the security of drinking water and wastewater systems in the event that a man-made or technological emergency occurs.

    • Pandemic Flu Planning for the Water Sector (PDF) (2 pp, 543K, About PDF)
      EPA-817-F-10-020, December 2010

      This webinar was specifically designed to advance the understanding for water/wastewater utilities and primacy agencies of both the threat of a pandemic and the role they play in safeguarding their utility and employees. Organizations now have an opportunity to improve their response plans and management during future outbreaks.

    • Recognizing Waterborne Disease and the Health Effects of Water Pollution: Physician On-Line Reference Guide Exit EPA Disclaimer
      This guide helps healthcare providers recognize and manage waterborne disease and the health effects of water pollution resulting from natural or intentional contamination of water. The Web site offers free access and 24/7 availability, clinically relevant information, and a repository of physician antiterrorism preparedness resources.

    • Voluntary Water Infrastructure Security Enhancement (WISE) Initiative
      EPA provided grant funding to facilitate the development of guidance, training, and voluntary standards that cover the design of online contaminant monitoring systems and physical security enhancements of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure systems.
      The interim voluntary guidance documents will assist drinking water and wastewater utilities in mitigating the vulnerabilities of their systems to man-made threats through the design, construction, operation and maintenance of both new and existing systems of all sizes. The effort has been carried out in three stages.
      The first stage resulted in three interim voluntary security guidance documents that cover the design of online contaminant monitoring systems and physical security enhancements of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure systems.
      The second phase resulted in training modules to provide instruction on the guidance documents.
      The third phase resulted in the development of draft standards for trial use to advance physical security measures at drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities.
      The products from the three phases are available on each association's web site below:

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