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The security of our water systems and emergency preparedness continues to be a priority to the Division of Drinking and Ground Waters (DDAGW). A quick and effective response to emergency events is critical for protection of public health and the environment. Tools and resources are provided below to help water systems prepare for, respond to and recover from such events.
For more information and training regarding America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018, please see the Resources tab below.
Step 1: Contact your local law enforcement office.
Step 2: Contact your Ohio EPA District Office or the 24-hour emergency hotline.
Step 3. Report the incident to the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC).
Ohio WARN is a statewide Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) of “utilities helping utilities” to prepare for the next natural or human-caused emergency, organize response according to established requirements and share personnel and other resources statewide, by agreement.
WaterISAC's mission is to keep drinking water and wastewater utility managers informed about potential risks to the nation's water infrastructure from contamination, terrorism and cyber threats. Go to www.waterisac.org to learn more and to sign up for a free subscription.
Mutual aid assistant networks provide a method whereby water/wastewater utilities that have sustained damages from natural or man-made events could obtain emergency assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials and other associated services from other water/wastewater utilities. Formalize an existing agreement or forge a new one with guidance from the following documents:
County Emergency Management Association (EMA): Public water systems are encouraged to contact their county EMA to plan for emergencies involving both parties. More information can be found in this presentation to county EMAs.
Emergency Preparedness Guides for Public Water Systems
Upcoming Training Opportunities:
Please check back later for new opportunities.
Potential Funding Opportunities
You may be able to obtain funding for new security measures by:
Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT)
WCIT is a secure online database available from U.S. EPA that contains information on contaminants that could pose a significant threat to public health if accidentally or intentionally introduced into drinking water or wastewater. Click here for the fact sheet.
Water Security Handbook
Planning for and Responding to Drinking Water Contamination Threats and Incidents is a handbook prepared by U.S. EPA for water utilities as an overview of its comprehensive Response Protocol Toolbox, from the perspective of a water system manager. The handbook describes how to recognize intentional water contamination threats and incidents, what actions a utility should take in the event of a threat or incident, possible roles of the water utility within the larger Incident Command framework and how the National Incident Management System (NIMS) is organized. This handbook will prove useful when a utility is updating its emergency response plan.
Water Security Booklet
U.S. EPA's booklet Active and Effective Water Security Programs takes the 14 features developed by the National Drinking Water Advisory Council's Water Security Working Group (WSWG) and organizes them for security program planning. This 20-page booklet can be ordered for free from EPA's Office of Water Resource Center by telephone: (202) 566-1729. Request document # 817-K-06-001.
Emergency Response Tabletop Exercises
U.S. EPA’s Emergency Response Tabletop Exercises for Water and Wastewater Systems is an online tool to help train water and wastewater utility workers in preparing and carrying out emergency response plans. The exercises provided can help strengthen relationships between a water supplier and their emergency response team (e.g., health officials, laboratories, fire, police, emergency medical services and local, state and federal officials). Users can also adapt the materials for their own needs. The exercises also allow water suppliers to test their Emergency Response Plans before an actual incident occurs. A CD-ROM version is also available by mail free of charge.
Drinking Water Security for Small Systems Serving 3,300 or Fewer Persons is a booklet developed by U.S. EPA's Water Security Division that provides voluntary water security guidance for very small community drinking water systems. Their goal is to help systems understand the basics of water system security. View this brochure online or order a hard copy by calling 1-800-832-7828 or 1-800-490-9198, reference document # EPA 817-R-05-001. Included in the Booklet:
National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a consistent nationwide approach for state, local and non-governmental organizations to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, respond to and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size or complexity.
Incident Command System (ICS) is the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents.
Find out more information on NIMS and ICS and implementation compliance goals for local jurisdictions here.
The Drinking Water Supply Emergency Plan consists of two volumes. Volume I covers Ohio EPA’s role and actions in response to an emergency situation affecting one of Ohio’s public water systems. Volume II covers a community public water system’s requirements for developing a contingency plan, provides guidance on contingency plan development and provides guidance regarding the actions a public water system should take in response to an emergency situation.
Division of Drinking and Ground Waters
Phone: (614) 644-2752 ~ Fax: (614) 644-2909
Contact ~ Emergency Contacts
Staff Contacts and Expertise ~ Electronic Mailing Lists
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049
Street Address: 50 West Town Street, Suite 700, Columbus, OH 43215
Report a Spill, Release or Environmental Crime
(800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946
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