Mutual Aid-Focused Links and Documents

U.S. EPA Mutual Aid and Assistance Web page
In coordination with the water sector, the Environmental Protection Agency is supporting a number of projects to promote the use of mutual aid and assistance in response to any event that overwhelms a utility’s resources.

Emergency Activities for Water and Wastewater Facilities
EPA’s Water Security Division has developed a checklist to assist drinking water and wastewater facilities to assist them in pre-hurricane and post-hurricane recovery.

Federal Funding for Utilities – Water/Wastewater – in National Disasters (Fed FUNDS) Web site Tool
The purpose of Fed FUNDS is to provide tailored information to water and wastewater utilities about applicable federal disaster funding programs. The Fed FUNDS Web pages address national-level disasters, but could also apply to large-scale and even local disasters that result in service interruptions and significant damage to the critical water/wastewater infrastructure. Utilities can use the five buttons in Fed FUNDS to obtain key information and application forms on federal disaster funding.

American Water Works Association Utilities Helping Utilities Document (.pdf file)
This document explains the reasoning behind the initial development of state WARNs.

Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox (.pdf file)
This document helps provide a protocol and practical toolbox for communicating with stakeholders and the public about water advisories that is based upon research and identified practices. The project focuses on water systems and addresses the range of situations that generate drinking water advisories.

The Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) was authorized by Congress in 2002 and created and managed by the water sector. Its 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. The mission has been expanded to help utilities respond to and recover from all hazards.

Mutual Aid and Assistance for Wastewater Systems (U.S. EPA)
A WARN’s success relies on a strong base of member utilities willing to help one another during emergencies. For this reason, no utility is too large or too small to benefit from WARN, and each additional member enhances the probability of a successful response to an emergency.

Generator Information (U.S. EPA)
Loss of electricity quickly becomes a major challenge during natural disasters and could raise public health concerns. Without backup power for an extended period, many water and wastewater services cannot be provided. However, as demonstrated during incidents such as hurricanes and ice storms, not all utilities are prepared to get their systems operational again. This brochure provides tools and prompts utilities to better prepare for emergency generator needs, provides tips on running and maintaining generators, and includes an easy-to-copy form to determine and document backup power needs.

NEWEA Position Paper on WARN
The wastewater industry was designated a critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) sector by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD‐7) in 2003, and this designation clearly confirmed that the wastewater industry is critical to the quality of life in the United States as we know it. It has been estimated that approximately 75% of the U.S. population has its sanitary sewerage treated by centralized wastewater systems.

U.S. EPA Letter On Proper Handling of Chlorine Gas
Does your drinking water or wastewater treatment plant use large quantities of chlorine gas? If so, you may be required to comply with federal requirements to ensure that the chlorine is managed safely. The U.S. EPA has visited numerous drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities in New England to determine compliance with the Clean Air Act’s chemical accident prevention requirements and found that many facilities were not managing their chlorine gas in a safe manner. 

Incompatible Chemicals Storage – U.S. EPA Fact Sheet
A sanitary survey quick reference guide for determining how to properly store chemicals at a water treatment plant.

Additional Helpful Links

Atlantic States Rural Water Association

Centers for Disease Control

New England Water Environment Association

New England Water Works Association

NOAA Winter Weather Watch

Rhode Island Department of Health

Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

Rhode Island Water Works Association

U.S. EPA Region I