Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene Preparedness Resource Library
Anticipating, preventing, and responding to WASH emergencies are critical functions carried out by local health departments. This toolkit contains background information on common drinking water contaminants, templates and examples for public notification, educational materials, and more!
Suggestions for additional resources, as well as feedback on this resource library can be sent to WASH@naccho.org!
Page last updated on July 7, 2021.
Biological contaminants are organisms in water. They are also referred to as microbes or microbiological contaminants. Examples include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasites. Biological contaminants featured here include:
- Cryptosporidium ("Crypto")
- Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) / Cyanobacteria
- E. Coli / Coliform Bacteria
|Crypto||Cryptosporidiosis Fact Sheet||Overview of crypto, symptoms of illness, and preventing exposure||Background Information||Minnesota Department of Health|
|Crypto||Detailed Cryptosporidium||Fact sheet outlining the parasite's life cycle, disease outbreaks, symptoms, diagnosis, risk of disease, how it spreads, how to prevent spreading, the prevalence of crypto and how to tell if a water source is safe||Background Information||Safe Drinking Water Foundation|
|Crypto||Parasites - Cryptosporidium (also known as "Crypto")||Webpage containing general information on crypto, diagnosis and detection, sources of infection, risk factors, prevention and control, illness symptoms, and treatment||Background Information||CDC|
|Crypto||Cryptosporidium (Crypto) and Drinking Water from Private Wells||Information on crypto and drinking water from private wells. Details how people can find out if they have crypto in their drinking water and how to remove it||Planning & Response||CDC|
|Crypto||Prevention & Control - General Public||Recommendations for members of the general public on how to prevent and control crypto||Planning & Response||CDC|
|Crypto||Cryptosporidiosis: Disease Plan||Utah public health disease investigation plan for crypto||Planning & Response||Utah Department of Health|
|Crypto||Cryptosporidium: Drinking Water Health Advisory||Information on the EPA’s drinking water health advisory regarding crypto. It includes general information on the organism, life cycle, environmental fate, transmission between human and transmission from animals to humans. Advises on water sources it is found in, environmental factors affecting survival, disease outbreaks, health effects, a risk assessment, dose-response studies||Planning & Response||EPA|
|Crypto||Information for Public Health & Medical Professionals||Information on surveillance and outbreak response. Includes response and evaluation guidelines, a public health handbook, advisory information and more||Planning & Response||CDC|
|Crypto||WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality: Cryptosporidium||Guidance document on crypto in drinking water||Planning & Response||WHO|
|E. Coli / Coliform Bacteria||Coliform Bacteria||General description about coliform bacteria, how to detect them, sources, response, exceptions, and health effects||Background Information||Minnesota Department of Health|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Harmful Algal Blooms and Drinking Water||Fact sheet providing a summary of the growing concern for algal blooms in the U.S. and helps the reader understand how to manage health risks||Background Information||EPA|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Harmful Algal Outbreaks and Drinking Water||Explains what harmful algal outbreaks are and their causes. Includes health impacts on humans and drinking water systems||Background Information||Clean Water Action|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||The Effects of Algae in Drinking Water||Background on different types of algae and their impacts on drinking water||Background Information||Sciencing|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Toxic Algal Blooms in Drinking Water Reservoirs||Article reviewing available information on the subject of toxic algal blooms and summarizes the implications for water supplies||Background Information||Foundation for Water Research|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Blue Green Algal Blooms: A Preventable Emergency?||Prevention and preparedness of blue green algal blooms||Planning & Response||Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Cyanotoxin Management Plan Template and Example Plans||Cyanotoxin management plan template and example plans||Planning & Response||EPA|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Freshwater Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring||Interactive story map that goes over harmful algal blooms in California, as well as how agencies are working together to address HABs||Planning & Response||California State Water Resources Control Board|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Harmful Algal Bloom Control Methods||Document overviewing current best practices for HAB treatment, targeted for lake communities, drinking water suppliers, and lake managers||Planning & Response||New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Algal Blooms||Webpage containing information on HABs, health effects, methods of developing better detection and improving prediction of algal blooms.||Planning & Response||National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Managing Cyanotoxins in Public Drinking Water Systems||Webpage containing information on public water systems to assist in managing cyanotoxin risks in drinking water||Planning & Response||EPA|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Region 8 DW Harmful Algal Bloom Response Actions 2016||A detailed plan of action guide for community stakeholders||Planning & Response||EPA|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||Water Treatment Optimization for Cyanotoxins||Treatment considerations for harmful algal blooms in source waters||Planning & Response||EPA|
|HABs/Cyanobacteria||A Water Utility Manager's Guide to Cyanotoxins||A water utility manager’s guide to cyanotoxins||Planning & Response||American Water Works Association|
|Legionella||Fact Sheet on Legionella and Legionella Pneumonia||FAQs regarding Legionella and Legionella pneumonia||Background Information||U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs|
|Legionella||Legionella||Overview on the bacteria and its environmental health significance.||Background Information||NEHA|
|Legionella||Legionella Fact Sheet||Fact sheet advising what Legionella is, Legionnaires' disease symptoms, incubation periods, risks for the disease and how to tell if a water source is safe||Background Information||Safe Drinking Water Foundation|
|Legionella||Legionella Fact Sheet||General information, health effects in humans and animals, environmental profile, occurrence, risk factors, transmission to humans, outbreaks, water treatment and regulations||Background Information||EPA|
|Legionella||Just the Facts: Legionella and Water Supply Systems||Information on Legionella and water supply systems. Details how water supply systems can become contaminated and how to prevent contamination||Planning & Response||Plumbing Manufacturers International|
|Legionella||Legionella||Facts on reducing exposure to Legionella along with control and regulation||Planning & Response||Association of State Drinking Water Administrators|
|Legionella||Legionella (Legionnaires' Disease and Pontiac Fever): For Health Departments||Resources to assist state and local health department personnel investigating individual cases and outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease||Planning & Response||CDC|
|Legionella||Legionella (Legionnaires' Disease and Pontiac Fever): Prevention with Water Management Programs||Webpage with information for routine maintenance of building and recreational water systems||Planning & Response||CDC|
|Legionella||Legionella (Legionnaires' Disease and Pontiac Fever): What Owners and Managers of Buildings and Healthcare Facilities Need to Know about Legionella Water Management Programs||Information for building owners and managers on how to develop a Legionella water management plan as well as environmental monitoring and program validation monitoring||Planning & Response||CDC|
|Legionella||Legionella (Legionnaires' Disease and Pontiac Fever): Things to Consider - Outbreak Investigations||General and special considerations for Legionnaires' disease outbreak investigations||Planning & Response||CDC|
|Legionella||Legionella: Drinking Water Health Advisory||Detailed Legionella drinking water health advisory guide||Planning & Response||EPA|
|Legionella||Legionnaires Disease in Hospitality||Information about Legionnaires' Disease in hospitality. Includes risk management plans, disease tracking, Legionella sources and growth, operating and maintaining water systems||Planning & Response||AIG Hospitality and Leisure Industry Practice Group|
|Legionella||Managing Legionella Bacteria in Building Water Systems: Q&A with Dr. Joe Cotruvo||Q & A regarding managing Legionella bacteria in building water systems||Planning & Response||Water Quality & Health Council|
|Legionella||OSHA Technical Manual (OTM): LEGIONNAIRES' DISEASE||Provides information on investigation protocol, ongoing outbreaks, controls, maintenance and touches on domestic cold-water systems and HVAC systems||Planning & Response||OSHA|
|Legionella||Toolkit for Controlling Legionella in Common Sources of Exposure||This toolkit provides public health and building owners/operators with actionable information to control Legionella.||Planning & Response||CDC|
|Legionella||Legionella Environmental Assessment Form||Usable form for public health devices, and to develop a Legionella sampling plan.||Planning & Response||CDC|
Chemicals contaminants are elements or compounds, either natural or human-made. Examples include metals, toxins produced by bacteria, drugs, and pesticides. Chemical contaminants featured here include:
- Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
- Nitrates / Nitrites
|PFAS||What We Know: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)||This comprehensive factsheet on PFAS describes sources of PFAS, environmental fate and transport, and steps to combat PFAS contamination||Background Information||American Association for the Advancement of Science|
|PFAS||Addressing Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Drinking Water: Guides for Local and State Leaders||These resources provides guides to help local and state leaders understand the current scientific evidence as they evaluate the risk of PFAS in drinking water||Planning & Response||American Association for the Advancement of Science|
|Lead||Basic Information About Lead and Drinking Water||Information about lead in drinking water and what can be done to reduce exposures and test for lead||Background Information||EPA|
|Lead||Lead in Drinking Water||Guide to lead in tap water for the public, including advice for reducing exposures in the home||Background Information||CDC|
|Lead||Lead In Drinking Water - Is There Lead In My City Drinking Water?||Information on lead testing, an action plan if lead is suspected in a drinking water source, and treatments for lead prevention and contamination||Background Information||Water Research Center|
|Lead||Lead in Drinking Water||Facts about lead in drinking water and answers questions about harms to health, testing, and treatment||Planning & Response||Vermont Department of Health|
|Lead||Mitigation Strategies for Lead Found in School Drinking Water||Steps to develop a water quality management plan for schools to mitigate concerns of lead in drinking water||Planning & Response||Illinois Department of Health|
|Lead||EPA Lead and Copper Rule State Response Documents||Response letters from state governments on how they will enhance oversight of the Lead and Copper Rule||Planning & Response||EPA|
|PFAS||PFAS Factsheet||This factsheet provides an overview of PFAS, the issue of PFAS in drinking water, and how local health departments are responding to this issue.||Background Information||NACCHO|
|PFAS||Basic Information on PFAS||Information on PFAS, its importance, how PFAS impacts health, and how people are exposed||Background Information||EPA|
|PFAS||Fast Facts: What is PFAS?||Fact sheet that touches on the family of chemicals, the previous applications of PFAS, the lifetime health advisory guideline for drinking water exposure as well as state regulatory approaches||Background Information||Barnes & Thornburg LLP|
|PFAS||Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Your Health||Iinformation on PFAS and their health effects, information for health professionals, a CDC/ATSDR PFAS related activity map as well as PFAS Exposure Assessments||Background Information||ATSDR|
|PFAS||PFAS Contamination of Water||How children get exposed to PFAS, exposure limits on PFAS in drinking water and steps for consumers to take if concerning levels of PFAS have been detected in drinking water. Answers to concerns about exposure through various activities||Background Information||State of Rhode Island: Department of Health|
|PFAS||Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)||Factsheet for communities affected by PFAS-contaminated water describing the man-made toxic chemicals and routes of exposure. It also touches on government regulations of PFAS and potential dangers associated with this substance||Background Information||Boston University|
|PFAS||Understanding PFAS: From Science to Practice||Article explaining the growing concern around PFAS and work to further the scientific understanding||Background Information||ABT Associates|
|PFAS||2019 Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Second National Conference||Conference videos and presentations from representatives of public health agencies, academic institutions, etc.||Planning & Response||Northeastern University|
|PFAS||EPA Actions to Address PFAS||Information on the EPA's actions to address PFAS. Iincludes details on the National Leadership Summit and PFAS Management Plan, PFAS exposure and occurrence, human health impacts, reducing exposures and stakeholder support.||Planning & Response||EPA|
|PFAS||EPA's Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan||Guide that provides information on PFAS identification and actions previously taken by the EPA, reducing exposures, understanding PFAS toxicity to develop recommendations and standards, addressing exposures in affected communities, research, development, and risk communication and engagement.||Planning & Response||EPA|
|PFAS||PFAS Contamination in the U.S.||Interactive Map of PFAS Contaminated Communities in the U.S.||Planning & Response||Environmental Working Group|
|Nitrates||Nitrates in Drinking Water||Brief description of nitrates/diet, nitrates in drinking water, sources of high nitrates, health problems, testing for nitrate||Background Information||Illinois Department of Public Health|
Effective information sharing with members of the public as well as the media is critical before, during, and after a water emergency. These resources can help increase public awareness and preparedness.
- Press Release Examples
- Fact Sheet
|Survey||Example of a questionnaire following an emergency||Other||This survey was developed following a flooding event to determine how the county could best allocate resources before, during, and after extreme weather events.||Macomb County Health Department|
|FAQ||Giardia: Drinking Water Fact Sheet||Contaminants||FAQs about Giardia||EPA|
|Press Release Example||Do Not Drink: Blue-green Algae Toxin Detected||Drinking Water Advisory||Example of a NY State "Do not drink" advisory due to blue-green algae detected above health advisory level||New York State Department of Health|
|FAQ||Community Drinking Water Advisory Guidance||Drinking Water Advisory||Answers to common questions during drinking water advisories for use by the general public, businesses, institutions||Minnesota Department of Health|
|Press Release Example||DEC FINDS ELEVATED BACTERIA LEVELS AT SIX COASTAL AREAS IN KETCHIKAN||Contaminants||Example of an LHD issuing a warning for elevated bacteria coastal areas||Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation|
|FAQ||Questions and Answers About E. coli and Fecal Coliform in the Water Supply and Boil Water Advisories||Contaminants||FAQ to inform public about when E.coli or fecal coliform enters the water supply||Rhode Island Department of Health|
|Webpage||Coliform Bacteria in Drinking Water||Contaminants||Includes important information & numerous resources including health concerns, source, testing, treatment options, financial assistance, additional resources||Vermont Department of Health|
|Webpage||Coliform Bacteria in Drinking Water||Contaminants||Webpage containing information on coliform bacteria, what to do when there's coliform, and information for water systems||Washington State Department of Health|
|FAQ||Questions and answers: public health advisory, E. coli(English) / (Spanish)||Contaminants||FAQ to inform public about when E.coli enters the water supply||Washington State Department of Health|
|FAQ||Boil Water Notice and FAQs||General Boil Water Advisory||FAQ document for describing boil water notices to protect customers from drinking water that may have been contaminated||Austin Water|
|Press Release Example||Mandatory Boil Water Notice Issued||General Boil Water Advisory||Mandatory boil water notice||Austin Water|
|Fact Sheet||Quick Reference Facts||General Boil Water Advisory||Easy-to-use, quick reference tool that can be shared with customers during a water advisory||CDC|
|Fact Sheet||Boil Water Advisory Recommendations||General Boil Water Advisory||Guide to best practices during a boil water advisory (how to's & important info)||CDC|
|Fact Sheet||What to do during a boil water advisory||General Boil Water Advisory||List of items for consumers to complete during a boil water advisory||CDC|
|FAQ||Comprehensive List of Q&As for Boil Water Advisories||General Boil Water Advisory||Questions most often asked during boil water advisories Tier 1 Public violations||CDC|
|Press Release Example||Boil Water Advisory Issued for Portion of Dubuque||General Boil Water Advisory||Boil water advisory news release||City of Dubuque Water Department|
|Fact Sheet||TRANSLATED: How do I boil my water?||General Boil Water Advisory||Instructions on how to boil water in seven languages||Connecticut Department of Public Health|
|FAQ||Frequently Asked Questions About Boil Water Notices||General Boil Water Advisory||Answers to common questions the general public may have about boil water advisories and the safety of their drinking water||Florida Health|
|Website Example||Greater Cincinnati Water Works - Boil Water Advisories||General Boil Water Advisory||Webpage about boil water advisories - twitter linked.||Greater Cincinnati Water Works|
|Website Example||Drinking Water Boil Orders and Public Health Orders||General Boil Water Advisory||Example of how a state will release and organize water boil orders/public health orders to the general public via a website||Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection|
|Webpage||Boil Water Notices: Precautions to Take||General Boil Water Advisory||Example of a website to inform the public about boil water notices FAQs||Mississippi State Department of Health|
|FAQ||Boil Water Notices – Frequently Asked Questions for Residents and Homeowners||General Boil Water Advisory||Description of boil water notices and why they are issued; important questions answered||New York State Department of Health|
|Website Example||What is a boil water advisory?||General Boil Water Advisory||Website informing the public about boil water notices||Pennsylvania American Water|
|Press Release Example||Boil Water Advisory Lifted for Four of Five Water Systems||Ending an Advisory||Example of a boil water advisory press release from a LHD||Rhode Island Department of Health|
|Press Release Example||Drinking Water Advisory||General Boil Water Advisory||Example of a boil water advisory news release issued by Sioux City, IA||Sioux City Public Water Supply Company|
|Press Release Example||Boil Water Advisory Issued After Water Main Break in Kalamazoo||Loss of Pressure/Main Break||Press release from health officials and water resources about a boil water advisory||City of Kalamazoo Department of Public Services|
|Webpage||Nitrate and Drinking Water from Private Wells||Contaminants||Online drinking water resource that describes contaminants that could be present in private wells||CDC|
|Webpage||Nitrates in Drinking Water||Contaminants||Webpage describing health effects of nitrates, how to protect yourself and your family, background information||Minnesota Department of Health|
|Toolbox||Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox||Other||Provides information for water utilities on how to plan for, develop, implement, and evaluate communication activities with the public and stakeholders during drinking water notifications and advisories||CDC|
|Website Example||Website Example||Other||Creating a website that provides details about the incident and advisory situation, relevant contact information, and regular updates can be an effective way to communicate with a variety of audiences.Use this website example to assist in the development of your advisory website. Adapt it as needed to suit your situation, keeping in mind the importance of making the site as easy to read and navigate as possible.||CDC|
|Website Example||Atlanta Watershed Twitter||Other||Atlanta Watershed's Twitter - provides drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater services to more than one million people over a 650 square mile area.||City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management|
|FAQ||Frequently Asked Questions||Ending an Advisory||Answers to common questions public may raise following a drinking water advisory||CDC|
|Press Release Example||Example of ending a water advisory: Akron, Ohio||Ending an Advisory||Example of a water advisory end press release via an LHD||City of Akron|
|Press Release Example||Example of ending a water advisory: Kalamazoo, Michigan||Ending an Advisory||Example of a water advisory end press release via an LHD||City of Kalamazoo Department of Public Services|
|Press Release Example||Example of ending a water advisory: Prince George's County, Maryland||Ending an Advisory||Example of a water advisory end press release via an LHD||Prince George's County, MD|
|Fact Sheet||Boil Water Fact sheets for Food Establishments in Multiple Languages||General Boil Water Advisory||Boil water Fact Sheets for Food Establishments in Multiple Languages||Public Health - Seattle & King County|
WASH situations requiring public notification fall into three categories: tier 1, 2, and 3. The EPA sets requirements on the form, manner, content, and frequency of public notices. Here are brief descriptions of each public notification tier:
- Tier 1 (immediate notice): Any time a situation occurs where there is the potential for human health to be immediately impacted, water suppliers have 24 hours to notify people who may drink the water about the situation.
- Tier 2 (notice as soon as possible): Any time a water system provides water with levels of a contaminant that exceed EPA or state standards or that hasn't been treated properly, but that doesn't pose an immediate risk to human health, the water system must notify its customers as soon as possible, but within 30 days of the violation.
- Tier 3 (annual notice): When water systems violate a drinking water standard that does not have a direct impact on human health (for example, failing to take a required sample on time) the water supplier has up to a year to provide a notice of this situation to its customers.
|Templates for Public Notification||The following templates are available on this webpage in English and Spanish: boil water notice, do not drink/use notices, specific tier 1, 2, 3 notices, and problem corrected notice||California State Water Resources Control Board|
|Public Notice Instructions and Templtes||The following templates are available on this webpage: community and non-community public notice instructions, Cylindrospermopsin and microcystin public notice, required public notice language, main break and depressurization guidance||Iowa Department of Natural Resources|
|Tier 1 Public Notification Templates / Tier 2 Public Notification Templates / Tier 3 Public Notification Templates||The following links provide templates for tier 1, 2, and 3-specific situations||Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection|
|Public Notification||The following templates are available in PDF and Word format on this webpage: MCL violations, monitoring violations, drinking water warnings||Washington State Department of Health|
|Public Notice Resources and Templates||The following templates are available on this webpage: notices for microbiological contaminants, notices for chemical contaminants, notices for operations problems, notices for cyanotoxins, problem corrected notice (following tier 1, 2, or 3 situations)||Oregon Health Authority|
|Boil Water Notices||Boil water notice templates are available for the following causes: Coliform exceedance and elevated coliform, E. Coli bacteria, elevated levels of Giardia or Cryptosporidium, high turbidity levels, inadequate disinfection, loss of pressure, problem present in public water system||New York State Department of Health|
|Individual Tools and Templates||Tools and templates are available on this webpage for the following scenarios: before an incident – preparing for an advisory, during an incident – issuing an advisory, after an incident – evaluating an advisory||CDC|
|Public Notification - Drinking Water System Pressure Loss Boil Advisory Template||Template for Public Water System (PWS) to prepare a boil water advisory for loss of pressure in the distribution system||EPA|
|Translations for Public Notification||This page assists purveyors in communicating important water system information to non-English speaking populations. It consists of four basic drinking water messages, which have been translated into twenty-seven different languages||Washington State Department of Health|
Health departments must be able to respond quickly and competently when a WASH emergency arises. Training, exercises, and learning materials can help health departments to become water-ready.
|Measles and PFAS/GenX Tabletop Exercise||This exercise simulates a measles outbreak, as well as an environmental emergency to increase preparedness for response to public health emergencies.||Training Plan||AppHealthCare|
|Drinking Water Advisory Tabletop Exercise||This document provides an example of how a tabletop exercise was conducted with 72 representatives from local health departments, emergency management, water utility companies and community stakeholders to prepare for a community water advisory.||Training Plan||NACCHO, CDC, & the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG)|
|Potable Water- EPHOC||The Drinking Water Modules are intended to provide a broad introductory background on drinking water quality and regulatory issues to give a public health officer a good basic understanding of drinking water production, contaminant monitoring and distribution. Contact hours (6)||Course||CDC|
|Safe Water Program Improvement e-Learning Series (SWPI)||SWPI walks through the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services and the Environmental Public Health Performance Standards, and provides examples of using them to identify and fill program gaps in prive drinking water systems not covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act. (2 hours)||Course||CDC|
|Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER)||EHTER helps environmental health professionals and other emergency response personnel address the environmental health impacts of emergencies and disasters. (8 hours)||Course||CDC|
|Water/Wastewater Utility All-Hazards Bootcamp Training||This training course is designed for water and wastewater employees responsible for emergency response and recovery activities||Course||Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)|
|Water Treatment Solutions||This course will discuss how to use and understand water testing results, idenitfy different filtration devices and treatments, and describe the importance of maintenance, understanding if watertreatment is needed, and equipment testing, performance, and certification||Course||The Private Well Class|
|Your Water Well System||To understand common problems and maintenance practices related to wells and water systems, this course will cover the different types of well pumps, pitless adapters and other parts of a private well systems, and different types of pressure tanks||Course||The Private Well Class; Sponsored by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)|
|Groundwater Quality & Source Water Protection||Overview of how wells and groundwater can be influenced by surface infiltration, naturally occurring contaminants, and even water availability. Some of these problems include drinking water quality and having enough water for supply. This course will also provide a better understanding of the risks for wells in more vulnerable situations||Course||The Private Well Class; Sponsored by NEHA|
|Tabletop Exercise Tool for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities||The Tabletop Exercise Tool for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities provides users with the resources to plan, conduct and evaluate tabletop exercises that focus on water Sector-related incidents and challenges. This 2018 version of the TTX Tool contains 12 all-hazards scenarios (e.g., natural disasters, man-made incidents) related to emergency preparedness and response. Each scenario has: • Fully-customizable situation manuals and after action reports• Discussion questions • PowerPoint presentations. All of these tabletop exercise materials can be modified to meet your specific needs.||Training Plan||EPA|
|Water Quality Surveillance and Response System Exercise Development Toolbox||The Surveillance and Response System (SRS) Exercise Development Toolbox helps utilities and response partners design, develop, conduct, and evaluate SRS-related discussions and operations-based exercises. These exercises help to develop, teach, refine, and improve SRS procedures for water utilities||Toolbox||EPA|
|Community-Based Water Resiliency Training||Conduct a CBWR Workshop Training session in your community to demonstrate the importance of integrating drinking and wastewater utilities into community emergency preparedness efforts, and to learn how to use the CBWR Tool to assess community-wide water preparedness and foster community resiliency||Training Plan||EPA|
|Develop a Water Utility Training & Exercise Plan||Guide to develop a multi-year water utility training and exercise plan to increase emergency preparedness||Training Plan||EPA|
|Emergency Management Training for Water and Wastewater Utilities||Series of training webinars and training materials for water and wasterwater utilities on the Incident Command System (ICS), the national standard for managing emergencies||Training Plan||EPA|
|Learn from State Water Emergency Response Exercises||The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with several state drinking water and wastewater programs, conducts water sector-focused emergency response tabletop exercises (TTXs). The goal is to raise awareness of the importance of water and wastewater services and the need for coordinated planning within a state. This fact sheet highlights lessons learned from exercises held in 2009, 2010, and 2011.||Training Plan||EPA|
|Understanding Chemical and Microbial Contaminants in Drinking Water: Raw, Treated, and Tap Water Webinar||This webinar covers the spectrum of chemical and microbial contaminants in raw (source) water, to treated water, to water at the tap.||Webinar||Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA)|
|CT Healthy Homes: Connecticut’s Approach to Public Drinking Water and Public Health Protection Webinar||Learn about how EPA’s measures for drinking water quality are being used in CT to protect the public’s health. Join us as the DPH Chief of the Drinking Water Section explains the meaning behind the measures and relationship to CT’s State Health Improvement Plan.||Webinar||EPA|
|Public Health Response to Large Scale Water Contamination||This webinar will discuss articles covering major water contamination incidents in the US, followed by a discussion of the results of the studies and implications for current clinical and public health practice||Webinar||Pediatric Environmental Health Security Units|
|Water, Sanitation & Hygiene During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance for Local Jurisdictions||This webinar covers COVID-19 transmission through drinking water and wastewater, COVID-19 surveillance and sewage systems, reopening buildings and preventing Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and hand hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic, and preparing for hurricane season.||Webinar||NACCHO & CDC|
|Preparedness Wizard (English) / (Spanish)||This tool an interactive video presentation and workbook, including an interactive map to determine state-specific risks, links to the US Natural Hazards Index, a calculator for how much water must be stored based on the number of people in a household, and links to community volunteering resources.||Training Plan||The National Center for Disaster Preparedness|
|Drinking Water Emergency: Public Health Table Top Exercise||This table top exercise uses a major water main break of a city’s drinking water supply as the scenario to establish a learning environment for participants to exercise their emergency response plans, policies, and procedures for this scenario.||Training Plan||CDC|
|Preventing Legionnaires' Disease Training||The training addresses the 7 steps of a Legionella water management program. These 7 steps, outlined in CDC’s Water Management Program toolkit, operationalize the ASHRAE 188 standard for minimizing the risk of Legionnaires’ disease.||Course||CDC|
|Safe Water Program Improvement Training||Safe Water Program Improvement (SWPI) helps health department programs strengthen services to people who use wells, cisterns, springs, and other private drinking water systems not covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act.||Course||CDC|
- Vulnerability Assessment Factsheet (Source: EPA): This document walks through the basic elements of vulnerability assessments, and breaks down points to consider for each element.
- Emergency Response Planning Guidance (Source: Kansas Department of Health & Environment): The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for developing or revising public water supply system Emergency Response Plans (ERPs).
- Simplified Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Drinking Water (Source: Kansas Department of Health & Environment): This document provides an overview of threats, risk minimizations, and easy-to-use tables to conduct a simple vulnerability assessment.
- Conduct a Drinking Water or Wastewater Utility Risk Assessment: Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (Source: EPA): This web-enabled, user-friendly tool can help water and wastewater utilities of all sizes to conduct a risk and resilience assessment.
- What Makes a Water-Prepared Local Health Department? Checklist (Source: NACCHO): Local health departments can use this two-page checklist to make sure they are ready for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) emergencies.
- A Guide to Commercially-Bottled Water and Other Beverages (Source: CDC): Guidance on reading labels of commercially-bottled water and beverages to determine whether drink was processed against cryptosporidium.
- Choosing Home Water Filters & Other Water Treatment Systems (Source: CDC): Information to serve as a guide for household water treatments based on water source, lifestyle, budget, and concerns.
- Chlorine Dioxide, Chlorite and Chlorate in Drinking Water (Source: WHO): Background document on chlorine dioxide, chlorite and chlorate for the development of WHO's Guidelines for Drinking- water Quality.
- Coliform Public Health Advisory Packet (Source: Washington State Department of Health): Washington State DoH developed the Coliform Public Health Advisory Packet to provide the tools used to manage fecal contamination in water supply.
- Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems (Source: EPA): Drinking water rule pages grouped by contaminant type, includes information on unregulated contaminants.
- Effective Risk and Crisis Communication During Water Security Emergencies (Source: EPA): Summary of water security risk communication message mapping workshops with information about effective message development and delivery for use during the development of risk communication plans.
- Emergency Toilet Project (Source: Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization): Information and guidance on the basics of personal hygiene and the safe handling of human waste after a disaster.
- Emergency Water Supply Planning Guide for Hospitals and Health Care Facilities (Source: CDC): A guide for health care facilities to prepare for, respond, and recover from a total or partial water supply interruption by providing the guidance to assess water usage, response capabilities, and water supply alternatives.
- Giardia and Drinking Water from Private Wells (Source: CDC): CDC webpage discussing giardiasis, how Giardia enters drinking water, and how consumers can remove it from drinking water.
- Giardia: Drinking Water Health Advisory (Source: EPA): Extensive EPA resource explaining Giardia's epidemiology, environmental presence in different environmental sources, human health effects, animal health effects, risk calculations, analytical methods, treatment technologies, disinfection, and research needs.
- Ground Water and Drinking Water (Source: EPA): A repository of information on drinking water for the public, public health and environmental health officials
- Iowa Main Break and Depressurization Guidance (Source: Iowa Department of Natural Resources): Provides guidance to public water supply owners and operators in evaluating and responding to pressure loss situations from distribution system issues such as main breaks, valve repairs, or extreme fire flows, and operational disruptions such as a pump failure, power outage, telemetry failure, source failure, or storage depletion.
- Learning from the Flint Water Crisis: Report, Handbook, and Law Primer (Source: The de Beaumont Foundation): A 2018 report details how failures in the legal structure of public health, safe drinking water, and emergency manager laws failed to mitigate the Flint water crisis.
- Regulatory Information by Topic: Water (Source: EPA): Information on pollution prevention efforts, as well as the support for and enforcement of clean water and safe drinking water broken down by topics.
- Main Break Types and Responses (Source: Iowa Department of Natural Resources): Matrix of the different types of main breaks and their appropriate responses/procedures.
- The Public Notification Rule: A Quick Reference Guide (Source: EPA): A guide including and overview of the Public Notification Rule, the tiers of violations, the required elements of a public notice, and information on distribution and presentation.
- Total Coliform Rule Compliance Help for Water Systems (Source: EPA): Materials compiled for owners and operators of public water systems to assist with compliance of the Total Coliform Rule and Revised Total Coliform Rule.
- Turbidity – Why is it Important? (Source: Oregon Health Authority): Information on turbidity and detailed overview of particle types and sizes found in surface water.
- Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) (Source: EPA): EPA’s Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) an annual drinking water quality report from the consumer’s water supplier. The CCR tells consumers where your water comes from and what's in it.
- Water Safety Plans: Managing Drinking-Water Quality from Catchment to Consumer (Source: WHO): The World Health Organization’s water safety plans and corrective actions for drinking water hazards.
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Emergency Preparedness Stories from the Field (Source: NACCHO):
The following examples of recent WASH emergencies have demonstrated the importance of preparedness, and can be used as learning opportunities to prepare water utility companies, public health departments, and emergency managers for future water emergencies.
Environmental Health Program
Director of Environmental Health
Public Health Preparedness Program
Senior Program Analyst, Public Health Preparedness
Environmental Health Program