Preparing Emergency Response Plans - Drinking Water Systems
All drinking water systems and the people and businesses they serve will benefit from a well prepared emergency response plan. In New York State all community water systems that serve more than 3,300 people are required by State Public Health Law (sec. 1125) to prepare and submit a water supply emergency plan (ERP). Although not required, smaller community water systems are encouraged to prepare an ERP. These plans are submitted to the County Health Department or State Health Department District Health Office that regulates the utility. Some counties have additional ERP requirements that water systems must meet.
To be useful, ERPs need to be complete, up to date, organized to find important information quickly, and readily available when needed. Emergency response plans must include an assessment of vulnerability to water supply contamination and disruption, including the possibility of terrorist attack.
Emergency Response Plan Guidance and Format Information
- Letter to Community Water Systems Serving 3,301 People or More
- Water Supply Emergency Response Plans – Communications and Predefined Response Actions
- Vulnerability Assessment and Emergency Response Plan Updates Community Water Systems Serving Populations Greater Than 3,300 – Frequently Asked Questions
- Protecting Vulnerability Assessment and Emergency Response Plans from Unauthorized Disclosure
- Emergency response plan and vulnerability assessment templates for small to medium size water systems serving up to 10,000 people are available from New York Rural Water Association.
- Boil Water Notices: Fact Sheet and Templates for Public Drinking Water Suppliers
Vulnerability Assessment Software
- Risk Assessment Methodologies for Water Utilities (RAM-W) – Sandia National Laboratories
- Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) – SEMS Technologies, LLC.