Drinking Water System Emergency Preparedness and Response Resources

Mutual Aid

Mutual aid from neighboring utilities could be the quickest source for emergency assistance that meets utility needs when it is needed. To take advantage of mutual aid, utilities should prepare a mutual aid agreement in advance. The New York Water and Waste Water Agency Response Network was created by New York utilities for New York utilities to do just that.

Emergency Equipment Stockpile

The State Office of Emergency Management (formerly SEMO) maintains a stockpile of emergency equipment that includes items that can be loaned free-of-charge to municipal officials for water supply emergencies. Loans can be initiated through local emergency management officials and county or district health offices.

Technical Assistance for Drinking Water Systems

When unexpected conditions arise, utility resources can be taxed to the point where outside assistance or expertise is needed. County or district health offices may be able to provide or arrange for technical assistance to water utilities. Technical assistance for small and medium systems may also be available directly from the New York Rural Water Association.

Emergency Laboratory Assistance for Drinking Water Systems

When drinking water may be contaminated by unexpected conditions or an intrusion event, water tests for biological, chemical or radiological parameters may be needed to assure public health protection. Water utilities should immediately contact their county or district environmental health protection office for assistance and direction. If utility resources are unable to provide the level of testing needed, laboratory assistance may be available through NYWARN mutual aid. County or district staff may also be able to arrange laboratory assistance from Wadsworth Center or the Water Laboratory Alliance.

Incident Command System and National Incident Management System

In New York State, state and local governments use the ICS and NIMS in their emergency response structure.

Emergency Planning and Incident Response

References for Obtaining Alternative Potable Water