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Security and Emergency Response Planning Toolbox for Small Water and Wastewater Systems

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Collage for RCAP ToolboxIf you would like to be sent the toolbox files by mail on a CD, please send us your mailing address on the Contact Us page. Note, however, that all of the files are available below for downloading.

 

The RCAP Security Toolbox was first published in 2006 and consists of five core modules plus appendices. The core modules include:

  • a simple and practical vulnerability assessment guide for small drinking water and/or wastewater systems;
  • emergency-response planning instructions for small drinking water systems;
  • an emergency-response planning template for small drinking water systems;
  • emergency-response planning instructions for small wastewater systems; and
  • an emergency-response planning template for small wastewater systems.

The instructions demonstrate how to conduct the procedures, and the templates are blanks, identical to forms in the instructions, that can be printed and completed by hand, or saved on a computer and filled in by typing into the saved document. The templates also contain a page to certify that the process has been completed. The appendices include resources, a glossary, an emergency notification and contact list, an eBulletin (now called A Drop of Knowledge) subscription form, and PowerPoint training presentations.

Some state agencies require that small water and wastewater systems (population of 3,300 or fewer) certify completion of a vulnerability assessment and emergency-response plan. Certification of completing a VA and ERP is also a prerequisite for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The RCAP Security Toolbox is a simple, user-friendly resource available to small systems to help them meet these requirements and operate and manage their water and wastewater systems securely and efficiently.

The following are needed to access/view/print the files in this toolbox When these types of files appear in the toolbox below, they are designated by these icons
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Acknowledgements

 Chapter 1. Introduction

How to Use This Toolbox
A Word About the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP)

 

Security, risk reduction, and emergency preparedness are not new obligations but are part of the ongoing responsibilities of owning and operating a water or wastewater system. It’s the responsibility of system owners, managers, and operators to implement security and preparedness measures. With this responsibility comes a liability – political and possibly legal – if risks are not reduced and the system is not responsive to emergencies. It’s critical that those responsible for systems assess the systems’ vulnerabilities, reduce their risks, and be sure they’re prepared for all types of possible emergencies.
 
The devastating natural disasters of recent years have underlined the need for small water and wastewater system owners, managers, and operators to be familiar with physical and operational aspects of their systems that are susceptible to failure. Unexpected events, whether natural or human-caused, can pose a risk to public health. Therefore, those responsible for providing safe water and wastewater services must strengthen the weak components and processes, and assure that they are well-prepared for unexpected events that could endanger customers and neighbors.
 
Many small utilities have limited resources, and some do not have computer capabilities. The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) has crafted vulnerability assessment and emergency response planning tools for small and very small water and wastewater systems, with and without computer capabilities. Many of the actions suggested by these tools are inexpensive and quick.
 
Utilities that assess their vulnerabilities and adopt thorough emergency response plans are minimizing risk to life, health, and the environment; reducing liability for emergency-related injury; and demonstrating good policy. 
 
SECTION DESCRIPTION

How to Use This Toolbox

 

 

The RCAP Security and Emergency Response Planning Toolbox for Small Water and Wastewater Systems (the “RCAP Security Toolbox”) consists of five core modules, appendices, and introductory text that relates security and emergency preparedness to best practices of system operation and management. The appendices include resources, a glossary, an emergency notification and contact list, eBulletin subscription forms, and PowerPoint training presentations.
A Word About the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP)

Provides a brief description of the organization and how the RCAP partnership provides training and technical assistance nationwide on water and wastewater through a national office in Washington, D.C., and six regional offices.

Chapter 2. Security and Emergency Response as Capacity Development

Section 1: Asset Management and Its Relationship with Security and Emergency Response
Section 2: Security and Emergency Response Planning as Elements of System Capacity
Section 3: Emergency Response Plans: Addressing Weaknesses to Protect Public Health

SECTION DESCRIPTION
Security and Emergency Response as Capacity Development

Provides technical information and resources in three sections on the following topics: asset management and its relationship with security and emergency response, security and emergency response planning as elements of system capacity, and emergency response plans - addressing weaknesses to protect public health.

Chapter 3. Vulnerability Assessment and Emergency Response Guides and Templates

The instructions demonstrate how to conduct the procedures, and the templates are blanks, identical to forms in the instructions, that can be printed and completed by hand, or saved on your computer and filled in by typing into the saved document. The templates also contain a page to certify that the process has been completed.

SECTION
(All below )

DESCRIPTION
Security Vulnerability Self-Assessment Guide for Water Systems A simple and practical vulnerability assessment guide and template for small water systems (applicable to wastewater systems).
Emergency Response Planning Guide for Public Drinking Water Systems The emergency response planning instructions guide for small drinking water systems demonstrates how to conduct the procedures in the template.
Emergency Response Planning Template for Public Drinking Water Systems The emergency response planning template for small drinking water systems contains blank forms identical to the instructions that can be printed and completed by hand or saved on your computer to be filled in electronically.
Emergency Response Planning Guide for Public Wastewater Systems The emergency response planning instructions for small wastewater systems demonstrates how to conduct the procedures in the template.
Emergency Response Planning Template for Public Wastewater Systems The emergency response planning template for small wastewater systems contains blank forms identical to the instructions that can be printed and completed by hand or saved on your computer to be filled in electronically.

Appendix I. Security Resources

SECTION DESCRIPTION
Security Resources This comprehensive list is an annotated bibliography of resource and tools available to small systems. It includes web sites, publications, and workshops with hyperlinks to many of the resources available to assist small water and wastewater systems.

Appendix II. Glossary of Security Terms

SECTION DESCRIPTION
Glossary of Security Terms

A glossary of security terms with definitions

Appendix III. Emergency Notification and Contact List

SECTION DESCRIPTION
Emergency Notification and Contact List The emergency notification and contact list can be printed or photocopied from the manual and completed by hand, or saved on your computer. Copies should be posted prominently. The list should be updated as needed.

Appendix IV. eBulletin (renamed A Drop of Knowledge) Subscription Forms

SECTION DESCRIPTION
eBulletin Subscription Forms (Note: The eBulletin is now called A Drop of Knowledge):
Postcard

Flier

The eBulletin (renamed A Drop of Knowledge) subscription forms can be printed or copied, and faxed or mailed to the addresses indicated. Trainers can photocopy or print multiple copies for distribution.

Appendix V. Security PowerPoint Training Presentations and Template

SECTION
(All below )

DESCRIPTION
Security and Emergency Preparedness for Small Water and Wastewater Systems This Powerpoint training presentation with notes can be used as a template, and modified to suit needs of a specific training session. It presents information on security and emergency preparedness. Questions can be solicited from the audience.
Walkerton Case Study This powerpoint presentation with notes details the events before and after a contamination outbreak. There are opportunities for participant feedback.
Backflow Case Study (Animated) This powerpoint presentation is an animated demonstration of a backflow incident.
Developing a Security Program This powerpoint presentation with notes outlines how to develop a security program that incorporates setting policies and procedures, exercising the plan, and continual review of the plan.
VA and ERP Tools and Resources This presentation provides a brief description of the resources and tools available to small systems. These resources can help systems meet the USDA Rural Development conditional requirement to have a completed VA/ERP in order to obtain funding.