Emergency water-supply planning guide for hospitals and health care facilities

June 30, 2011 | EPA, Water Quality

In order to maintain daily operations and patient-care services, health care facilities need to develop an emergency water-supply plan (EWSP) to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a total or partial interruption of the facilities’ normal water supply. Water-supply interruption can be caused by several types of events, such as natural disaster, a failure of the community water system, construction damage or even an act of terrorism. Because water supplies can and do fail, it is imperative to understand and address how patient safety, quality of care, and the operations of your facility will be impacted.
A health care facility must be able to respond to and recover from a water supply interruption. A robust EWSP can provide a road map for response and recovery by providing the guidance to assess water usage, response capabilities, and water alternatives.

This report complements the recently released Planning for an Emergency Drinking Water Supply, which was developed through a partnership between EPA’s National Homeland Security Research Center and the American Water Works Association. The report offers a resource to review the roles and responsibilities among various levels of government and essential planning steps. Because all government entities and others responsible for emergency water supplies should coordinate roles as well as identify approaches and estimate resources, preplanning leads to more effective and efficient operations under emergency conditions.

Download/view the guide