On October 23, 2018, America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) was signed into law. Section 2013 requires community water systems serving more than 3,300 people to develop or update risk and resilience assessments and emergency response plans.
- Section 2013 only impacts water utilities serving 3,301 people or more.
- The deadline for certification of your plan documents depends on the population served.
- Your emergency response plan certification is due six months from the date of the risk assessment certification.
A risk and resilience assessment is exactly that: an evaluation of the threats to your water utility that could inhibit your ability to provide safe and reliable drinking water or prompt significant public health or economic concerns to those served by your system. A well-developed, thorough risk and resilience assessment then serves as a guide to prioritize upgrades, operating procedures and policy changes necessary to mitigate the risks to your system.
Based on the findings of your risk and resilience assessment, your emergency response plan details the strategies you’ll employ and resources you’ll leverage to improve the security of your water system and prepare for and respond to an incident, natural or man-made. Your state may have specific regulatory requirements for emergency response plan content, so you should plan to compare state-specific and AWIA requirements to make sure your emergency response plan meets the standards of both.
The deadlines, according to the U.S. EPA, are as follows:
<3,301: While community water systems serving 3,300 or fewer people are not required to conduct risk and resilience assessments under AWIA, this is a great opportunity to have these critical discussions with your water system staff and formulate a plan. The EPA’s Small System Risk and Resilience Assessment Checklist is one resource, prepared with small community water systems in mind.
Not sure how to begin? Start a conversation with MSA’s community water system experts today. Our holistic approach to water services helps you see the big picture and develop coordinated solutions that best serve your needs.