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Every Drop Matters

Posted By Susan Nelson on March 02, 2021

Globe in human hand against blue sky. Environmental protection concept. Elements of this image furnished by NASA-1

Water: a resource easy to take for granted, but one we never should.

A community’s drinking water system is one of its most precious assets. Experienced municipal water utility teams across the U.S. spend a great deal of time providing continuous maintenance to our drinking water systems, ensuring their cleanliness, safety and functionality.

Municipal leaders and utility staffs work diligently to help ensure high quality drinking water remains a secure community resource for their local residents, businesses and schools. Because vigilance is the name of the game in the dedicated work these public servants do, implementing tools to protect drinking water systems is critically important.

Two key tools in safeguarding drinking water systems were borne out of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018 which requires drinking water utilities that sell water through meters and serve populations of more than 3,300 to complete a risk and resilience assessment (RRA) and create or update an emergency response plan (ERP). Deadlines for certifying completion of both documents to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this year are based on populations served.

Why are RRAs and ERPs important? In short, RRAs evaluate vulnerabilities, threats and consequences from potential hazards while ERPs include strategies and resources to plan for and protect drinking water utilities’ physical security and cybersecurity.

Advances on the technology front allow drinking water utility teams to reap the benefits of data collection and control of their systems through tools such as SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition). A SCADA system collects data from various treatment plant sensors and sends it to a central computer enabling plant operators to control plant components remotely, providing an enhanced level of vigilance and control over water quality and safety.

 Vigilance + evaluations + emergency plans + data collection + control =

protected drinking water resources because…every drop matters.

Interested in learning more? RRA & ERP Information - Wessler Engineering