Coronavirus Resources for Members & Operators
If you’re getting questions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, you can find resources here to help you provide prompt and accurate answers. This list will grow as more information becomes available, so check back regularly.
CDC has posted guidance for flushing stagnant water from buildings prior to reopening, or prior to using a closed building for medical purposes. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html The EPA is working with CDC to develop further information.
CDC also has posted information about the safety of water for hand washing during a boil water advisory on their Q&A page https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html
The scientists and engineers at the Environmental Science, Policy & Research Institute (ESPRI) and AH Environmental Consultants, Inc. (AH) developed brief guidance material to help those who are responsible for maintaining building water systems: https://esprinstitute.org/coronavirus-building-flushing-guidance/
All EPA resources can be found here and by following the Utility link at the very bottom of this page for more information: https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewaterThe Office of Drinking Water has released this advisory for Operators concerned about meeting continuing education requirements during the Emergency: Operator License Renewal Update
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a letter on April 15, 2020 to the Nation’s Emergency Managers, which outlines lessons learned from the first 30 days of FEMA leading the “Whole-of-America” response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This letter expressed the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at water treatment facilities. The use of PPE is vital for both regular occupational activities and specifically to reduce the exposure to COVID-19 among workers while carrying out mission-essential work.You can access the FEMA Administrator April 15, 2020, letter to Emergency Managers: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/04/15/fema-administrator-april-15-2020-letter-emergency-managers
Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings with Low or No Use
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many buildings and business were closed or experienced significantly reduced water usage for weeks or months, potentially leading to stagnant water inside premise plumbing and distribution systems. Therefore, knowing the risks are key to understanding the steps you can take to restore safe drinking water.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released two documents to assist building managers and drinking water professionals in taking action to address water quality prior to reopening:
- Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings with Low or No Use (PDF) (4 pp, 1 MB, May 2020)
- Checklist: Restoring Water Quality in Buildings for Reopening (PDF) (1 pg, 81 K, May 2020)
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control recently released “Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation:”
As businesses and facilities begin to re-open, please review these documents and take the appropriate actions for your water system and/or facilities so that you can ensure safe drinking water for your customers.
Water Systems Operation Specialists are in high demand. In the next decade, 30-50% of water professionals are expected to retire. This new Apprenticeship program is a direct response to the coming shortage, and a great opportunity for others to learn valuable skills while embarking on a rewarding career. Apply today.