CLIMATE  CHANGE
                                                               Energy & Climate Change in New England
                                                                                        WATER RESOURCES
     Flooding:
     Is Your Water  Utility Prepared?
      U.S.  EPA  |  CLIMATE  CHANGE  OUTREACH  AT  EPA  NEW   ENGLAND
WATER    RESOURCES:

                                   


                            1
INTRO:
Small water utilities are particularly vulnerable to floods because they might not have adequate funds or resources for
repairing unexpected damage to treatment plants, intakes, and sewage collection and water distribution systems  Although
some may have generators and enough water storage for several days to compensate for disruption of services, many do not
EPA New England encourages all systems to take action now to plan, prepare, and protect against future flooding.
PLAN AHEAD:
First assess the vulnerability of all assets by answering these
questions: Which components (e.g., pump stations, genera-
tors) are in the floodplain? Are existing protection infra-
structure such as dams and levees structurally sound and
designed for extreme flooding?  And, can back-op power
satisfy all essential functions? FEM A. the Army Corp of Engi-
neers, and municipal engineers can help provide answers.

Next work with town officials and modify long-term plan-
ning strategies, budgets, and insurance coverage to address
flood protection needs. If the  system is flooded, insurance
companies and FEMA require records of all damaged assets;
therefore, it is important  to inventory  everything from
pumps to computers (include purchase date, model number,
and photos). Document all staff time because salary expens-
es might be reimbursed. Update maps and  emergency
response plans and identify a location outside the floodplain
where vehicles and equipment can be moved. Emergency
situations are overwhelming; staff, equipment and  supplies
will be limited. Flan for shortages by establishing relation-
ships with local utilities and entering mutual aid agreements
(e.g., WARNs). Do not hesitate to ask for help!

PREPARE  AND  PRACTICE:
Preparation without practice can lead  to unanticipated
complications.  Simply  preparing an emergency response
plan is not enough. Work with local emergency response
contacts and con duct tabtetop exercises to ensure smoother
operations during a flood. All employees should participate
and be  cross-trained. Establish contracts with vendors for
                                  emergency deliveries, Test generators and ensure adequate
                                  fuel supply is stored or available under flooding condrtions. If
                                  a generator is not on-site, install a transfer switch.

                                  Prepare  a risk  communication plan which  includes a
                                  list of critical customers. Write the plan now and draft
                                  public notification  announcements answering the ques-
                                  tions: how, when, and what will the public want to know?

                                  PROTECT  ASSETS:
                                  Take these immediate actions which require less capital
                                  and can be easily accomplished in the short-term: protect
                                  design drawings and operational plans, store chemicals in
                                  secure cabinets above counter level, install door flaps to
                                  prevent water intrusion, and install close-tight cabinets
                                  to prevent objects from moving. Long-term  protection
                                  requiring substantial capital  funds and planning include
                                  raising vulnerable well  casings,  installing waterproof
                                  cabinets around electrical systems, and moving or elevat-
                                  ing electrical, SCADA, generators and important equip-
                                  ment out of flood-prone areas.

                                  Work with community leaders to protect the utility and
                                  town by developing riparian  buffer zones for infiltrating
                                  flood waters,  improving drainage infrastructure systems
                                  to reduce localized flooding, and building new  or upgrad-
                                  ing existing berms and levees. Remember: water and
                                  wastewater utilities serve everyone. Remind the commu-
                                  nity and gain their support!

                                  EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 1 (800) 426-4791
KEY CONTACTS:


DENISE SPRINCBORC
EPA New England
Environmental Engineer
(617) 918-1681
springborg.denise@epa.gov

MARK SCEERY
EPA New England
Environmental Engineer
(617) 918-1559
sceery.mark@epa.gov


GENERAL INFO:


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v>EPA
United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
           EPA-420-F-12-007
                March 2012
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