WaterSentinel Initiative
As part of the President's proposed Fiscal Year 2006 budget, EPA is launching the WaterSentinel
Initiative, a demonstration project to design, deploy, and evaluate a model contamination warning system
for drinking water security.  The project, which is being developed in partnership with a utility and
laboratories, responds to a Homeland Security Presidential Directive that charges EPA to develop
surveillance and monitoring systems to provide early detection of water contamination.

A contamination warning system involves the active deployment and use of monitoring
technologies/strategies and enhanced surveillance activities to collect, integrate, analyze, and
communicate information.  Timely warning of potential water contamination incidents allows for
immediate response actions that can minimize the public health and economic impacts of contamination.

What is Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9 (HSPD-9)?

HSPD-9 is the directive that charges EPA to develop robust, comprehensive and fully coordinated
surveillance and monitoring systems to provide early detection and awareness of water contamination. In
order to support the monitoring and response to an incident, HSPD-9 also directs EPA to develop
nationwide laboratory networks that integrate existing federal and state laboratory resources.

What is the overall goal of WaterSentinel?

The overall goal of the WaterSentinel Initiative is to design and demonstrate an effective system for
timely detection and appropriate response to drinking water contamination threats and incidents through a
pilot program that would have broad application to the nation's drinking water utilities.  WaterSentinel
demonstrates the concept so that drinking water utilities of all sizes and characteristics can adopt and
implement an effective contamination warning system.

How would WaterSentinel detect a contamination incident?

Although we are continually refining our conceptual design for the program, WaterSentinel uses a four-
fold approach to detecting contamination involving:
     monitoring of water quality parameters;
     direct monitoring and laboratory analysis of high priority chemical, biological, and radiological
     integration of water system data with existing public health surveillance  systems; and
     active  surveillance of customer complaints;
     physical security enhancements.
In addition to other critical sources of information, such as intelligence threat analysis and  reports from
local law enforcement, WaterSentinel harnesses and leverages an array of data streams in support of a
robust contamination warning system.

How can I participate in WaterSentinel?

EPA will identify a utility, laboratories and  supporting partners to pilot WaterSentinel.  In addition to
these pilot locations, EPA envisions collaborating with its partners in the water sector (e.g., water utilities,
laboratories, states, emergency  responders, public health officials, law enforcement, federal agencies,
technical experts, among others) to solicit input for WaterSentinel throughout the design and
implementation of the project.  For example, water sector partners can provide guidance on the design of

the model contamination warning system, identify the dual use benefits at the various stages throughout
the pilot study, participate in the development of performance measures, participate in the technical
review and evaluation of guidance documents and materials, and in some cases, participate in training and
table-top exercises. Broad involvement in WaterSentinel will enable non-pilot utilities, laboratories and
others to take home what is learned in WaterSentinel to implement a contamination warning system in
their own communities.

How do I get involved if I'm a technology manufacturer?

WaterSentinel will rely on the Technology Testing and Evaluation Panel (TTEP) program in our Office of
Research and Development for analysis of technologies that could be candidates for deployment in a
contamination warning system. Through TTEP, EPA will continue to evaluate existing detection and
sensor equipment, as well as data management integration software, among others, to determine which
technologies could have application for WaterSentinel.

What is EPA's timeframe for completing these activities?

The WaterSentinel pilot initiative began in Fiscal Year 2006.  EPA launched this project by building on
existing efforts. Throughout Fiscal Year 2005, EPA worked with the water sector on activities that could
lay the groundwork for WaterSentinel. Such activities included the design of a model contamination
warning system, analysis of contaminants that could be effectively monitored for a timely response, the
development of consequence management protocols for response to  a potential incident, and research into
technologies that could be candidates for deployment.

Where do I get more information?

We recommend that utilities frequently visit EPA's Water Security Web site, which is continually
updated to reflect new information on training, tools, and the latest scientific advances to protect drinking
water and wastewater utilities.  The website is: www.epa.gov/watersecuritv