v*EPA
United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
WASTEWATER SYSTEMS
   A Vital Component of WARN
BACKGROUND
The mission of Water/Wastewater Agency Response Networks (WARN) is to provide expedited
access to the specialized resources needed to respond to and recover from natural and human
caused events that disrupt drinking water and wastewater utilities.
                                                   Unlike existing statewide mutual aid
                                                   agreements, WARN membership is
                                                   open to both public and private
                                                   utilities. By adopting the WARN
                                                   approach to mutual aid and
                                                   assistance, drinking water and
                                                   wastewater utilities in  each state are
                                                   able to sign a single agreement
                                                   covering issues such as
                                                   indemnification, workers'
                                                   compensation, and reimbursement.
                                                   The agreement also allows for
                                                   utilities to share equipment,
                                                   personnel, and other resources to
                                                   respond effectively to  any crisis.
A WARN's success relies on a strong base of member utilities willing to help one another during
emergencies. For this reason, no utility is too large or too small to benefit from WARN, and each
additional member enhances the probability of a successful response to an emergency.
ROLE OF WASTEWATER SYSTEMS IN WARN
Every existing WARN includes wastewater systems as members and all member utilities have
equal rights. WARN relies on the involvement of its members to serve on various WARN
committees and subcommittees, as well as serve as the WARN Chair, if elected to the position.
As a member, utilities can request or send resources during an emergency, but are not obligated
to do so if they decide not to for any reason.
WATER SECTOR SUPPORT
Eight major water organizations signed the Joint Policy Statement on Mutual Aid and Assistance
Networks in February 2006, encouraging utilities  and local/state governments to  establish
intrastate mutual aid and assistance networks. Among the signatories, the Water Environment
Federation committed to the "Utilities Helping Utilities" concept and encourages its members to
discuss mutual aid and assistance with their peers.
Additional support is available through outreach products developed by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) to aid utilities in the development of mutual aid and assistance
networks, found at:  http://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/home.cfm?program id=8#maa
        Office of Water (4608-T)  | EPA 817-F-10-003 | February 2010 | www.epa.qov/watersecuritv

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                MUTUAL AID AND ASSISTANCE FOR WASTEWATER SYSTEMS
                page 2 of 2
 WARN RESPONSES
A number of WARNs have been involved in past response activities, both providing and
receiving assistance.
  City of Alamosa, Colorado, Water Contamination Incident (2008) - Colorado WARN
   member response consisted of incident management and sampling expertise, as well as
   resources for flushing and disinfecting the water system.
  Hurricanes Umberto and Ike (2007-2008) - Texas WARN member response included
   systems locating generators and coordinating support to utilities who lost power.
  Southern California Fires (2007) - California WARN member response included systems
   who provided over 100 different resources, including operators, mechanics, electricians,
   water quality technicians, water buffaloes for firefighting, and bottled water for affected
   citizens.
  Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005) - Florida WARN member response included systems
   who cleaned electrical components and lift stations, fixed electrical motors and pumps, and
   repaired water main leaks.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WARN
FALSE
WARN is geared toward water,
not wastewater systems.
WARN membership is expensive.
WARN membership obligates
systems to send resources.
WARN membership precludes
participation in other mutual aid
and assistance agreements, or
utilizing resources from
contractors or associations.
TRUE
> Wastewater utilities and associations sit on many of the WARN
steering committees.
> One of the key intentions of creating the WARN systems was to
support the response and recovery of wastewater systems
following Hurricane Katrina.
> Existing WARNs do not require a membership or retainer fee.
> All member utilities volunteer time to develop and maintain their
WARN.
> No member is obligated to send resources if they decide not to
for any reason.
> The Joint Policy Statement signed by the wastewater and water
organizations supports mutual aid and assistance networks of all
kinds and the WARN program is not the only option.
> WARN recognizes the need for member utilities to also access
local agreements and statewide programs, and does not attempt
to replace them.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION  ^^^^^
Contact John Whitler of EPA (whitler.john@epa.gov) or visit:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/home.cfm7program id=8#maa.
        Office of Water (4608-T) | EPA 817-F-10-003  | February 2010 |  www.epa.qov/watersecuritv

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