United States
                  Environmental Protection
 Water  Laboratory Alliance
 A  Utility Perspective
   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Water
   Laboratory Alliance (WLA) in 2009. The WLA provides the Water
   Sector, including drinking water and wastewater utilities, with an
   integrated nationwide network of laboratories. The WLA is comprised
   of public health, environmental and commercial laboratories that can
   respond to natural, intentional or unintentional water contamination
   incidents. These laboratories have the capability and capacity to
   analyze water samples involving chemical, biological or radiochemical
   contaminants. The WLA is an integral part of EPAs Environmental
   Response Laboratory Network (ERLN). As part of the ERLN, the
   WLA serves as the water component of this "all hazards" network that
   covers all environmental matrices of concern. In addition, EPAs WLA
   Team provides tools, resources and best practices that help facilitate
   successful and timely incident response.

Benefits to Water Utilities

Water utilities that take advantage of WLA resources gain
valuable avenues to enhance preparedness. These resources
increase knowledge on how to identify laboratories that can
provide analytical support before, during and after water
contamination incidents. In addition, the WLA provides many
benefits to water utilities:
• Enhanced preparedness for emergency response.
• Improved communications with laboratories, state and
  municipal agencies and reporting authorities.
• Opportunity to participate in emergency response exercises.
• Water security-related training opportunities with a focus on
  Water Sector best practices and lessons learned.
• Access to water-security related tools and resources that will
  help facilitate response to water contamination incidents.

Water Laboratory Alliance
Response Plan (WLA-RP)

The WLA-RP establishes a comprehensive, national response
approach to water contamination incidents requiring analytical
support. The plan includes information on preparedness, response,
remediation and recovery. Specifically, the WLA-RP addresses
incidents that, due to their suspected cause or size, may require
more analytical support than a single laboratory can provide.
The WLA-RP shares best practices with utilities and laboratories
for a systematic, coordinated response to a water contamination
incident. The best practices contained in the WLA-RP can be used
EPA Water Security-Relate
Tools and  Resources

EPA Compendium of Environmental
Testing Laboratories (Laboratory
EPAs Laboratory Compendium is a secure,
Web-based tool that helps utilities and
other users identify laboratory support. The
Laboratory Compendium provides real-time
data related to laboratory contact, capability
and capacity information. This resource
is intended to assist EPA; state, local and
federal emergency  response; and water utility
personnel in responding to contamination
threats. A brief application must be completed
in order to access this tool. https://cfext.epa.

Water Contamination Information Tool
WCIT is a secure online database with
methods for more than 800 analytes. The
database includes detailed profiles for over
100 chemical,  biological and radiochemical

                             Water Laboratory Alliance A Utility Perspective
in conjunction with existing Incident Command System (ICS)
structures. In addition, key principles of the WLA-RP can
be applied to responses that only involve a single laboratory.
The WLA-RP can be accessed at http://www2.epa.gov/

Analytical Preparedness
Full-Scale Exercises (AP-FSEs)

In an effort to support Water Sector preparedness, EPA's WLA
Team conducts utility-led AP-FSEs on an ongoing basis. These
exercises enable utilities and other participants to practice
coordinated response to a major environmental and public health
incident. AP-FSEs have involved a wide spectrum of participants
• EPA regional, state environmental and public health,
  municipal, utility  and commercial laboratories.
• Emergency response personnel.
• Partnering federal, state and municipal agencies.
The goal of these exercises is to establish a learning environment
in which participants:
• Gain experience with response best practices from the WLA-
• Improve both internal and external communications.
• Interact with others to address a mock water contamination

These exercises  allow the coordinating utility to:
• Identify and coordinate analytical support.
• Work with state and municipal agencies and reporting
  authorities (e.g., department of environmental quality, state
  drinking water authority, public health department).
• Establish relationships and a framework that can be used
  during a real incident.

WLA Training Center

The WLA Training Center was developed to familiarize
WLA Member laboratories, utilities, and other stakeholders
with Water Sector best practices. Courses cover topics such
as emergency response, analytical methods, sample handling
and data reporting. The WLA Training Center helps ensure
that stakeholders can take advantage of WLA benefits, and
operate effectively during a response. The curriculum utilizes
enhanced computer-based training, including webcasts and
online modules when in-person training is not an option. Many
courses are self-administered and can be accessed at any time
via the WLA Training Center website at http://www2.epa.gov/
 •PA Water Security-Related Tools
and Resources continued from page 1
contaminants of concern for the Water
Sector. WCIT allows users to compare and
contrast the performance, speed and relative
cost of analytical methods for response to
incidents. This tool compiles drinking water-
and wastewater-specific data in a single
location. As such, WCIT helps utilities  and
laboratories plan for and respond to water
contamination incidents. WCIT functionality
and data were shaped and validated by water
utility professionals, scientists and public health
experts. For more information and to sign-up for
WCIT, visit http://www2.epa.gov/waterdata/

Sampling Guidance for Unknown
Contaminants in Drinking Water
This document provides comprehensive
guidance that integrates recommendations
for biological, chemical and radiochemical
sample collection, preservation and transport
procedures. This guidance enables utilities
to collect samples that will support multiple
analytical approaches for the detection and
identification of contaminants in drinking water.

Containment and Disposal of Large
Amounts of Water: A Support Guide for
Water Utilities (Disposal Guide)
The Disposal Guide serves as a reference to
assist utility actions related to containment,
treatment or disposal of large amounts
of water from a contamination incident. It
contains decision-making flowcharts, as well
as information on nearly 70 contaminants
of concern  to the Water Sector. To view
the guide, visit http://www2.epa.gov/

      For additional information on the WLA, contact the WLA Helpline at 703-461-2400 or
        WLA@epa.gov, or visit the WLA homepage at http://www2.epa.gov/waterlabnetwork.
                           Office of Water (4608-T) |  EPA 817-F-15-028 | November 2015