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Public Water System Preparedness

Emergency preparedness for Public Water Systems (PWS) involves advanced planning on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters or intentional actions that disrupt the system's ability to consistently provide safe drinking water to its customers. The Drinking Water Program encourages PWS owners and operators to take action and implement basic preparedness strategies.

Use the links below to easily navigate to the desired web pages.

Natural Disasters/ Intentional Acts

Preparedness Regulation

Generate a Plan

Resources

Emergency Preparedness Regulations for Public Water Systems

If your PWS is classified as a Non-Transient Non-Community (NTNC) or a Transient Non-Community (TNC) you are not subject to federal or state regulations requiring emergency response planning. The state regulation 18 AAC 80.055 that previously required Emergency Response Plans or Priority Measures Plans was amended in May 2019 to remove these system types from the regulation. However, if you are interested in generating a plan for your system, please visit the Generate a Plan website.

If your PWS is classified as a Community Water system (CWS) you are subject to emergency planning and preparedness regulations as follows:

  • If your CWS serves a population less than 1,000 the state regulation 18 AAC 80.055 requires a Priority Measures Plan to be completed. Biennial updates are recommended but no longer required to be certified. For more information please visit the State Preparedness Regulation (18 AAC 80.055) website.
  • If your CWS serves a population of 1,000 or greater the state regulation 18 AAC 80.055 requires a Vulnerability Assessment and Emergency Response Plan to be completed. Biennial updates are recommended but no longer required to be certified. For more information please visit the State Preparedness Regulation (18 AAC 80.055) website.
  • If your CWS serves a population greater than 3,300 you are also subject to the federal preparedness regulations under the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA) requiring a Risk Assessment and an Emergency Response Plan. Certification of completion will be sent directly to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Emergency Response Plan will need to updated and certified every 5 years. For more information visit the AWIA Preparedness Regulation (Section 2013) website.

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