Regulatory Update: America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

Risk Assessments and Emergency Response Plans

New Requirements for Drinking Water Utilities

On October 23, 2018, America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) was signed into law requiring community water systems serving more than 3,300 people to complete a risk assessment and develop an emergency response plan


Applies to each community water system serving a population of greater than 3,300 persons.

Requires an assessment of the risks to, and resilience of, its system.

Elements of the Assessment:

  • The risk to the system from malevolent acts and natural hazards.

  • The resilience of the pipes and constructed conveyances, physical barriers, source water, water collection and intake, pretreatment, treatment, storage and distribution facilities.

  • The cyber security of electronic, computer and other automated systems which are used by the system.

  • The monitoring practices of the system.

  • The financial infrastructure of the system.

  • The use, storage, or handling of various chemicals by the system.

  • The operation and maintenance of the system.

  • The assessment includes an evaluation of capital and operational needs for risk and resilience management for the system.


Applies to each community water system serving a population of greater than 3,300 persons.

Requires an emergency response plan that incorporates the findings of the assessment within 6 months of certifying completion of its risk and resilience assessment.

Elements of the Response Plan:

  • Strategies and resources to improve the resilience of the system.

  • Plans and procedures that can be implemented, and identification of equipment that can be utilized, in the event of a threat to the ability of the community water system to deliver safe drinking water.

  • Actions, procedures and equipment which can prevent or lessen the impact of a malevolent act or natural hazard on the public health and the safety and supply of drinking water.

Strategies that can be used to aid in the detection of malevolent acts or natural hazards that threaten the security or resilience of the system.

We can help.

Spotts, Stevens and McCoy has the experience to assist you in assessing your system and preparing your response plans.


Dan Standish, Sr. Operations Specialist, Water and Wastewater Engineering