NACWA Finalizes Planning Guide for Decontamination Wastewater

Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - October 25, 2005

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2005
Contact: Chris Hornback, 202.833.9106

NACWA Finalizes Planning Guide for Decontamination Wastewater
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) is pleased to announce the availability of a new document in its series of publications focusing on the protection of wastewater infrastructure assets. Planning for Decontamination Wastewater: A Guide for Utilities (Guide) is the first national publication to explore the potential impacts of wastewater generated during the response to, and cleanup of, a chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) terrorist attack.

The Guide was developed by NACWA under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an effort to increase the level of awareness within the wastewater community and provide guidance on how to ensure that wastewater infrastructure is protected in the event of an attack.

Specifically, the Guide is designed to ensure that managers of wastewater utilities are cognizant of the pre-planning necessary to prevent, detect, respond to and/or recover from the impact of decontamination wastewater containing chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) substances. The Guide examines CBR agents of concern and identifies plausible incident scenarios. A section on planning and coordination explores the potential modification, or addition, of sewer use regulations and policies – as well as the leveraging of pretreatment programs. The Guide contains, among other helpful information, a summary of tactics and equipment that may be employed to prevent decontamination wastewater from entering the sewer system and methods to reduce the adverse impacts of CBR agents on wastewater operations and facility personnel.

NACWA’s Executive Director, Ken Kirk, touted the publication as “an important tool for clean water facility managers and demonstrates NACWA is providing in the security arena. The Guide lays out potential impacts associated with decontamination wastewater, outlines the basic actions utilities should consider when planning for such an event, and provides references to other helpful sources of information.”

The Guide is not intended to provide comprehensive guidance to utilities on handling decontamination wastewater. Instead, the Guide should help utilities inform their key employees of the potential impacts associated with decontamination wastewater, outline the basic actions utilities may consider to plan and prepare for such an event, and provide Internet links and references to other sources of more detailed information.

NACWA would like to extend its thanks to the Association’s Pretreatment & Hazardous Waste and Security and Emergency Preparedness Committees for their leadership role in helping with the development of the Guide. A copy of the Guide can be downloaded free of charge from NACWA’s Publications website at

NACWA is a national trade association representing hundreds of the nation's publicly owned wastewater treatment utilities. NACWA members serve the majority of the sewered population in the United States and collectively treat and reclaim over 18 billion gallons of wastewater every day. NACWA members are environmental practitioners dedicated to protecting and improving the nation's waters and public health.

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