Online Program

Epa's water contaminant information tool expands a water security tool for all hazards

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Gregory Beumel, M.S., Computer Sciences Corporation, Alexandria, VA
David Boniche, MS, MPH, Office of Water - Water Security Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Kaiser Shen, MS, MPH, Office of Water - Water Security Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Adrian Hanley, M.S., Office of Water - Water Security Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Drinking water and wastewater systems face the threat of accidental or intentional contamination from a range of hazardous substances. To help the Water Sector better prepare for and respond to serious contamination incidents, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) collaborates with partners in the sector to develop and enhance supporting tools and resources. Among the water security tools developed by EPA is the Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT). WCIT is a secure online database containing comprehensive data sets on regulated and non-regulated chemical, biological, and radiochemical contaminants that could cause a significant threat to public health if introduced into drinking water or wastewater systems. WCIT supports preparedness planning, incident response, response training and contaminant research. WCIT contains an analytical methods compendium, which allows users to access details on methods for both analyte screening and confirmation. Using the compendium, WCIT users can search analytical methods to compare costs, required instrumentation, relative time, and to download full analytical methods used for both regular drinking water monitoring and emergency contamination response. To increase WCIT's value as an emergency response resource, EPA has recently added an “expert system” module that guides users through all phases of response to a contamination incident. This interactive tool allows users to query for information on all aspects of responding to drinking water or wastewater contamination incidents, from initial threat evaluation and site characterization to sampling procedures and analytical method selection. WCIT has recently been expanded to contain data on 815 contaminants. As WCIT evolved from a terrorism response tool to an “All Hazards” response tool, EPA added contaminants that are found at utilities and may be accidently released from drinking water and wastewater treatment plants. WCIT provides analytical, treatment, and decontamination methods for these and other contaminants and is kept updated up-to-date with current research on infrastructure decontamination.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify unregulated contaminants in water supply Analyze potential water quality issues in distribution system Compare various properties of chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants that would pose a health risk to the general population

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project manager and technical leader providing contractor support to EPA on the development, expansion, and maintenance of the Water Contaminant Information Tool for the past 8 years. I have a degree in toxicology and have worked in the areas of risk assessment and risk communication.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.