Emergency Preparedness in Illinois
The purpose of the following technical assistance materials are to provide information to small public water supplies such that they can fulfill Risk and Resiliency Assessment (RRA) and Emergency Response Plan (ERP) requirements of Section 2013 of the America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA). AWIA requires water systems serving more than 3,300 people to develop and routinely update RRAs and ERPs.
Additionally, this material is intended to provide sufficient detail to allow public water supplies to comply with the requirements of 35 Illinois Administrative Code Section 604.135 regarding “Repair Work and Emergency Operation.” This Illinois regulation requires all community water supplies to develop emergency operations plans (EOP) for the provision of water under emergency circumstances. In the context of this website, ERP and EOP is intended to be synonymous. Therefore, the intent of the Illinois Rural Water Association is that the following materials will satisfy both Federal and State requirements.
Finally, water systems need to be aware that the ERP (EOP) must be updated every three years to comply with Illinois regulations. Further, water systems over 3,300 must recertify every five years to US EPA that its RRA and ERP has been reviewed and modified, as necessary.
America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) – Section 2013
Water systems serving a population of 3,301-49,999 (including satellite customers) must complete a Risk and Resilience Assessment (RRA) by June 30, 2021 and an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) by December 30, 2021 or six months after they submit their RRA, whichever comes first. AWIA does not require the use of any standards, methods or tools for the RRA or ERP. However, to comply with the federal law water systems must evaluate six required elements in their RRA:
- Risk to the system from malevolent acts and natural hazards;
- Resilience of the pipes and constructed conveyances, physical barriers, source water, water collection and intake, pretreatment, treatment, storage and distribution facilities, electronic, computer, or other automated systems (including the security of such systems) which are utilized 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; and
- the operation and maintenance of the system.
Additionally, to further comply with the federal law, water systems must address four elements in their ERP:
- Strategies and resources to improve the resilience of the system, including the physical security and cybersecurity of the system;
- Plans and procedures that can be implemented, and identification of equipment that can be utilized, in the event of a malevolent act or natural hazard that threatens the ability of the community water system to deliver safe drinking water;
- Actions, procedures and equipment which can obviate or significantly lessen the impact of a malevolent act or natural hazard on the public health and the safety and supply of drinking water provided to communities and individuals, including the development of alternative source water options, relocation of water intakes and construction of flood protection barriers; and
- 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.
To assist water systems in Illinois comply with these requirements, the IRWA has developed the following templates (in either Microsoft Word or Excel formats):
To assist you in completing the above templates, the following links may be helpful:
IEPA Who to call for help link to find information for IEPA Regional Office Information
Illinois Emergency Management Agency Local Emergency Management Agency to help you find your County ESDA contact information
Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and with the assistance of an IRWA member water supply the following annex may be used for future emergency preparedness:
Upon completing the RRA and the ERP, you must submit a certification of completion to the U.S. EPA (not Illinois EPA). Currently, the U.S. EPA has provided three certification options for both the RRA and ERP: 1) regular mail; 2) email; or 3) secure online portal. Please be aware that the use of the online portal is the only method provided where you will receive acknowledgement that the federal government has received your certification. Follow the links below for additional information on certification:
How to Certify Your Risk and Resilience Assessment or Emergency Response Plan | Drinking Water and Wastewater Resilience | US EPA
Certification of Community Water System Risk and Resilience Assessment in Compliance with America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (epa.gov)
Certification of Community Water System Emergency Response Plan in Compliance with America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (epa.gov)
For more information on RRA and ERP see the U.S. EPA website at:
Additional Resources that may be helpful:
Instructions for completing and submitting a Vulnerability Assessment (RRA) to USDA - RD
U.S. EPA ERPEmergency Response Plan Template and Instructions
Emergency Procedures Booklet Quick Reference Guide
Word file pdf file
Emergency Procedures Reference (Storage Tanks)
Word filepdf file