Planning for Pandemics Toolkit
It's always best to be prepared! Should your operator or other key personnel fall ill, how will your water or sewer system continue to operate? RCAP offered a short webinar in March to explain how small water and sewer systems can develop a plan for pandemics and other illness-related conditions.
If you missed our March 16 Pandemic Preparedness webinar, you may listen at:
3.16.20 Pandemic Preparedness Webinar
Password to access the recording: 2BePrepared
Below are items free to download and distribute. Additional resources may be added in the future as needed.
Credit: Philip Van Atta
Philip created the template as part of his Masters in Public Health thesis. He retired as Dayton's Manager of Water Supply & Treatment in Feb. 2017, and maintains his Class IV Water license.
In response to growing concern over the global spread of the coronavirus that may reach the level of a pandemic outbreak, the Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) has developed a Planning for Pandemics Toolkit for small water systems to help prepare for a pandemic. The toolkit includes informative flyers on the coronavirus and sanitation, as well as and a continuity of operations plan template that can be used to prepare for any pandemic (coronavirus, influenza, etc.).
Although the continuity of operations plan is not currently required for water systems, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends water systems utilize the plan voluntarily. Having a continuity of operations plan in place will help water utilities manage issues that may arise as a result of a pandemic. According to American Water Works Association, water utilities should prepare for potential impacts to operations and to respond to customer inquiries about water safety during a pandemic.
In the event of a severe pandemic, workplace absenteeism would increase from illness, fear of infection, and a need for workers to care for sick family members. Specific to water utilities, workplace absenteeism could affect drinking water and wastewater system operators' capability to adequately operate and maintain systems, thereby increasing the risks to public health. Absenteeism would also affect workers from other essential and interdependent sectors such as transportation, power and chemical sectors, and could have an adverse impact on services such as delivery of chemicals and other essential materials and supplies. The continuity of operations plan template addresses these and other concerns