The Coronavirus Pandemic has changed the way we live and work. Those of us who work in essential services have a responsibility to keep providing services to our customers. The resources below will be helpful to you as we get through this pandemic together. This page will be updated as information comes in.
Statements / Letters
The Utah Division of Drinking Water and the National Rural Water Association have released statements concerning the novel Coronavirus. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also released a letter to Governors about the Presidential Declaration of a National Emergency.
NRWA Impacts of COVID-19 Emergency
The NRWA has put together a summary of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on water systems across the country. We recommend you send the letter, at the end of the summary, to your Congressman if you have had water loss during this time.
EPA Essential Workers Template - Water/Wastewater
The EPA is providing the attached template for state, localities and water utilities to use to provide documentation to workers that are considered essential. This template complements the letter that EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler sent to Governors in all 50 states, territories, and Washington, DC on March, 27, 2020 requesting that water and wastewater workers, as well as the manufacturers and suppliers who provide vital services and materials to the water sector, are considered essential workers and businesses by state authorities when enacting restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.
EPA Letter to Governors
"In response to the Presidential Declaration of a National Emergency for the COVID-19 outbreak, I am writing to you to request that water and wastewater workers, as well as the manufacturers and suppliers who provide vital services and materials to the water sector, are considered essential workers and businesses by state authorities when enacting restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. Our critical infrastructure and the operators who ensure the safe supply of water to our homes and hospitals depend on treatment chemicals, laboratory supplies, and related goods and materials. "
DDW Protections against COVID-19
Marie E. Owens (Division of Drinking Water) made a statement on the availability of drinking water during the coronavirus outbreak. DDW wants residents to know that public drinking water systems are designed to continuously deliver safe drinking water to your tap. “There is no need for residents to stock up on surplus bottled water in preparation for a potential outbreak of coronavirus.”
NRWA Statement on the Coronavirus
The National Rural Water Association made a statement on the management techniques of drinking water and wastewater. The NRWA continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak and recommends all water and wastewater utilities review the best and latest information.
This is a list of resources that will help operators through the pandemic.
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Readiness: Sustaining Operations
The Division of Drinking Water (DDW) and the Rural Water Association of Utah (RWAU) created a joint press release containing guidelines for sustaining operations.
Water operators are essential personnel and should be prepared to address potential impacts to supply due to personnel interruptions tied to COVID-19. Water systems play a vital role in public health and Rural Water Association and the Division of Drinking Water are here to help systems put measures in place that ensure seamless operations during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
Wastewater and Coronavirus (COVID-19): What are the risks?
The University of Minnesota has released a pdf containing important information for wastewater operators. The study is a compilation of data regarding COVID-19 and its effect on wastewater. We highly recommend you read it.
UTWARN Assistance Request
The current state of response to the COVID-19 virus means that water and wastewater systems must commit themselves as first responders to the protection of the public’s health. The undisrupted continuation of water and wastewater service within all communities is vital. UTWARN is looking for operators who can help should the coronavirus outbreak disrupt a systems ability to continue serving a community.
Prior to assistance being initiated, the requesting system and the responding system along with the responding individual(s) shall work out all details of the response. The following document outlines items that need to be discussed before operational assistance can occur.
The CDC is following the COVID-19 outbreak the closest, and these resources reflect that. These resources are great for operators and the community alike.
The CDC answers several questions about COVID-19 and its effects on water and wastewater. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.
The CDC has also compiled a web page containing everything pertaining to COVID-19. Where it came from, Status in the U.S, What we are doing, Recommendations, etc.
This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance. This website provides key EPA resources on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The EPA has released a webpage with information regarding federal funding for water and wastewater utilities in national disasters. Although Fed FUNDS focuses on major disasters, you can use the information for any incident that disrupts water or wastewater services or damages critical infrastructure.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has put out a few resources that you should be aware of.
USDA Rural Development has launched a COVID-19 resource page to keep customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated on actions taken by the Agency to help rural residents, businesses, and communities impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The USDA has also implemented immediate measures to help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19.
Our legal resources contain helpful information about the workplace from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) along with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The EEOC has updated its guidance for the Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
the IRS announced that small and midsize employers will be able to take advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020 and which goes into effect April 2, 2020.
Congress approved, and President Trump has signed, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) on Friday, March 27, 2020. The CARES Act provides financial relief for businesses and individuals. The bill is extensive and includes provisions for business continuation loans, including payroll and mortgage relief, employment tax deferrals, insurance coverage for testing and future vaccinations, relaxation in rules regarding hardship withdrawals and loans against retirement programs, and more.
The Department of Homeland Security has released several important resources for you to use. Cybersecurity has been overlooked but is crucial during this pandemic. Please pay attention to their recommendations.
This link is for executives to help them think through physical, supply chain, and cybersecurity issues that may arise from the spread of Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Due to precautions being implemented by employers and employees related to physical proximity associated with COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
FEMA has established a rumor control website debunking COVID-related rumors. Check this site regularly and please share widely in your network.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the world. The following resource is from the research they have done. This Technical Brief is written in particular for water and sanitation practitioners and providers.
Cover Photo Credit: CDC https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23311