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IMPLEMENTING A MODEL EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROGRAM

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Brown and Caldwell, working in cooperation with the Colorado Wastewater Utility Council (CWWUC), developed a model Emergency Response Program (ERP) for wastewater utilities in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. The CWWUC initiated this project to establish consistent guidance for an ERP that could be directly applied as a framework for use by other utilities in the state. Recent collection system failures in environmentally sensitive areas had raised awareness among wastewater utilities, water quality managers, and the public about the need for coordinated emergency response capabilities in the Denver region. This awareness, as well as increased enforcement activities by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Colorado on sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), and heightened interest in the Capacity, Management, Operation and Maintenance (CMOM) approach suggested that a coordinated ERP could solve a number of response and notification problems experienced by wastewater utilities during overflow events in recent years.

The CWWUC assembled a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to provide guidance to Brown and Caldwell staff on the ERP project scope and work products. The TAC consisted of approximately twenty representatives from state and county health departments in addition to small and large wastewater utilities.

The primary objective of the model ERP was to provide an easy-to-use framework to assist wastewater utilities in cooperatively responding to sanitary sewer overflows from any point in their collection systems, including lift stations, interceptors, or appurtenant satellite systems. The model program was initially developed for a specified group of utilities within the metropolitan Denver area, but was designed to be easily adapted and customized by other utilities in Colorado or other states.

The model ERP utilizes utility-specific resource data and GIS information in a database format that allows the user easy information access and “point and click” navigation. The ERP provides a dynamic user interface that presents information in multiple formats, such as maps and forms, and guides users through the program. The ERP helps identify the types of emergencies that could occur and corresponding response activities. Accordingly, the program manages information about available equipment, manpower, and other resources needed to respond to an overflow emergency. It also includes information required for other CMOM components, such as staffing and resource documentation, asset management, operation and maintenance activities, and training.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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