COVID-19 Information for Water & Wastewater Systems

Water and wastewater are essential services and need to be prepared in order to prevent interruptions due to COVID-19. It is important for drinking water and wastewater operators to stay informed about in order to protect public health as well as your personal safety. We have compiled a list of resources below and we will keep this page updated with the latest information.

Emergency Preparedness

Vermont Rural Water has partnered with Vermont DEC and Green Mountain Water and Environment to put together guidelines to help water and wastewater systems prepare for emergency situations related to COVID-19. Click here to download the document.

We held a training on Emergency Preparedness for Vermont Utilities in July—click here to view the slides. 

Also take a look at this article from the American Water Works Association about using lessons learned from the pandemic to update your emergency response plan. Click here to read the article.

VT WARN

The VT WARN network has been reactivated to help water and wastewater systems share resources and receive assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak. Find more information here: https://dec.vermont.gov/vtwarn

 

Updates from DEC

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation has a webpage with information on COVID-19 Response and Resources at dec.vermont.gov/water/COVID-19-Response-and-Resources

Read the March 20 guidance from DWGPD here

Read the March 27 guidance from DWGPD here

Read the May 29 guidance from DWGPD here

 

Water & Wastewater Designated Essential Workforce

Operational staff at water and wastewater systems have been designated as essential by Vermont Emergency Management and the US Department of Homeland Security. This means that operators have the ability and responsibility to continue normal functions during the COVID-19 response.
View full list of Essential Persons in Vermont
View guidance from US Department of Homeland Security

You can use the template below to create a letter that all system personnel can carry with them to ensure they are able to get to work and perform their job. Add in your system’s contact info and print it on town or utility letterhead.
Download the Template here.

In Vermont, essential workers qualify for child care for children up to grade 8 while schools are closed. To request childcare services, call 2-1-1 or fill out this online form: https://webportalapp.com/webform/essentialworkers

 

Information & Resources

CDC – Water Transmission and COVID-19

WEF – The Water Professional’s Guide to COVID-19

WEF – Pandemic Continuity of Operations (COOP) Essential Personnel (3/19/20 Webinar)

AWWA – Utility Action to Sustain Operations during COVID-19 (3/20/20 Webinar)

Water World – 5 Steps for Maintaining Critical Services

EPA – COVID-19 Information for Drinking Water & Wastewater

EPA – Incident Action Checklist for Pandemics

EPA – COVID-19 Financial Impact Tool

Vermont Public Health Response: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus

Technical Assistance

Our field staff continues to be available for onsite or remote assistance. If your system is in need of help, please reach out to us at 802-660-4988 or info@vtruralwater.org

Trainings & Events

Vermont Rural Water will be holding training classes on Zoom at least through November 2020. Click here to see our upcoming webinar trainings.

Water Operator Licenses

Operator Certification Renewal applications will still be due as scheduled but operators may request an extension to complete continuing education requirements until after the state of emergency has ended. Operator Certification Exams have been postponed until further notice.

Wastewater Operator Licenses

OPR is accepting online trainings for continuing education requirements. You can request a continuing education renewal extension of up to 180 days. Click here for a guidance document from OPR.

Last updated 7/22/20