New EPA Risk and Resiliency Requirements For Water Systems

Scott Cole

Water systems across the U.S. have compliance deadlines beginning in March 2020 to assess infrastructure risks from natural and man-made hazards and to develop plans for emergency response and improved resiliency against those risks.

The American Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 contains new requirements for risk and resiliency planning and documentation at water systems. Section 2013 of the AWIA contains provisions and deadlines for water systems to assess and address risks from natural and man-made hazards.

Who Is Affected

This new law establishes specific requirements for all water systems with a population of 3,300 or more. Water systems with a population less than 3,300 will receive future guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What is Required

Each water system must conduct a Risk and Resiliency Assessment and submit a certification of the assessment to EPA. Within six months of the assessment deadline, water systems must develop an Emergency Response Plan that incorporates the findings of the Risk and Resiliency Assessment.
Water system owners will be required to review and update the assessment at least every five years.

How Freese and Nichols Can Help You

Freese and Nichols’ approach can help you go beyond compliance to get the best value for your water-infrastructure assets. Our team of water and wastewater engineers has extensive experience developing Vulnerability Assessments, Risk Management Plans and Evaluations, and Resiliency Programs for many water utilities from less than 3,000 to more than a million. Our team can help you successfully complete your Risk and Resiliency Assessment and develop or update your Emergency Response Plan.


Our team will be happy to help if you have any further questions. Here’s whom you can reach out to.

Georgia Trooper Smith, PE; North Carolina Brian White, PEOklahoma Clay Herndon, PE; Central Texas Kendall King, PENorth Texas Scott Cole, PE, or Rusty Gibson, PE; Southeast Texas Richard Weatherly, PE.