Emergency Response, Contingency Planning, and YOU
Kalpna Solanki CPHI(C) BSc MBA, Chandana Sundar BTech MEng
Environmental Operators are responsible for providing clean drinking water and effective wastewater management to our communities. In the event of fires, floods, pandemics, or other emergencies, these Operators need to work even harder to ensure safety of public health and the environment.
The Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP) recognizes the vital role of emergency planning for facilities in British Columbia. As an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in environmental operations, the EOCP understands the importance of preparedness in safeguarding the environment and public health during emergencies. To this end, we are working with the Ministry of Health to help promote the new Guide to Emergency Response and Contingency Plans for Water Supply Systems. We have also added supportive functionality to the EOCP’s Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) for Emergency Response and Contingency Planning (ERCP):
- Certified Operators can volunteer to help neighboring communities facing emergencies by making themselves ‘available’ on the CRM;
- In case of an emergency, the EOCP can then generate a report of Operators indicating the area they are located in, their certifications, and their contact information, for quick response and deployment;
- Facilities with Emergency Response and Contingency Plans can upload their plan to their Facility’s profile on the CRM to demonstrate compliance with the requirements in the Drinking Water Protection or Municipal Wastewater Regulations.
To make yourself ‘available’: log into your profile on the CRM, click on the Action tab on the right, and then under Relationships, choose Available for Emergency Response Team. This CRM upgrade applies to Operators with SWS, SWWS, WT, WD, WWC, WWT, and SCS certifications. The certifications will automatically populate the reports that are generated if and when the need arises.
Please also review the Guide to Emergency Response and Contingency Plans (ERCP) for Water Supply Systems to support BC water suppliers to develop and implement an ERCP, as required by the Drinking Water Protection Act (DWPA) and Regulation (DWPR): https://tinyurl.com/ERCPWSS
Collaboration is a key aspect of Emergency Response and Contingency Planning, through which information and resources can be shared, best practices can be developed, and mutual aid networks can be established. ERCP for the water and wastewater sectors is essential to protect public health, the environment, and the integrity of these critical infrastructure systems. The new functionality in the CRM will for rapid deployment of appropriately trained Operators…and faster response means faster recovery.
This is but a first step in the process. We hope to have a lot more resources in place, and will continue working with provincial ministries to effect some significant changes over the next year.