WaterEUM — Effective Utility Management

Ten Attributes -

Operational Resiliency

Ensures utility leadership and staff work together to anticipate and avoid problems. Proactively identifies, assesses, establishes tolerance levels for, and effectively manages a full range of business risks (including legal, regulatory, financial, environmental, safety, security, and natural disaster-related) in a proactive way consistent with industry trends and system reliability goals.

Link to Example Measures 


Developing a Public Works Management Practices Operations Manual
The Manual describes the basic criteria and procedures necessary to perform as a full-service public works agency and provides the framework for the object self assessment of an agency. An operations manual is an essential asset to any agency, but there's no standard that will fit all agencies. However, there are some common, key elements that should be included in any operations manual, and this book will identify them and teach you how to use them. Learn how to ensure smooth transitions in your workforce, guard against the risk of lost information, and provide consistently good service to your community. (56 pages, 2006) $$ Order Now 

Maintenance Management Systems: A Tool for Positive Change in Your Agency
Industry experts share their challenges and success stories of implementing and using a Maintenance Management Systems (MMS). Hear valuable information on selecting an MMS that fits your needs, how to prepare your staff for the change, and how an MMS can improve your organizations overall daily operations. $$ Order Now 

Protecting the Water Sector From Security Threats: The Emerging Legal and Policy Frameworks
This handbook is specifically designed to help the water sector adapt to the ever-changing security environment in the United States. This handbook was written to reflect the many changes to the legal landscape involving security issues over the past five years. Among the relevant topics included in the publication is an examination of the current federal legislative framework for protecting water sector infrastructure, a discussion of the potential for civil liability that water sector utilities might face in the event of a terrorist attack or security breach, and an overview of the legal duty owed employers to their employees in the event of a terrorist attack on a facility. Additionally, the publication includes a "Quick Reference Checklist" which provides utility managers and attorneys with a quick way to identify the major legal and security issues they need to consider for their facilities, and provides a quick reference on where to find more detailed information about a specific issue in the publication. $$ Order Now [Free Download]

Supervisor's Guide to Safety & Health Programs
A guide for supervisors responsible for accident investigation, corrective action, reporting, and program implementation. Managers will find this manual an invaluable aid for planning and implementing safety and health programs that can result in reduced accidents and injuries for employees and potential cost savings for large or small public and private facilities. Includes accident reports, community-right-to-know programs, emergency planning, risk minimization programs, safety and health committees, substance abuse programs, and more. (80 pages, 1992) $$ Order Now 

WaterISAC (Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center).
This internet-based water security network was established by utilities with the purpose of securing drinking water and wastewater systems and insuring utility operations in the face of all hazards. WaterISAC works in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to provide immediate communication of threat warnings and incident reporting to water system utilities. WaterISAC's security experts analyze information and rapidly produce valuable assessments of how a threat may specifically impact the water community, identify trends, and suggest mitigation. The WaterISAC secure portal includes a vast database of biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear contaminants and appropriate protocols that is quickly accessible and searchable. WaterISAC Basic subscription is free; WaterISAC Pro subscription requires a modest fee. $$ Subscribe Now 

Water Infrastructure Security Enhancements (WISE) guidance documents
Developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), AWWA and WEF, the documents address physical infrastructure security needs for water supply, wastewater and stormwater, and online contaminant monitoring systems. Security Guidance for Wastewater/Stormwater Utilities provides information for designers and owner/operators of wastewater/stormwater facilities on design upgrades that improve physical security and techniques to improve management and operating practices to reduce vulnerabilities due to malevolent events. Security Guidance for Water Utilities provides information for designers and owner/operators of drinking water facilities on design upgrades that improve physical security and techniques to improve management and operating practices to reduce vulnerabilities due to malevolent events. Guidelines for Designing an Online Contaminant Monitoring System provides information on designing online contaminant monitoring systems, including assessing the need for a monitoring system, locating instruments and sensors and responding to suspected contamination events. Click Here.

Water Utility Management (M5), Second Edition
This manual was written by professional water utility managers to provide new managers with procedures, insights, and details about all aspects of water utility management and leadership. This unique information is unavailable from ordinary business management books. Coverage includes public communications, finance, customer service, operations, maintenance, safety, security, crisis communications, human resource management, information systems, and legal issues. 2005 - Softbound - 134 pp. ISBN 1583213619; Catalog No. 30005 $$ Order Now 


Recordable incidents of injury or illnesses
Incidence rates can be used to show the relative level of injuries and illnesses and help determine problem areas and progress in preventing work-related injuries and illnesses.

Example calculations:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed instructions for employers to evaluate their firm's injury and illness record. The calculation below is based on these instructions, which can be accessed at: http://www.bls.gov/iif/osheval.htm.

  • Total recordable incident rate: (Number of work-related injuries and illnesses X 200,0001) / employee hours worked.

Insurance claims
This measure examines the number, type, and severity of insurance claims to understand insurance coverage strength/vulnerability.

Example calculations:  

  • Number of insurance claims: Number of general liability and auto insurance claims per 200,0002 employee hours worked.

  • Severity of insurance claims: Total dollar amount of general liability and auto insurance claims per 200,0003 employee hours worked.

Risk assessment and response preparedness
This measure asks whether utilities have assessed their all-hazards (natural and human-caused) vulnerabilities and risks and made corresponding plans for critical needs. Risk assessment in this context includes a vulnerability assessment regarding, for example, power outages, lack of access to chemicals, curtailed staff availability, etc.

Example calculations:

  • Emergency Response Plan (ERP) coverage and preparedness: 

    • Does the utility have an ERP in place (yes/no)?

    • Number and frequency of ERP trainings per year: 100 X (number of employees who participate in ERP trainings / total number of employees).

    • Number and frequency of ERP exercises per year: 100 X (number of employees who participate in ERP exercises / total number of employees).

    • Frequency with which the ERP is reviewed and updated.

  • Vulnerability management: Is there a process in place for identifying and addressing system deficiencies (e.g., deficiency reporting with an immediate remedy process) (yes/no)?

Ongoing operational resiliency
Description: This measure assesses a utility's operational reliability during ongoing/routine operations.

Example calculations: 

  • Uptime for critical utility components on an ongoing basis (percent): 100 X (hours of critical component uptime / hours critical components have the physical potential to be operational). Note: a utility can apply this measure on an individual component basis or summed across all identified critical components. Also, a utility can make this measure more precise by adjusting for planned maintenance periods.

Operational resiliency under emergency conditions
This measure assesses the operational preparedness and expected responsiveness in critical areas under emergency conditions.

Example calculations (all apply to emergency conditions and, where relevant, factor in anticipated downtimes relative to required/high demand times):

  • Power resiliency: Period of time (e.g., hours or days) for which backup power is available for critical operations (i.e., those required to meet 100 percent of minimum daily demand) (Note: "minimum daily demand" is the average daily demand for the lowest production month of the year.)

  • Treatment chemical resiliency: Period of time (e.g., hours or days) minimum daily demand can be met with water treated to meet SDWA standards for acute contaminants (i.e., E.coli, fecal coliform, nitrate, nitrite, total nitrate and nitrite, chlorine dioxide, turbidity as referenced in the list of situations requiring a Tier 1 Public Notification under 40 CFR 141.202), without additional treatment chemical deliveries. (Note: "minimum daily demand" is the average daily demand for the lowest production month of the year.

  • Critical parts and equipment resiliency: Current longest lead time (e.g., hours or days) for repair or replacement of operationally critical parts or equipment (calculated by examining repair and replacement lead times for all identified critical parts and equipment and taking the longest single identified time).

  • Critical staff resiliency: Average number of response-capable backup staff for critical operation and maintenance positions (calculated as the sum of all response-capable backup staff / total number of critical operation and maintenance positions).

  • Treatment operations resiliency (percent): Percent of minimum daily demand met with the primary production or treatment plant offline for 24, 48, and 72 hours. (Note: "minimum daily demand" is the average daily demand for the lowest production month of the year.)

  • Sourcewater resiliency: Period of time (e.g., hours or days) minimum daily demand can be met with the primary raw water source unavailable. (Note: "minimum daily demand" is the average daily demand for the lowest production month of the year.)

[1]  200,000 hours is a standard number used by OSHA to normalize data. It represents the equivalent of 100 employees working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, and provides the standard base for the incidence rates. 

[2] See the explanation in the footnote above regarding the 200,000 hours standard. 

[3] See the explanation in the footnote above regarding the 200,000 hours standard.