An Emergency is NOT the Time to Exchange Business Cards: Preparedness and Response Tools from EPA’s Water Laboratory Alliance.

Public and Private Environmental/ Public Health Laboratory Partnerships
Oral Presentation

Prepared by L. Mapp
US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, District of Columbia, DC, 20460, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 202-564-0551


A drinking water contamination event can occur at any time. Emergency preparedness and rapid response remains a priority to ensure the water sector can effectively and efficiently address contamination incidents. This includes being prepared for unforeseen analytical challenges that may result from sample surges or unknown contaminants. To assist with this need, the Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) program was formed. The WLA consists of over 140 state, utility, public health, environmental and commercial laboratories with the capability and capacity to analyze water samples for chemical, biological or radiochemical contaminants.

To increase water sector emergency response preparedness and decrease response times, the WLA program offers a variety of tools, resources, and training opportunities covering a variety of topics. This presentation will provide an overview of the WLA program’s three main pillars: communication, preparedness, and response, and introduce helpful water security tools and resources. The benefits of participating in the WLA program and how to join will also be discussed.