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Coronavirus Preparedness and Response

Water operators are essential personnel and should be prepared to address potential impacts to supply due to personnel interruptions tied to COVID-19. Water systems play a vital role in public health and Rural Water Association and the Division of Drinking Water are here to help systems put measures in place that ensure seamless operations during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

For general COVID-19 information and resources, head over to this page.

Critical Operation Preparedness

  • Identify essential employees required to maintain continuous operation and designate an emergency backup for these employees in the case they cannot report to work.
  • Strategize implementation of an ancillary workforce (e.g. neighboring water systems, contractors, employees in other job titles/descriptions, retirees) to operate utilities on emergency basis.
  • Stay stocked on chemical supplies and order products ahead of schedule to avoid delays from understaffed chemical suppliers.
  • Generate back-up supplier contact list for essential chemical and operation needs.
  • Update/create detailed written instructions for crucial operations (i.e. shutdown, water quality sampling, public notification).
  • Review/update emergency response plan and contacts. Identify key customers— hospitals or care facilities—with special needs.
  • Discuss cyber security precautions when using remote access. Back-up critical files frequently as a prevention measure to restore data.
  • Consider emergency food and overnight necessities at 24-hr facilities for personnel working long shifts.
  • Encourage personnel to stay home when they are sick. Provide work-from-home or sick leave options. Discuss backup or alternative shift rotations for personnel that need to stay home to care for themselves and/or loved ones.
  • If possible, make a plan with your family and any groups that you lead in case of have school/work closures.
  • Limit meetings, gatherings and travel. Encourage personnel to postpone all non- essential travel to areas affected by COVID-19.

Operator Pool

Public water systems are expected to continue to monitor water quality and provide sample results to regulators during the COVID-19 epidemic. There may be systems, that due to an outbreak of COVID-19, require operational assistance. The Alabama Rural Water Association is compiling a pool of certified water and wastewater operators who might be available to provide emergency on-site assistance to other systems Contact the Alabama Rural Water Association at (334)-396-5511 for more information and assistance.


Calling for Volunteers

The current state of response to the COVID-19 virus means that water and wastewater systems must commit themselves as first responders to the protection of the public’s health.

The undisrupted continuation of water and wastewater service within all communities is vital.

There may be systems that, due to an outbreak of COVID-19, require operational assistance.

Accordingly, the Alabama Rural Water Association is compiling a pool of certified water and wastewater operators who might be available to provide on-site emergency assistance to other systems.

This assistance could require the responder to relocate to the requesting system for up to 14 days. Water systems and the responding operator should be prepared to keep detailed records of their response for reimbursement either through the requesting system or other available funding.

If an operator is available for this effort, his/her name, certifications and certification levels along with contact information should be sent by email to

There is no requirement that you reply to this request.

Thank you for your attention and assistance.

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Updated ARWA Information

Find updated information related to ARWA conferences, CEH training and the COVID-19 pandemic on the
ARWA Home Page.


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ARWA's 43rd Annual Technical Training Conference
Mobile, Alabama
March 14-17, 2021

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2021 AL-FL Joint Technical Training Conference
Orange Beach, Alabama
June 1-3, 2021

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ARWA's 43rd Annual Technical Training Conference (W/WW)
March 14-17, 2021
Mobile, Alabama

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Alabama Rural Water Association is a non-profit organization representing water and wastewater systems serving rural communities and towns and commercial firms which support these systems.

We provide assistance to comply with State and Federal regulations, to help with management and operational problems, and to stimulate training initiatives.

Learn more about us.


Alabama Rural Water Association
2576 Bell Road
Montgomery AL 36117 
Phone: (334) 396-5511
Fax: (334) 396-7090