AWIA Brings New Federal Guidelines to Communities

McGill Assists with Compliance

The recently implemented America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) may be a new requirement with a new name, but it is built on the same fundamental principles of previous Safe Drinking Water Act vulnerability assessments, now called risk and resiliency assessments (RRAs), with additional emphasis on cyber security and natural hazards. Having assisted over 40 municipalities and private clients achieve compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, including risk assessments, emergency response plans, asset inventories, and financial studies and rate audits, McGill is well-positioned to assist water utilities with AWIA compliance. Our past experience positions us well to adapt to and provide clients with regulatory updates and confidence in the ever-changing regulatory environment.

What is AWIA?

AWIA of 2018 requires water systems that serve communities of 3,300 residents or more to prepare and update their RRAs and develop or update an emergency response plan (ERP). Upon completion, utilities must certify RRAs and ERPs to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and every five years, utilities must review their RRA and recertify.

How can McGill help?

As a part of our commitment to assisting utilities achieve AWIA compliance, McGill has invested in American Water Works Association (AWWA) AWIA Utility Risk and Resilience certification of key staff.  AWWA-certified team members will help your utility identify a cost-effective approach to performing, documenting, and certifying an RRA and updating your ERP to comply with new requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

To efficiently construct a robust and sustainable RRA that can be updated and maintained by the utility, McGill recommends using available EPA checklists and analysis tools, such as EPA’s Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT) Web 2.0. These tools follow the AWWA Risk and Resilience Management Standard J100-10 (R13) — the first voluntary consensus standard encompassing an all-hazards risk and resilience management process for use specifically by water and wastewater utilities. The AWWA J100 seven-step process identifies vulnerabilities, due to both internal and external factors, and provides methods to evaluate options for improving vulnerabilities in water and wastewater utilities.

Oftentimes, the conclusion of an RRA results in the need to develop capital improvement plans (CIPs) to reduce risk and increase resiliency. McGill can walk our clients through all aspects of AWIA compliance, having conducted numerous similar projects, including AIAs and CIPs. McGill’s familiarity and experience can provide much-needed insight to our clients as they navigate through federal regulations.

Deadline Reminders

Awia deadline chart

Contact McGill for Assistance

McGill values each community we serve. With new processes, procedures, and requirements, we are eager to assist each client through every step, in order to maintain healthy and sustainable communities. If you or your community need assistance with this new act, please contact Mike Dowd, PE, at

For more information on how McGill can help, read about how our team is helping communities to Adapt to Change Through Utility Rate Studies and listen to the McGill Minute Podcast for discussions on many timely topics.

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