What is VTWARN?
Vermont Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network allows water and wastewater systems in Vermont to receive rapid mutual aid and assistance from other systems to continue providing services if they are impaired by unforeseen staff absences, materials shortages, or equipment failures.
Who Can Participate?
VTWARN is available to all water and wastewater systems, public or private, big or small, in Vermont.
How Does It Work?
Water and wastewater service providers are invited to register with VTWARN, indicating that they would like to join the request-and-response network, and sign a standard agreement (see below). In the event that staffing, materials, or equipment problems occur, systems can request help or share resources with any other system in Vermont that has also signed the standard agreement. Participation is free and voluntary, not mandated by any local, state, or federal regulation.
How to Join or Request Help
- Join or Update Membership. Click on the “Join VTWARN (or update)” icon above or the link below to register, using the form provided. This lets VTWARN organizers know you’re willing to participate, but DOES NOT obligate your utility to provide aid if it cannot do so at any given time.
- Sign the Mutual Aid Agreement. Next, click on the link to the standard mutual aid agreement (MAA) on this page, and download it. Sign the MAA (available as a PDF and a Word document), scan it, and save it to your computer; then return to the “Join VTWARN (or update)” page and use the “Choose file” and “Upload” buttons to submit it. You can also return it attached to an e-mail to the address provided below.
- The agreement must be signed by an appropriate official – typically, a town manager or clerk, fire chief, or president/CEO of non-transient, non-community water suppliers.
- Request help. If your utility needs assistance, click on the “Request Aid VTWARN” icon above or link below. Fill out the request form, specifying what’s needed and for how long. The VTWARN team will help connect you with the resources you need.
What Is the Standard Agreement?
During an emergency, the process of giving and receiving mutual aid and assistance is governed by the terms of the VTWARN agreement. The agreement, based on a standard template provided by the U.S. EPA, spells out reimbursement for costs, liability, worker’s compensation, insurance, confidentiality, and other elements that protect both parties. Signing it DOES NOT OBLIGATE the signer to provide aid, only signals a willingness to do so if feasible, and speeds up the process if consented to.
- The agreement must be signed by a person within your organization who is authorized to engage in legal contracts.
- Towns can exchange resources informally – but you must sign the agreement if you wish to seek FEMA reimbursement for your costs!
CLICK HERE to read and download the VTWARN Standard Mutual Aid Agreement.
- COVID-19 | Vermont Department of Health (healthvermont.gov)
- Join VTWARN
- Request Aid VTWARN
- WARN FAQ (2010)
- Standard Agreement
- Standard Agreement (Microsoft Word Format)
- VTWARN Operation Plan (2009)
- AWWA/FEMA Water Sector Resource Typing Guidance
- Pandemic Incident Action Checklist
- Water Utility Resources for the COVID-19 Pandemic
VTWARN is one of 50 water and wastewater mutual aid networks in the United States. To learn more, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WARN page at www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/mutual-aid-and-assistance-drinking-water-and-wastewater-utilities#1.
Vermont’s WARN was established in 2008. Currently, management of the network is shared by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont Rural Water Association, and Green Mountain Water Environment Association.