With the passage of the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act in 2002, all community water systems serving populations greater than 3,300 people were required to conduct vulnerability assessments, certify completion, and provide a written report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Act requires that all emergency response plans, at a minimum, must include plans, procedures and identification of equipment that can be used in the event of an intentional attack on a water treatment system. In addition, actions, procedures and identification of equipment that can lessen the impact of such an attack must also be included in the assessment.
In September 2003, the State of Delaware -- in an effort to help state water utilities comply with the new federal regulations – applied for a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to purchase a Severn Trent EcloxTM
Rapid Response Water Test Kit for use by the DRWA. Compact and weighing less than 20 pounds, the kit uses chemiluminescence to measure the amount of light generated when a water sample is combined with EcloxTM reagents. This enhanced chemiluminescence reaction produces light in direct proportion to the quality of the sample and is used to determine the relative toxicity of the water.