diverting resources away from other agency
priorities. Each action has a particular set of
consequences and it is vital that resources
are allocated optimally. Utilities need to
identify when the issues of concern are
better addressed by actions upstream of
the water treatment plant that may not be
within their direct purview or through public
health authorities who can most credibly
convey broader guidance in personal risk
management extending to all significant
Building the Framework
The framework was developed iteratively
through the consultation of various utility
and regulatory experts. The developers’ goals
were to make the framework easily visualized
and sufficiently broad for general use, while
at the same time referencing more specific
information. Within each of the framework
components, a series of worksheets and lists
of external resources are provided to guide
the utility through that stage. The framework
development process was intended to
maximize integration of information from
existing and ongoing Foundation work and
other reputable, publicly available sources.
To this end, hyperlinks are provided to a
wide range of outside resources through the
worksheet pages. The complete framework
is presented as an interactive Web-based
tool so that utilities can move easily between
framework components and the linked
resources. Worksheets are provided in an
editable format to facilitate customization
by individual users.
The framework recognizes that not all
emerging contaminant situations will or
should involve the same level of response.
The approach taken depends on the
contaminant, the level of concern, the size
of the utility, utility resources, and many
other considerations. Depending on the
specific circumstances, various responses
are both possible and responsible. Thus, the
framework presents the user with four initial
1. Contact regulatory/public health agencies.
2. Provide readily available fact sheets to
3. Liaison with other organizations.
4. Conduct a more intensive analysis.
These responses are not mutually exclusive
and conceivably all responses may be utilized.
The most involved response will be for those
situations where a more intensive analysis
is considered appropriate. This option leads
into the more detailed framework made up
of seven different components, shown in
Figure 1 and described below.
During the initial component of the framework,
Emerging Issue Arises, the user considers the
exact triggers leading to the current issue, the
required outputs of stakeholders, desired
timescales, and who needs to be involved and
kept informed throughout the process. In the
next phase, Investigate Using Sound Science,