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Division of Water Resources Information Regarding COVID-19

Governor Lee has recently declared a statewide state of emergency to address the spread of COVID-19. TDEC Division of Water Resources (DWR) recognizes that this may present unusual challenges in complying with permits, licenses, or certification conditions due to staff shortages or other pandemic-related disruptions.

DWR is continuing to receive and distribute mail to the appropriate staff. Documents will be reviewed and acted on as normal, but response times may be slower. DWR expects that permit conditions and compliance schedules will continue to be met.  Should closures and illness limit this ability, communicate non-compliance issues with DWR staff through email or phone.

All resource needs and operational issues should be communicated to TDEC as soon as possible for evaluation and assistance.

A dedicated communications e-mail address has been established for public utilities to report operational problems or request emergency assistance:

Non-emergency inquiries can be directed to local field offices

Yes. DWR has developed a resource document for obtaining relevant and current information as well as guidance for contingency planning.

Recommendations for Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems Relative to COVID-19

Please refer to these federal and state documents for information on essential critical infrastructure workers:

Dept. of Homeland Security-CISA - Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Information Supporting Critical Infrastructure

EPA Template - for state, localities and water utilities to use to provide essential worker documentation


The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently published an Incident Action Checklist for water utilities to support planning, response, and recovery efforts related to the pandemic. This streamlined checklist provides useful links and references to resources available to utilities:

USEPA Incident Action Checklist – Pandemic Incidents

The CDC has published Guidance for Building Water Systems to help minimize the risk of Legionnaire’s disease and other diseases associated with water given that water has likely become stagnant in many buildings, such as those that have been vacated by businesses while social distancing measures are in place. The guidance recommends an eight step process before reopening a building, which includes flushing the water system and maintaining the water system (this step asks readers to consider contacting their local water utility to learn about any recent disruptions in the water supply, so utilities may experience an increase in these inquiries).

This Page Last Updated: September 23, 2021 at 8:58 AM