News Briefs: EPA Issues New Requirements for Water System Cybersecurity

Also in this week's sewer and water news, the Tampa (Florida) City Council wants to permanently stop a proposal to turn treated wastewater into tap water

News Briefs: EPA Issues New Requirements for Water System Cybersecurity

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued new requirements for public water systems to improve their cybersecurity measures. The EPA memo instructs state governments to audit the cybersecurity practices of public water facilities and use regulatory authorities to enforce security measures. EPA Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox has emphasized the threat cyberattacks pose to water systems.

This move follows a national cybersecurity strategy released by the White House, which calls for software manufacturers to be held responsible for security breaches. The initiative highlights the need for greater protection of critical infrastructure, which is often targeted by cybercriminals and foreign hackers. 

In February 2021, a hacker infiltrated a Florida water treatment facility, leading to heightened scrutiny of the water sector's security practices. The EPA's efforts to increase cybersecurity in public water systems have garnered support from industry associations and are expected to enhance the sector's cyber resilience.

EPA is providing technical assistance and resources to assist states and water systems as they work towards implementation of a robust cybersecurity program. EPA’s guidance titled “Evaluating Cybersecurity During Public Water Sanitary Surveys” is intended to assist states with building cybersecurity into sanitary surveys. The agency is also requesting public comment on Sections 4-8 of the guidance and all appendices until May 31, 2023. To submit comments, email

Tampa Leaders Oppose Water Reuse Proposal

The Tampa (Florida) City Council wants to permanently stop a proposal to turn treated wastewater into tap water. The council has repeatedly told city staff it won't approve items related to the Purify Usable Resources for the Environment Project, but it has continued to appear on the council's agenda.

The project is being championed by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and city staff as a way to address water and environmental concerns in Tampa. The city is analyzing options to recycle up to 50 mgd of reclaimed water from the city's wastewater treatment plant.

New York Governor Announces $110 Million in Water Project Grants

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced that approximately $110 million was awarded to 86 projects through two grant programs to improve water quality across the state. The grant programs support projects that will help protect drinking water, combat contributors to harmful algal blooms, update aging water infrastructure and improve aquatic habitat in communities statewide, with more than $90 million of the funding supporting water quality improvements in Environmental Justice communities that have been disproportionately impacted by environmental pollution.

“New York continues to provide historic levels of financial support to ensure all New Yorkers have access to clean water for generations to come,” Hochul says. “We will continue upgrading New York’s aging infrastructure and strengthening our water security — improving the quality of life and public health of communities across the state.”


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