Service activities relating to drinking water supply systems and wastewater systems — Crisis management — Good practice for technical aspects

ISO/TS 24520:2017 provides guidance to water utilities on good practice in technical aspects of crisis management. ISO/TS 24520:2017 is applicable to all water utilities, of whatever size, whether public or private, that wish to review the effectiveness and efficiency of their service activities relating to preparation for, response to and recovery from a crisis.

Activités relatives aux services de l'eau potable et de l'assainissement — Gestion de crise — Les bonnes pratiques pour les aspects techniques

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ISO/TS 24520:2017 - Service activities relating to drinking water supply systems and wastewater systems -- Crisis management -- Good practice for technical aspects
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Service activities relating to drinking
water supply systems and wastewater
systems — Crisis management — Good
practice for technical aspects
Activités relatives aux services de l’eau potable et de
l’assainissement — Gestion de crise — Les bonnes pratiques pour les
aspects techniques
Reference number
ISO/TS 24520:2017(E)
ISO 2017

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ISO/TS 24520:2017(E)

© ISO 2017, Published in Switzerland
All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form
or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on the internet or an intranet, without prior
written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s member body in the country of
the requester.
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Tel. +41 22 749 01 11
Fax +41 22 749 09 47
ii © ISO 2017 – All rights reserved

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ISO/TS 24520:2017(E)

Contents Page
Foreword .v
Introduction .vi
1 Scope . 1
2 Normative references . 1
3 Terms and definitions . 1
4 Concepts and principles . 7
4.1 General . 7
4.2 Crisis management phases . 8
5 Preparedness .10
5.1 General .10
5.2 Establishing the context .11
5.3 Commitment .12
5.4 Risk assessment .12
5.5 Procedures and plans, responding, repairing and restoring .12
5.6 Structure and organization .13
5.7 Procedures and tools to identify a crisis and initiate the crisis management team.13
5.8 Training and exercise .15
5.9 Crisis management team .16
5.10 Communication and cooperation.16
5.10.1 Crisis management team communications with users and other stakeholders .16
5.10.2 Cooperation and communications between the water utility and the
relevant authorities in the event of a crisis .18
5.11 Provisions of plans and resources .20
5.11.1 Emergency physical facilities .20
5.11.2 Water utility personnel safety measures .20
5.11.3 Sampling and analysis capability and capacity .20
5.11.4 Alternative water supply .20
5.11.5 Resource availability .20
5.12 Monitoring and review .20
5.13 Documentation .20
6 Response .21
6.1 General .21
6.2 Situation ascertainment .21
6.3 Situation assessment .21
6.4 Decision making .22
6.5 Implementation of decisions and issuing of orders .22
6.6 Supervision and control .22
6.7 Process for risk assessment during a crisis .22
6.8 Communications feedback .23
7 Recovery to normal operation.23
7.1 General .23
7.2 Survey for restoration purposes .23
7.3 Restoration alternatives .24
7.4 Priorities in recovery .24
7.5 Planning the deployment of recovery measures .25
7.6 Repairing the damage .25
7.7 Verification .26
7.7.1 General.26
7.7.2 Verification of quality in the drinking water supply system .26
7.7.3 Verification of quality in the wastewater system .26
7.8 Restoring the service .27
7.8.1 General.27
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ISO/TS 24520:2017(E)

7.8.2 Restoration of drinking water service .27
7.8.3 Restoration of wastewater service .27
7.9 Assessments for recovery stage .27
8 Monitoring and review of the crisis management system .27
8.1 Performance measurement and monitoring .27
8.2 Issues to address when monitoring the performance of a training procedure .28
8.3 Crisis management system maintenance process .28
8.4 Crisis management system assessment .29
9 Management review .29
Annex A (informative) Preparedness.31
Annex B (informative) Recovery to normal operation .41
Bibliography .43
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ISO/TS 24520:2017(E)

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards
bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out
through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical
committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International
organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.
ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of
electrotechnical standardization.
The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are
described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the
different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the
editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).
Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of
patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of
any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or
on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).
Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not
constitute an endorsement.
For an explanation on the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and
expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the
World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see the following
URL: w w w . i s o .org/ iso/ foreword .html.
This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 224, Service activities relating to drinking
water supply systems and wastewater systems — Quality criteria of the service and performance indicators.
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Water is the source of life, without which humans, as well as other species, cannot survive. In many
countries, there is a lack of knowledge regarding crisis management of drinking water and wastewater
Impairment of the drinking water service would change the quality of life of the affected population
in the immediate period while in the medium-term it could affect their ability to survive. Therefore,
the continuous and orderly supply of clean water is of paramount importance for the population. The
collection, treatment and safe disposal of sanitary wastewater are also important if illness and/or
inundation are to be prevented and the environment protected. This document describes good practice
in the establishment of technical crisis management systems drawn from experience contributed by
relevant national authorities.
The approach of a water utility when preparing for any crisis should encompass all pertinent aspects of
water supply and the collection, treatment and safe disposal of wastewater. The water utility needs to
cooperate with all relevant authorities concerned with the crisis. Effective crisis management should
ensure that the actions taken before, during and after the crisis consider the natural environment as
well as the impact on the health and wellbeing of the population. Effective communication with the
public is necessary to mitigate or prevent panic and to establish trust in the water utility by disclosing
important information appropriately in the area affected by a crisis, in neighbouring areas or to any
other stakeholders.
This document can be used as a toolkit by water utilities where they wish to review their current
capability to prepare for, respond to and recover from a crisis in an effective and efficient manner. It
is not intended as a complete guide to crisis management. Water utilities can consult ISO 24518 if they
need further guidance.
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Service activities relating to drinking water supply systems
and wastewater systems — Crisis management — Good
practice for technical aspects
1 Scope
This document provides guidance to water utilities on good practice in technical aspects of crisis
This document is applicable to all water utilities, of whatever size, whether public or private, that wish
to review the effectiveness and efficiency of their service activities relating to preparation for, response
to and recovery from a crisis.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:
— ISO Online browsing platform: available at http:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
alternative wastewater service
wastewater (3.40) service (3.37) provided to users (3.39) by means other than through the normal
collection and treatment system
alternative water supply
water provided to users (3.39) by means other than through the normal treatment and distribution system
systematic examination in which the biological or technical system is decomposed into its component
parts using suitable methods, after which the parts are then organized and evaluated
Note 1 to entry: Analysis also includes water quality sampling operations carried out after sample preparation to
determine the amount of concentration of the analyte(s) of interest present in the sample.
capital-forming goods used for the provision of the service (3.37)
Note 1 to entry: Assets can be tangible or intangible. Examples of tangible assets are land, buildings, pipes, tanks,
treatment plants, equipment and hardware. Examples of intangible assets are software and databases.
Note 2 to entry: Contrary to consumables, assets can be depreciated (tangible assets) or amortized (intangible
assets) in accounting systems.
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ISO/TS 24520:2017(E)

systematic, independent and documented process (3.30) for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it
objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled
Note 1 to entry: An audit can be an internal audit (first party) or an external audit (second party or third party)
and it can be a combined audit (combining two or more disciplines).
Note 2 to entry: “Audit evidence” and “audit criteria” are defined in ISO 19011.
extent to which the infrastructure (3.20), assets (3.4), resources and employees of a water utility (3.41)
enable effective provision of services (3.37) to users (3.39) according to specified performances (3.27)
quality (3.31) of being able to perform a given activity
ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results
Note 1 to entry: Demonstrated competence is sometimes referred to as qualification.
outcome of an event affecting objectives (3.25)
continual improvement
recurring activity to enhance performance (3.27)
Note 1 to entry: The process (3.30) of establishing objectives (3.25) and finding opportunities for improvement is a
continual process through the use of audit (3.5) findings and audit conclusions, analysis (3.3) of data, management
(3.23) reviews or other means and generally leads to corrective action or preventive action.
event or situation which affects or is likely to affect the organization (3.26) or its provided services (3.37)
which requires more than the usual means of operation and/or organizational structures to deal with it
crisis management plan
document specifying which procedures (3.29) and associated resources should be applied by whom and
where to a particular type of crisis (3.11)
drinking water
DEPRECATED: potable water
water intended for human consumption
Note 1 to entry: Requirements (3.34) for drinking water quality (3.31) specifications are generally laid down by
the national relevant authorities. Guidelines are established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results are achieved
relationship between the result achieved and the resources used
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surroundings in which an organization (3.26) operates, including air, water, land, natural resources,
flora, fauna, humans and their interrelation
Note 1 to entry: Surroundings in this context extend from within an organization to the global system.
Note 2 to entry: For the application of this document, environment is considered as a specific stakeholder (3.38).
The interests of this specific stakeholder can be represented by relevant authorities (3.33), by the communities or
by other groups, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
source of potential harm
Note 1 to entry: Harm in the context of a water utility can include injury to stakeholders; compromising of public
health; degradation of the environment; a deterioration in service quality; reputational and/or financial damage;
and consequential sanctioning by the relevant authorities.
Note 2 to entry: Capacity for harm can also arise from compromised service provision. In this context a hazard
can be considered to be a biological, chemical, physical or radiological agent in, or condition of, water with the
potential to cause harm to public health or the environment (3.16). This perspective is based on the definition of
“hazard” in the WHO Water Safety Plan Manual [expanded to include “condition”, which includes quantity (i.e. a
shortage or an excess), hence making it applicable also to wastewater (3.40) service (3.37)].
Note 3 to entry: Other sources of potential harm exist within the water utility’s organizational context. These
hazards can be internal or external to the organization (3.26). Internal hazards could be tangible (e.g. a toxic
chemical store; potential energy stored behind a dam perched on a hillside above a town; a chamber potentially
containing a hazardous atmosphere) or intangible (e.g. poorly documented procedures; inadequate training; an
inappropriate organizational culture). External hazards could be tangible (e.g. earthquake; flooding; forest fire)
or intangible (e.g. social unrest; terrorism, cyber threat, corruption; financial instability).
hazardous event
event that introduces one or more hazards (3.17) to, or fails to remove them from, the drinking water
(3.13) system or the wastewater (3.40) system
Note 1 to entry: The equivalent French word for the English expression “hazardous event” is “evenement
dangereux”. However, the English word “danger” has been removed from this document as it is synonymous with
“hazard”. Both “hazard” and “danger” convey the concept of a potential risk (3.36). When it comes to describing
hazard, the English terminology remains consistent, e.g. “fire hazard”, but the equivalent French expression “Il y
a risque d’incendie” migrates to using the equivalent of the English term “risk”. The difficulty is that the meanings
of “hazard” and “risk” are subtly different in English. The first conveys the potential exposure (i.e. the impact)
while the second additionally conveys the likelihood of that impact’s occurrence (risk = impact × likelihood). So a
“hazardous event” might be a lightning strike in a wooded area. But if this occurred when the woodland was wet,
rather than dry, the risk of a resulting fire would be low rather than high.
deviation from normal operating conditions
Note 1 to entry: An incident is characterized by its cause, the extent and the consequences (3.9) of the deviation.
system of facilities, equipment and services (3.37) needed for the operation of a utility organization (3.26)
Note 1 to entry: In a water utility (3.41), it is advisable to reserve the term “infrastructure” for physically fixed
equipment and installations.
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situation where the service (3.37) is not available
Note 1 to entry: Interruptions can be planned or unplanned.
combination of all technical, administrative and managerial actions during the life cycle of an asset (3.4)
intended to retain it in, or restore it to, a state in which it can perform the required function
coordinated activities to direct and control a service (3.37)
Note 1 to entry: Management can include establishing policies (3.28) and objectives (3.25), and processes (3.30) to
achieve these objectives.
Note 2 to entry: The word “management” sometimes refers to people, i.e. a person or group of people with
authority and responsibility for the conduct and control of a service. When “management” is used in this sense, it
should always be used with some form of qualifier to avoid confusion with the concept “management” as a set of
activities defined above. For example, “management should…” is deprecated, whereas “crisis management team
should…” is acceptable. Otherwise, different words should be adopted to convey the concept when related to
people, e.g. managerial or managers.
Note 3 to entry: The term “management” can be qualified by a specific domain it addresses. Examples are public
health management, environmental management, risk management, etc.
determining the status of a system, a process (3.30), a product, a service (3.37) or an activity
Note 1 to entry: For the determination of the status, there can be a need to check, supervise or critically observe.
Note 2 to entry: Monitoring is generally a determination of the status of an object carried out at different stages
or different times.
result to be achieved
Note 1 to entry: An objective can be strategic, tactical or operational.
Note 2 to entry: Objectives can relate to different disciplines (such as financial, health and safety, and
environmental objectives) and can apply at different levels [such as strategic, organization-wide, project, product
and process (3.30)].
Note 3 to entry: An objective can be expressed in other ways, e.g. as an intended outcome, a purpose, an
operational criterion, as a crisis (3.11) objective or by the use of other words with similar meaning (e.g. aim, goal
or target).
Note 4 to entry: In the context of a crisis management system, crisis objectives are set by the organization (3.26),
consistent with the crisis management policy (3.28), to achieve specific results.
person or group of people that has its own functions with responsibilities, authorities and relationships
to achieve its objectives (3.25)
Note 1 to entry: The concept of organization includes, but is not limited to, sole-trader, company, corporation,
firm, enterprise, authority, partnership, association, charity or institution, or part or combination thereof,
whether incorporated or not, public or private.
Note 2 to entry: For the purposes of this document, the organization will usually be a water utility (3.41).
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measurable result
Note 1 to entry: Performance can relate either to quantitative or qualitative findings.
Note 2 to entry: Performance can relate to the management (3.23) of activities, processes (3.30), products, services
(3.37), systems or organizations (3.26).
agreed intentions and direction for performing a service (3.37) as formally expressed by the technical
management board
specified way to carry out an activity or a process (3.30)
Note 1 to entry: Procedures can be documented or not.
set of interrelated or interacting activities that use inputs to deliver an intended result
degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements (3.34)
Note 1 to entry: There is a clear distinction between quality of the product [drinking water (3.13) or treated
wastewater (3.40)] and quality of the service (3.37). This document does not give technical specifications for
product quality.
provision of policies (3.28), procedures (3.29) and process (3.30) that are necessary to restore operations
critical to the resumption of service

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