Models, Tools and Applications for Homeland Security Research

EPA develops models, tools, and applications that can be readily used by partners to prevent, prepare for, and recover from contamination incidents involving chemical, biological, and radiological agents.

Securing and Sustaining Water Systems

EPA develops products for water quality surveillance and response.  These products help:

  • optimize water quality sensor placement
  • design decontamination strategies for contaminated drinking water systems
  • develop methods for increasing the resilience of water systems

Products are all available for download at no cost under open-source licenses.


  • Water Security Toolkit - includes hydraulic and water quality modeling software and optimization methodologies to identify: (1) sensor locations to detect contamination, (2) locations in the network in which the contamination was introduced, (3) hydrants to remove contaminated water from the distribution system, (4) locations in the network to inject decontamination agents to inactivate, remove or destroy contaminants, (5) locations in the network to take grab sample to confirm contamination or cleanup and (6) valves to close in order to isolate contaminated areas of the network.
  • EPANET-RTX Open Source Libraries
  • CANARY for contamination event detection - CANARY takes standard water quality data and use statistical and mathematical algorithms to identify the onset of periods of anomalous water quality, while at the same time, limiting the number of false alarms that occur.
  • EPANET-MSX to model complex reactions in water distribution systems - EPANET is used to model contamination threats to water systems. Historically, EPANET was limited to tracking the dynamics of a single chemical transported through a network of pipes and storage tanks.  The extension to EPANET called EPANET-MSX (Multi-Species eXtension) that allows for the consideration of multiple interacting species in the bulk flow and on the pipe walls.
  • TEVA-SPOT graphical user interface for optimal placement of water quality sensors - TEVA-SPOT is used by water utilities to optimize the number and location of contamination detection sensors so that economic and/or public health consequences are minimized.  The graphical user interface allows for user friendly interactions.
  • TEVA-SPOT Toolkit command-line interface for optimal placement of water quality sensors

Related Products

Characterizing Contamination and Determining Risk

Characterizing site contamination is an important part of EPA's homeland security research program. Sampling protocols, sample preparation methods, and analytical methods are being developed and verified for chemical, biological, and radiological agents. Additional research supports risk assessment methodologies and crisis communication techniques, such as message mapping.


  • Selected Analytical Methods (SAM) web application & resources  EPA’s Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery (SAM) identifies analytical methods to be used by laboratories performing analyses of environmental and building material samples following a contamination event.  Laboratories may use this information to evaluate the nature and extent of contamination and assess decontamination efficacy.  In addition to providing the SAM document in its entirety, this site contains a tool that allows users to easily query the SAM methods.
  • Message mapping finds out what the public wants to know during a water emergency  EPA's National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) and the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) partnered in 2012 to produce the webcast "Anticipating the Public's Questions during a Water Emergency." Featuring NHSRC staff, the webcast covered the results of interviews with the public and drinking water professionals about the information the public would want in the case of an intentional municipal water supply contamination.
  • Rapid viability polymerase chain reaction (RV PCR) protocol for detecting Bacillus anthracis

Remediating Indoor and Outdoor Environments

EPA provides procedures and methods to help contain and mitigate contamination including techniques on how to remediate or decontaminate indoor and outdoor environments following contamination with chemical, biological, or radiological agents.


  • Incident Waste Decision Support Tool (I-WASTE DST) Login SiteExit  EPA’s Incident Waste Decision Support Tool, a decision support tool that organizes large amounts of information related to managing waste resulting from incidents of national significance (e.g., contaminated buildings and natural disasters). The tool can be used by individuals (i.e., emergency response authorities and property owners; tribal, state, and local permitting agencies; treatment and disposal managers; and/or planners) responsible for making disposal decisions. The tool provides access to technical information, regulations, and guidance to work through important waste management issues to assure safe and efficient removal, transport and management of waste materials.

  • Waste Estimation Support Tool (WEST) User Guide (with download instructionsThe WEST was developed to support responders and planners by generating a first-order estimate of the quantity and characteristics of waste resulting from a radiological incident as a function of remediation choices.