Installation

What do I need on my computer to get started? (System Requirements)

The SEMS Install Wizard will handle the installation of any required software missing from your computer. Depending on the type of installation: Single Computer or Network Installation your requirements for network access will vary.

At minimum, your computer should have:
  • Microsoft Windows (VISTA/7/8/8.1)
  • 1 GHz or Higher Dual Core Processor
  • 2 GB of RAM or Higher
  • 1 GB of Free Disk Space
  • 1024×768 or Higher Resolution
  • DSL or better internet connection (recommended)
SEMS and Server/Network Administrator Information:

SEMS Software Suite will not disrupt any current network or system setups. The installation process requires little information or invasion in the computer’s configuration. The installation process will handle the installation of any required software. Depending on the type of installation (Single Computer/Network Installation), your requirements for network access varies. Outside of the SEMS Software, we only install Microsoft and Adobe licensed products, including the following:

  • Windows 2008 Server or Higher
  • 4 GB of RAM or Higher
  • 2 GHz or Faster Dual Core Processor
  • 20 GB of Free Disk Space
  • .NET Framework 2.0
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express (Included)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Express or Full 2005 or Higher
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.0 or Higher

If you are not within these guidelines, please call us and we can discuss what you currently have and if we are able to use it.
Operation through Single Computer or Multiple Computers:

  • One Computer – Download Server Install on the computer you want to operate SEMS on.
  • Multiple Computers – Download Server Install on the computer acting as the server and then download the Client Install on all the computers you want to connect to the server.

Once you have determined either Single Computer or Multiple Computers, use the links below to download the SEMS Software.

How does SQL Server 2005 interact with the 2008 version?

Typically there are no problems. If you have an issue, please call support at 1-866-758-6582.

Getting Started

I don’t know how or have time to set up my database.

SEMS Professional Services will show you how to set things up. We have phone training to expedite the process as well. Send us your monthly operating reports and we can help you get ready to do compliance. We also have templates to enter many items such as your assets, customers, or work orders.

I get an error when I try to start SEMS: 'Can't connect to database'.

If SEMS is installed on a server on your network and you are accessing SEMS from a client computer, you will want to ping your server to make sure that local DNS is working.

If that is true then you should check to make sure that SQLServer is installed on the Server and is actually running.

If a problem persists, make sure that your Firewall is not blocking the ports. You will want to configure Windows Firewall to Allow SQL Server Access. Give SEMS a call if we can help you with this. Support can be reached at 1-866-758-6582.

Updates

How often do you do updates to the software?

The software is updated continually to help keep you in compliance. Under the SEMS System Manager tab you can check for the latest updates and update your version immediately.

How do I know if there's an update available?

On the Home page of the software at the bottom of the page, if you see a green circle with a white checkmark, it means you are current and up to date. If you see a red circle with a white “X” in the middle it means that there is an update available. Click on the link provided to start the update.

If you are a customer that is hosted on our server, then updates are automatically handled for you.

How do I find out what's in the update?

Within your SEMS software, go to the SEMSCast tab and click on SEMS Software News.

How do I run a SEMS Update?

Features

What is SEMSCast?

SEMSCast is a channel that allows you to get the latest on rural water, security and environmental news. You access it by clicking on the SEMSCast tab located on the left side of the software screen.

What are SEMS Alerts?

SEMS alerts appear on the Home page of the software under the Section entitled: “My Alerts”. They allow a quick view and quick access to Compliance alerts, Scheduled Samples, Work orders, and Inventory alerts. It also tells you if any of the subscribed channels in SEMSCast have changed since you last viewed them.

SEMS Security: Vulnerability Assessment and Emergency Response Plan

How Do I Create My Consumer Confidence Report?

How Do I Create A Cross Connection Control Plan?

SEMS Security

How do I set up System Security Within SEMS?

Vulnerability Assessment and Emergency Response Plan

I think that I have completed a section but the percent complete bar indicates that I have not completed it 100%. What is the problem?

If you have not checked the ‘Not applicable’ button, then it will register incomplete. If a particular item in one of those sections does not apply to your water system then simply click the does not apply check box. Also, if you enter text in one of the fields then you must enter something in every field in that row to be 100% complete. Be sure to go through the ‘Add/View? buttons to make sure that you have not omitted information in 1or more fields about additional critical infrastructure that you may have identified.

If it is in the ‘Vulnerability Assessment’ Security Assessment portion where you must answer 45 questions click on the progress report button (the notebook with a red check mark) next to the section. It will list every question and what is missing in the incomplete questions. Click on the question and it will automatically link you to that question so that you can finish the incomplete portion.

If it is in the ‘Vulnerability Assessment’ Contact Information, Mission/Threat, and Assess Critical Equipment or the ‘Emergency Response Plan’ Local Emergency Planning, Plans/Actions/Procedures, and Coordination sections, you must have typed text in every field. You can put in whatever response you want such as: ‘does not apply.

I want to put in more than 1 employee who is responsible for a particular task in the Plans/Actions/Procedures portion of the 'Emergency Response Plan.' How can I do that?

Once you have picked the primary person who is responsible, you can manually type other employee names in the field separated by commas.

How do I submit my vulnerability assessment (VA), VA certification letter, and emergency response plan (ERP) certification letter to U.S. EPA?

After you have completed the VA and ERP, log onto the web through your internet provider (e.g. aol, msnbc, etc.) and click on the connect to www.vulnerabilityassessment.org button and you will get complete instructions for submitting your VA to the U.S. EPA.

If I serve fewer than 3,300 people do I have to comply with the 2002 Bioterrorism Act and submit my VA and ERP certification letter to EPA?

NO ‘ Please do not, EPA will return the package because they do not have procedures to protect the information for systems serving fewer than 3,300 people.

I saved my information and then shut the program down. Now when I go back into the program and select my system, the information is no longer available. What happened to all the information?

The program does not save the information in the software application because of potential security concerns. Rather when you initially shut down the program, it asked you to save it on a floppy disk or on your hard drive. If you saved it on your hard drive and forgot where you saved it do a search of your C:/ drive from the start menu on your desktop. Search for files with an extension ‘.sems’. This should locate the file. Once you have found the file open up the SEMS software and go to ‘file’, ‘open’ and go to the location that you have saved your information and hit, ‘open’. All your information should be loaded into the program.

Why is the video playing slow, the words are not matching up with the sound or the sound is not understandable?

This is a problem with the amount of memory your computer has. First try to close any other programs that are open and then run the video. If that does not solve the problem, you may be using too much memory with other files and programs loaded onto your computer. Try deleting the documents in your recycle bin and any other large files that are no longer being used. If this does not work, your need to upgrade your computer.

I put multiple infrastructure items into one category, like groundwater 'I had 3 wells. I know that I put in the information but I do not see them when I return to the Critical Infrastructure Screen. What happened to my data?

Click on the ‘view/add’ button to scroll through additional items under that category. These items will be printed in the final report; they are just in the software program a little differently. Add faq that says if you run out of fields then group together your medn highs and lows.

I want to use this to develop my entire emergency response plan including natural disasters. Can this program do that?

Yes. On the erp Plans/Actions/Procedures menu continue to answer questions to all automatically generated scenarios until the program ask you if you would like to create your own scenario. Click yes and write down the potential disaster (i.e. If a hurricane wiped out the power supply how would I respond).

How do I edit something in the report that I printed?

You can not edit the report. However you can change your responses in the program and reprint the report.

How do I get back to the main vulnerability assessment or emergency response plan pages?

Click on the navigate button and select the place that you would like to go to.

I have 8 wells with 8 different pws numbers. Can I do 1 VA and ERP for all of them?

In most circumstances, yes. Just write on the cover page and certification letter the additional pws numbers and be sure that you include each well in your source water inventory.

I have the two different systems with two different PWS ID numbers and they enter the same distribution system and are almost identical. Can I copy the information that I developed for one of them into my other nearly identical system and modify it to create another va and erp?

Yes. Once you complete your first va and erp, save the information to a floppy disk or your hard drive (only save the va and erp to your have drive if the computer will never be connected to the internet). And log onto the internet an connect to www.vulnerabilityassessment.org through the link in SEMS. Once complete, go to the navigate tool bar, and select the “system selection” option. (NOTE: you must have your existing system va and erp information that you completed open when selecting another system). Select the new system or enter the new pws I’d number and select next. All the information will be the same except for the contact information. You should go through the VA an ERP process again on the new system to make sure that you have not omitted or included any wrong information.

I can not pull up my system information by manually entering my PWS ID number?

You must make sure that the PWS id number is in the correct format. For systems under the control of the state or EPA primacy (such as Wyoming), you must include the abbreviation of the State in front of the 7 digit PWS identification number. For example, if you are a system in Florida and your PWS id number is ‘5130003? you must enter ‘FL5130003’ under system identification number. If you are an Indian tribe, you must enter the region number in front of your seven digit PWS id number. For example, if you are an Indian tribe in EPA Region 2 and your PWS id number is5107651, you must enter ‘025107651.

The windows (e.g. the 'critical infrastructure? or 'assess critical assets' screens) are skewed and are not fully visible. What is the problem?

You must have a screen resolution of at least 800×600 pixels. To change your screen resolution, right click on your desktop, click on properties, click on settings (or appropriate tab that shows your screen resolution) and increase your screen resolution to 800×600 pixels or more.

I serve more than 10,000 people. Can I use this program to comply with the law?

The ‘Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002’ has explicit instructions regarding a CWS responsibility to complete a vulnerability assessment under the law. In Section 1433(a) (Terrorist and Other Intentional Acts ‘ Vulnerability Assessments), the law says that water systems greater than 3,300 must conduct a vulnerability assessment to evaluate the vulnerability of a terrorist attack to provide safe and reliable source of water that includes a review of, pipes and constructed conveyances, physical barriers, water collection, pretreatment, treatment, storage and distribution facilities, electronic, computer or other automated systems which are utilized by the public water system, the use, storage, or handling of various chemicals, and the operation and maintenance of such system.

This software program clearly does everything the law requires. The software program walks systems through a sequential process to identify all the components of the water system including the critical infrastructure, critical customers and redundant items. and ensures that systems review all components including but not limited to’ the ones contained in the law. The 45 questions then are used to evaluate each of the components contained in the law and inventory. Further, question 14 asks the system explicitly about operation and maintenance of security systems.

Further, EPA has reviewed this document and has indicated that it not only meets the requirements of the bioterrorism law but it also meets the six elements that are common to a vulnerability assessment. We were very careful to make sure that EPA reviewed and indicated that it meets the elements that they thought would satisfy their guidelines. Further, EPA has added a link to their website that links to the NRWA vulnerability assessment web site at www.vulnerabilityassessment.org.

I would like to stress the word ‘guidelines’. Even though the document meets all six of the EPA identified elements common to a comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment, Congress clearly indicated in the conference report (Page H2844) that EPA has no authority to tell water systems what tool they can or cannot use to comply with the Bioterrorism law. The report reads, ‘Chairman GILLMOR, EPA has no power to promulgate regulations or guidance to define what is an “acceptable” vulnerability assessment; there is only a one-time duty to provide information to community water systems by August 1, 2002. In addition, Section 1433 only defines a vulnerability assessment to the extent that it includes a review of certain specified items, most of which are based on the definition of a public water system under Section 1401 of the SDWA. Thus, no community water system is required to use any particular vulnerability assessment tool, to conduct any specific type of analysis, to determine the consequences of any intentional or terrorist acts, analyze the use of any specific chemicals or characterize the risk of any offsite impacts.

The 2002 Bioterrorism Act also requires systems to, ‘Each community water system serving a population greater than 3,300 shall prepare or revise, where necessary, an emergency response plan that incorporates the results of vulnerability assessments that have been completed. Each such community water system shall certify to the Administrator, as soon as reasonably possible after the enactment of this section, but not later than 6 months after the completion of the vulnerability assessment under subsection (a), that the system has completed such plan. The emergency response plan shall include, but not be limited to, plans, procedures, and identification of equipment that can be implemented or utilized in the event of a terrorist or other intentional attack on the public water system. The emergency response plan shall also include actions, procedures, and identification of equipment which can obviate or significantly lessen the impact of terrorist attacks or other intentional actions on the public health and the safety and supply of drinking water provided to communities and individuals. Community water systems shall, to the extent possible, coordinate with existing Local Emergency Planning Committees established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. 11001 et seq.) when preparing or revising an emergency response plan under this subsection.

Clearly, the emergency response plan incorporates the results of the VA. It develops scenarios to respond to based on the identified threats and critical infrastructure that you have identified in your VA. It also requires the user to understand how they would react in situations to ensure that critical customers, identified in the VA, are ensured that they will be enabled to complete their mission. In addition it enables the system to define how they would respond to redundant items that may become compromised. For each scenario that is based on the VA, the system develops plans, actions, and procedures to mitigate the event. Further each scenario has equipment identified that can be implemented or utilized in the event of a the threat identified in the VA (i.e. ‘a terrorist or other intentional attack on public water systems’). The list of equipment also includes things that can be used to significantly lessen the impact of a terrorist attack or other intentional act on the PWS. Lastly, the emergency response plan requires that the PWS work with the LEPC and requires clear documentation of when this requirement was met and identification of the individuals that were contacted.

If I complete the VA and ERP on this software will I comply with the 2002 Bioterrorism Act?

The ‘Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002’ has explicit instructions regarding a CWS responsibility to complete a vulnerability assessment under the law. In Section 1433(a) (Terrorist and Other Intentional Acts ‘ Vulnerability Assessments), the law says that water systems greater than 3,300 must conduct a vulnerability assessment to evaluate the vulnerability of a terrorist attack to provide safe and reliable source of water that includes a review of, ‘pipes and constructed conveyances, physical barriers, water collection, pretreatment, treatment, storage and distribution facilities, electronic, computer or other automated systems which are utilized by the public water system, the use, storage, or handling of various chemicals, and the operation and maintenance of such system.

This software program clearly does everything the law requires. The software program walks systems through a sequential process to identify all the components of the water system including the critical infrastructure, critical customers and redundant items. and ensures that systems review all components including ‘but not limited to’ the ones contained in the law. The 45 questions then are used to evaluate each of the components contained in the law and inventory. Further, question 14 asks the system explicitly about operation and maintenance of security systems.

Further, EPA has reviewed this document and has indicated that it not only meets the requirements of the bioterrorism law but it also meets the six elements that are common to a vulnerability assessment. We were very careful to make sure that EPA reviewed and indicated that it meets the elements that they thought would satisfy their guidelines. Further, EPA has added a link to their website that links to the NRWA vulnerability assessment web site at www.vulnerabilityassessment.org.

I would like to stress the word ‘guidelines’. Even though the document meets all six of the EPA identified elements common to a comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment, Congress clearly indicated in the conference report (Page H2844) that EPA has no authority to tell water systems what tool they can or cannot use to comply with the Bioterrorism law. The report reads, ‘Chairman GILLMOR, EPA has no power to promulgate regulations or guidance to define what is an “acceptable” vulnerability assessment; there is only a one-time duty to provide information to community water systems by August 1, 2002. In addition, Section 1433 only defines a vulnerability assessment to the extent that it includes a review of certain specified items, most of which are based on the definition of a public water system under Section 1401 of the SDWA. Thus, no community water system is required to use any particular vulnerability assessment tool, to conduct any specific type of analysis, to determine the consequences of any intentional or terrorist acts, analyze the use of any specific chemicals or characterize the risk of any offsite impacts.’

The 2002 Bioterrorism Act also requires systems to, ‘Each community water system serving a population greater than 3,300 shall prepare or revise, where necessary, an emergency response plan that incorporates the results of vulnerability assessments that have been completed. Each such community water system shall certify to the Administrator, as soon as reasonably possible after the enactment of this section, but not later than 6 months after the completion of the vulnerability assessment under subsection (a), that the system has completed such plan. The emergency response plan shall include, but not be limited to, plans, procedures, and identification of equipment that can be implemented or utilized in the event of a terrorist or other intentional attack on the public water system. The emergency response plan shall also include actions, procedures, and identification of equipment which can obviate or significantly lessen the impact of terrorist attacks or other intentional actions on the public health and the safety and supply of drinking water provided to communities and individuals. Community water systems shall, to the extent possible, coordinate with existing Local Emergency Planning Committees established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. 11001 et seq.) when preparing or revising an emergency response plan under this subsection.’

Clearly, the emergency response plan incorporates the results of the VA. It develops scenarios to respond to based on the identified threats and critical infrastructure that you have identified in your VA. It also requires the user to understand how they would react in situations to ensure that critical customers, identified in the VA, are ensured that they will be enabled to complete their mission. In addition it enables the system to define how they would respond to redundant items that may become compromised. For each scenario that is based on the VA, the system develops plans, actions, and procedures to mitigate the event. Further each scenario has equipment identified that can be implemented or utilized in the event of a the threat identified in the VA (i.e. ‘a terrorist or other intentional attack on public water systems’). The list of equipment also includes things that can be used to significantly lessen the impact of a terrorist attack or other intentional act on the PWS. Lastly, the emergency response plan requires that the PWS work with the LEPC and requires clear documentation of when this requirement was met and identification of the individuals that were contacted.

See our Full Line of Products

SEMS Technologies carries a full line of management products to give you the flexibility you need. Additional features can be tailored to meet your system’s unique needs.