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Drinking Water Security and Emergency Preparedness
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Security and emergency response planning have always been an important part of managing a drinking water system. Most drinking water system managers have protected park water supplies against naturally-occurring microscopic and federally-regulated chemical and radiological contaminants. However, recent events have made homeland security a national priority.

The Public Health Program encourages parks to examine their drinking water operations and identify needed improvements in security and emergency preparedness.

The following are 10 practical, low-cost things that you can do to protect your drinking water systems from contamination and other harm:

10 Tips for Small Drinking Water Systems

  1. Prepare (or update) an emergency response plan. Make sure all drinking water system personnel help to create it and receive training on the implementation of the plan
  2. Post updated emergency 24-hour numbers at your facilities in highly visible areas (pumphouse door, vehicles, office) and give them to key personnel and local response officials
  3. Arrange for your law enforcement staff (or your community law enforcement resources) to add your facilities to their routine rounds. Practice emergency response procedures with local law enforcement, emergency response and public health officials.
  4. Fence and lock your drinking water facilities and vulnerable areas (e.g., wellheads, hydrants, manholes, pumphouses and storage tanks).
  5. Lock all entry gates and doors and set alarms to indicate illegal entry. Do not leave keys in equipment or vehicles at any time
  6. Install good lighting around your pumphouse, treatment facility and parking lot
  7. Identify existing and alternate water supplies and maximize use of backflow prevention devices and interconnections
  8. Use your Source Water Assessment information to work with any sources that are listed as potential sources of contamination and lessen their threat to your drinking water source
  9. Lock monitoring wells to prevent vandals or terrorists from pouring contaminants directly into groundwater sources. Prevent pouring or siphoning contaminants through vent pipes by moving them inside the puphouse or treatment plant. If that isn't possible, fence or screen them
  10. In case of an emergency, first call "911", then follow your emergency response plan


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