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Drinking Water in New England

Drinking Water Security

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Protecting Drinking Water

The September 11 terrorist attack on our country and anthrax incidents that followed have made us much more aware and appreciative of the basic services that Americans rely on every day, including necessities such as safe drinking water. To help the region’s public water suppliers better protect their supplies from terrorism and other hazards (ie: natural disasters), EPA has been working on tools and training specific to the water sector.

Workshops & Tabletop Exercises

EPA New England and the New England state drinking water programs have worked with New England Water Works Association (NEWWA) to conduct one-day workshops and tabletop exercises across the region. These community-based workshops are designed with water utilities as the target audience, but provide opportunities for all the other local emergency and first responders to interact and discuss all-hazards approaches to emergency preparedness and response. The workshops provide access to water security experts and use tabletop exercise scenarios and materials available from EPA. For more information on these workshops or to schedule one in your community, please contact the state drinking water security contacts.

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Small Systems

To assist small public water suppliers with security and emergency planning, EPA's New England Office developed a Top Ten List for Small Ground Water Suppliers (PDF) (1 pg, 68 K). This product was distributed to water suppliers across New England and includes tips to help suppliers protect their facilities from tampering or contamination incidents, and to prepare for potential emergencies.

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Law Enforcement

Drinking water security relies on many different people working together. For this reason, it is important to help educate the law enforcement community about the drinking water industry. EPA New England developed information to help the drinking water industry work together with law enforcement so that in the event of an emergency, the two groups will respond effectively together and the following is currently available:

A top ten list addressing water supply emergency preparedness and security for law enforcement professionals visor card (PDF) (2 pp, 32 K) and poster (PDF) (2 pp, 82K)

And, a citizens brochure (PDF) (2 pp, 516 K) to educate people who live near public water systems, telling them what to watch for and who to report anything suspicious to.

A new tool, a law enforcement and water-sector security training workbook and CD set, was developed to increase the awareness of law enforcement personnel to some of the threats and other security issues surrounding public drinking water supplies and wastewater facilities and to help facilitate integration and coordination at the local level. The short training modules allow for a very flexible training schedule. For more information on this tool contact: Maureen McClelland (mcclelland.maureen@epa.gov)

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Citizens & Local Emergency Planners

Top Ten Tips  Luggage Tags for LEPCs/Emergency RespondersEveryone in the community has a role in protecting their drinking water sources and infrastructure. EPA New England created tools for both neighboring citizens and for people working in the Local Emergency Planning Commissions (LEPCs) to educate them on what to be alert for in the area of water security.

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Additional Sources of Information

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