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Water Infrastructure Safety

September 24, 2011
Water Infrastructure Safety

Water Infrastructure Safety

Determining the drainage pipelines around your house and neighborhood
have been severely hampered by terrorism paranoia from 9/11/2001.
Water infrastructure is deemed a vital human service and must be guarded
against damage or destruction threatening public health and environment.
This important sector of society has no agreed-upon industry practices
to govern readiness, response to security incidents, and recovery.
Obtaining a local government map of sanitary sewer and storm drains
for even a small section of a local neighborhood has become “difficult”.

I know this first hand because I recently had my residential drains
professionally dye tested to determine if they were connected to the
sanitary systems (grey water, toilet, bathtub) or the stormwater systems.
The work was done by Environmental Health Services of Macomb County.

Congress has passed a bill requiring drinking water utilities to conduct
security vulnerability assessments. It has provided $923 million for
assesment and security protection at water infrastructure facilities .
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for
water sector information coordination to insure a secure infrastructure.

People often forget all to easily actual events which severely impacted their lives.
The August 2003 electricity blackout in the Northeast United States caught many
wastewater treatment plants in Detroit, Cleveland, New York, etc. off guard.
Those plants had no electrical backup generation systems. They lost power and
discharged millions of gallons of untreated sewage during the emergency.

Residents want infrastructure to function 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Across the country, approximately 16,000 publicly owned
wastewater treatment facilities, 168,000 public drinking water facilities,
about 77,000 dams / reservoirs; along with
thousands of miles of pipes and lines, transparently operate.

Is it all a lot of wasted foolish worry ?- hardly. It is serious business.
Some deranged person intent on extreme malice toward others could place
a destructive device beneath a building or major roadway in a populated city
by crawling around inside the massive storm drain systems.
Illegally dumping highly flammable substances into a manhole could transform
a pipeline into a weapon capable of causing the collapse of roads, sidewalks,
and or adjacent structures.
An uninterrupted supply of water is vital and necessary for firefighting.

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