Skip to main content


The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

or click here to sign up for a free trial


Utilities are under more and more requirements, many mandated by law, to protect their facilities and the public they serve from possible terrorist attack. Vulnerability Assessments are required and abundant resources are available to perform them. But once the threats are identified, what do we do about them?

There are many vendors eager to sell you both classic and innovative solutions. With a basic understanding of security technologies, you can determine which technologies will be most effective and practical for your particular needs.

This paper is designed to give you a general background in selecting and applying physical systems to reduce risks at water or wastewater utilities. It is presented from the viewpoint of the facility operations/constraints rather than advocating particular security hardware. In other words, general descriptions and features of equipment are discussed without endorsing specific brands or models. In some cases, simple operational countermeasures are recommended instead of adding hardware.

First, we will briefly review the type of facilities (collection systems, pumping stations, treatment processes, main plant sites, remotes sites, offices and personnel entry, chemical delivery/storage, control systems) and the type of attacks (physical, cyber, chemical contaminant) that utilities face. We will also review typical “real world” issues such as budget, facility location issues and secure procurement.

Security hardware is generally broken down into Detection, Delay and Response equipment. Examples of the pros and cons that you should be aware of with various security hardware in each of these categories will be reviewed next. This will include hardware types, facility operating considerations, capital and operating costs, maintenance, and most importantly appropriateness for different types of facilities.

The new EPA-sponsored Security Product Guide website will be presented as a good source of information regarding particular security products and product types. The Guides provide information on product function, product features, appropriate applications, initial cost range, maintenance cost, longevity, and a list of manufacturers for a variety of products that can be applied for security purposes at wastewater facilities. Additional resources for obtaining further information will also be provided.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more