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EPA Community Case Study of Security and Emergency Preparedness Practices: A Multi-Sector Collaborative Approach to Water Sector Resiliency

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Water Security Division (WSD) provides national leadership for protecting our nation's drinking water and wastewater infrastructure (water sector). To support the water sector's state of readiness, EPA conducted a community case study in Seattle-King County, Washington, to document existing practices that help make local drinking water and wastewater utilities safer, more secure, and more resilient. The result is an analysis of organizational, operational, infrastructure, and collaborative practices within the water sector, and across critical infrastructure sectors. In addition, barriers to a successful security and emergency preparedness program are revealed, as are interdependencies between the water sector and other infrastructures, the multiple benefits of implementing a program tied into existing community practices, and measures of a successful program.

Prior to the case study, the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) identified key program features critical for making water sector utilities more secure and resilient in the event of a natural or human-caused emergency. The key features serve as a framework utilities can use to design individual programs based on specific risk concerns. The case study documented more than 20 practices currently in use in Seattle-King County that incorporate elements of the NDWAC features and support security and emergency preparedness programs.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • 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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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