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Security Guidelines for Water Utilities: Engineering Review and Design Enhancement

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After the events of 9/11, it has become one of top priorities to improve the security of our nation's drinking water and wastewater infrastructures including water supply resources, water treatment plants, water distribution systems, wastewater collection systems, and wastewater treatment plants, etc. As required under the Bioterrorism Act 2002, most of large water utilities need to assess and reduce their vulnerabilities to potential terrorisms; to develop practical guidelines for emergencies and incidents; and to develop and apply new technologies to detect and monitor contaminants and prevent security breaches. There are two great water security resources: one is the water security website developed and maintained by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) []; and the other is the Water Infrastructure Security Enhancement (WISE) program. The WISE program is a joint effort from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF), with a grant from USEPA. They developed the voluntarily guidelines for water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities in December 2006. These security guidelines for water utilities are reviewed and summarized to provide a better understanding for the public agencies, researchers, and engineers. The design basic threats (for example, vandals, criminals, saboteurs, insiders, and terrorists, etc.) are defined and explained. The corresponding security approaches are designed to effectively defeat these targeted design basic threats. More importantly, to achieve the defined security goals, a balanced approach is developed that integrates design, operations, and management. In the view of design engineers, this paper is focused on the design implementation to provide redundancy specifications and standards based on the lessons and suggestions learned from practical applications of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) to several water utilities projects. The special water security issues during the construction phase are also discussed to prevent potential construction disturbances or threats to the existing treatment plants.
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Keywords: Bioterrorism Act; Drinking Water; Security Guidelines; Water Infrastructure Security Enhancements (WISE); Water Utilities Security

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2009

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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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