Disaster Preparedness

Water Safety in an Emergency Handout:

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Desert Water Agency works closely with local, state, and federal officials to protect our water resources in the event of a disaster. We have enlisted the support and resources of professional organizations and agencies, like the American Water Works Association and the US Environmental Protection Agency, to assist us in our security efforts.

In an Emergency
Desert Water Agency has an Emergency Preparedness Plan in place. It outlines specific courses of action agency personnel will follow in the event of a natural disaster or breach in facility security.

In the event of an emergency, Desert Water Agency phone service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Leave a message which will be received by our standby personnel.

(760) 323-4971

Water Security
What happens to the water supply in the event of an attack or emergency? Though it is never expected, we predict and prepare for emergencies to ensure the safety of the water supply in our care. The following questions reflect common concerns and the answers will assist you to understand our security measures.

Have there been any specific terrorist threats against water utilities?
At the time of this writing, there have been no threats reported against water facilities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has requested that water utilities remain vigilant. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a water utility is highly unlikely to be compromised in the event of a terrorist attack because utilities have already been on guard against a wide variety of hazardous contaminants for many years. Our continual testing and monitoring of water quality standards is our best protection.

What steps are being taken to ensure my drinking water is safe?
Testing the water continuously to make sure it is free from contamination is the best action to take to ensure water safety. Disinfection with chlorine provides added protection from harmful organisms.

We take our mission of delivering safe water seriously and have had emergency preparedness and response plans in place for many years. The events of September 11th have resulted in a review of those plans to ensure that all contingencies have been addressed. We work closely with local, state, and federal officials to protect our water resources. Professional organizations and agencies such as The Department of Health Services, American Water Works Association and the US Environmental Protection Agency assist in our security efforts.

How do I find out if my water is okay?
Prompt customer notification is an important part of every emergency plan. If testing were to indicate that contamination may be present, customers would receive notices such as “boil water” or “do-not-drink.” As our customer, if you have special concerns, please feel free to contact Desert Water Agency.

If your water service is provided by another local utility you can obtain more information by calling the number on your monthly bill, in the phone book or through information. Some water utilities have an internet site and include customer service phone numbers and other information about the water service.

What should I do to prepare?
Make sure you keep commercially bottled water on hand. Include a three-day supply of bottled water (one gallon per person per day). Store them in a cool, dark place and replace every six months. Make sure to keep extra for pets.

How can I help?
Water treatment plants, water storage tanks, fire hydrants and other utility facilities may be located throughout your community. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity around these facilities and reservoirs. If you see something unusual, contact your local police department or local water utility immediately.