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Protecting Consumers from Contaminated Drinking Water during Natural Disasters
PATTERSON, C. L. AND JEFF Q. ADAMS. Protecting Consumers from Contaminated Drinking Water during Natural Disasters. Chapter 15, R. Clark, P. Seidenstat, and S. Hakim (ed.), Handbook of Water and Wastewater Systems Protection, ISBN:9781461401889. Springer Science + Business Media, New York, NY, , p.265-284, (2011).
To inform the public.
Natural disasters can cause damage and destruction to local water supplies affecting millions of people. Communities should plan for and designate an authorized team to manage and prioritize emergency response in devastated areas. Sections 2.0 and 3.0 describe the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Disaster Recovery Plan and the steps that the water industry (water utilities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, and consultants) is taking to tackle potential threats to safe drinking water and drinking water infrastructure. Emergency response and recovery protocols are designed to reduce the severity of water and wastewater infrastructure damage and ensure safe drinking water after natural disasters. Public water system recovery efforts require preliminary preparations, emergency response procedures, and long-term support as described in Section 4.0. Public safety, health, and welfare are top priorities during emergency response activities. Repairs to public water systems are extremely costly and include the costs of interim operations, cleanup, and other non-capital expenses. Understanding the risks associated with natural disasters in individual communities allows health officials to respond effectively when local disasters become a reality. A case study of EPA emergency response efforts after Hurricane Katrina is provided to bring the impact of major natural disasters on public water systems into focus. Government agencies including the EPA are supporting the development of small drinking water treatment technologies to bring timely relief to devastated communities. EPA research is focusing on household devices, mobile treatment systems, and disinfection processes as described in Section 5.0 to protect consumers from contamination in drinking water wells, tanks, and distribution systems.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (BOOK CHAPTER)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
WATER SUPPLY AND WATER RESOURCES DIVISION
WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT BRANCH