Safe and Secure

A new book from AWWA helps water and wastewater utilities protect against intrusions and handle emergencies.

A great deal changed after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 – including the presumption that our water and sewer systems are safe against attack and sabotage.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has now published a book, Security and Emergency Planning for Water and Wastewater Utilities, designed to help utilities fend off threats and respond to emergencies.

Since September 11, governments at all levels have passed new laws and regulations to help protect water infrastructure against intentional damage and prevent the deliberate contamination of water supplies. Utilities everywhere assessed vulnerabilities, revised procedures to improve response to emergencies, and tightened premises security.

Tens of thousands of pages have been published documenting these new laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and requirements, and numerous guidance documents, books, web sites, and reports have been produced. In the end, too much information was scattered across too many sources. The new book helps remedy that problem. It covers topics that include:

Natural, accidental, and intentional threats to water and wastewater systems

Federal legislation, regulation, and Homeland Security Presidential Directives on utility security and emergency preparedness

The Water Sector Specific Plan

Vulnerability assessments, tools, and resources 

Effective utility security programs, tools, and resources

Emergency management systems

Water contamination early-warning systems

Incident or threat response

Emergency response training

Remediation and recovery

AWWA says this book was years in the making and calls it “one of the most thoroughly researched books ever published on water utility security and general emergency preparedness.” The book is available in the AWWA online bookstore at


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