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ASCE and AWWA Release Nation's First Physical Security Standards for Water and Wastewater Utilities


New York, Jan 05, 2007

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) have released for public use and comment the nation’s first physical security standard guidelines for water and wastewater utilities. Developed under a multi-year grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the guidelines are specifically designed to help water and wastewater utilities mitigate vulnerabilities from potential man-made and natural threats.

“Our society depends on a safe and reliable water supply, not only for human consumption but also for other needs such as industry, agriculture and even fire protection,” explained Patrick J. Natale, executive director at ASCE. “These risk-reduction standards for water, wastewater and stormwater systems are an essential part of protecting our nation's infrastructure from potential terrorist threats, and allowing it to continue supporting our economy and public health.”

The two documents address both new and existing facilities, detailing measures for drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utilities to follow in implementing strengthened security measures. The guidelines describe physical security approaches for detecting and/or delaying malevolent parties and address potential risks from the standpoint of construction and design.

“In today's world, it's critical that we think about the long-term security of our water systems during design and construction,” said AWWA executive director Jack Hoffbuhr. “These guidelines will help utilities ensure that security is an integral part of their overall approach to treating, storing and delivering safe water.”

Guidelines for the Physical Security of Water Utilities covers raw water facilities, wells and pumping stations, water treatment plants, water storage facilities, distribution systems and support facilities. Guidelines for the Physical Security of Wastewater/Stormwater Utilities focuses on collections systems, pump stations, wastewater treatment plants and support facilities.

Both ASCE and AWWA are members and accredited standards development organizations of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The guidelines are open for public comment and trial use through June 30, 2007. Copies of the standards are available at www.awwa.org and www.asce.org. Additional information on the guidelines can be found here.

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