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What’s your water emergency plan?

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What’s your water emergency plan?

Although it’s rare that a water utility experiences an interruption in its ability to deliver safe and reliable drinking water, the recent boil water advisories in Houston shine a light on the value of being prepared for emergencies.

Water emergencies that may affect tap water span the gamut of the following:

  • Natural disasters, like earthquakes or hurricanes
  • Contamination resulting from heavy stormwater runoff
  • Vandalism
  • Sabotage/terrorism, including cyberterrorism
  • Major water main breaks
  • Power outages
  • Civil unrest
  • System malfunctions
  • Human error

While it is very difficult to foresee emergencies, we can create plans to reduce the impact of such events.

A key to any emergency plan is to have enough water on hand to last through an emergency. It is recommended that water be stored in new, airtight containers. Reusing containers – such as a milk carton – could lead to bacteria growth. It is important to keep these containers in a cool place and refill them with fresh water every few months.

Water suppliers experiencing an emergency may use traditional and/or social media to issue a “boil water” or “do not drink” notice when testing indicates a problem.

DrinkTap’s Water Emergencies page also offers tips to help you through a water emergency.

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