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Utility Security Issues

Basic Utility Readiness Guide

The ARWA has developed a Basic Readiness Guide for public water and wastewater utility use as follows:

Heightened Utility Awareness

As you are aware, the United States of America, as well as the remainder of the World, is subject to terrorist attacks. This leads to measures that must be initiated within public utility perations. The intent of this notice is not to cause alarm, but rather to heighten awareness of responsible utility personnel.

The ARWA is offering this informational guide for your use as you develop a heightened awareness status program for your utility.

General Provisions

  • Employee Awareness - Cameras - Employee Identification
  • Locks on all Gates, Doors, Buildings, Electrical Panels and/or Control Panels
  • All Vehicles Locked
  • All Gates Locked
  • Additional Lighting
  • Routine Checks by Law Enforcement
  • Signs Posted (Do Not Enter, Closed Circuit Security Monitor, Employees Only and Restricted Area)
  • Dummy Cameras
  • Security Systems and Alarms
  • Security Fences
  • Knowledge of Surrounding Terrain
  • Reporting Suspicious Activity
  • Plans of Action
  • Auxiliary Electricity
  • Emergency Telephone Numbers (911)
  • Secure All Vehicles
  • Limited Personnel with Keys to Areas of Potential Weakness
  • Know When to Stop Water Production
  • Update Emergency Response Plans to Include Terrorist Acts
  • Review Emergency Plans with Employees and Officials
  • Do Not Leave Keys in Equipment at Any Time

Emergency Communications

Be sure to have telephone numbers for the following:

  • Local Law Enforcement
  • County Law Enforcement
  • Local Fire Department 
  • Hazardous Material Handlers 
  • Local Hospitals 
  • Rescue Squads
  • Alabama Department of Environmental Management 
  • County Emergency Management Agency 
  • County Health Department 
  • Center for Disease Control 
  • Electricity Supplier 
  • News Media for Publication Notification

PLUS Emergency Telephone Numbers for Consecutive Water Utilities

AND Know When to Issue "Boil Water" or "Do Not Drink" Alerts


  • Chlorine Storage
  • Acidic Chemical Storage
  • Alkaline Chemical Storage
  • Fuels
  • Oxidizers
  • Prepare Purchase and Delivery Schedules
  • Inventory of All Chemicals
  • Secure All Chemicals Transported by Utility Vehicles
  • Minimum Inventory of Chemicals
  • SCBA Inspected

Source/Distribution Components

  • Fire Hydrants (coordinate security efforts with local fire department personnel and law enforcement officials)
  • Secure Hydrants Located in Limited Public View Areas
  • Pumping Stations and Other Structures Fenced, Locked and Additional Lighting
  • SCADA Systems-Telemetry-Limited Access to Sensitive Information
  • Tanks-Eliminate Accessibility-Locks, Remove Ladders
  • Metering Vaults and/or Pits-Locked, Fenced
  • Alarms
  • Increased Raw Water Monitoring


Alabama Resources - Resources for Alabama Emergency Preparedness.

FEMA News in Alabama - Alabama News Feed for FEMA - Alabama is compliant with the REAL ID Act. Federal agencies can accept driver's licenses and identification cards from Alabama at Federal facilities and nuclear power plants.

Alabama Department of Homeland Security
P.O. Box 304115
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 956-7250

Alabama Emergency Management Agency
5898 County Road 41
PO Drawer 2160
Clanton, AL 35046 Phone: (205) 280-2200 Visit the Alabama EMA for links to local county information.


With heightened security measures underway at utility facilities, you may be interested in purchasing a number of these signs for your utility.

8" x 12" plastic
24" x 36" aluminum

Ordering information


Start Planning Now!

Save the Dates!

45th Annual Technical Training Conference

ARWA's 45th Annual Technical Training Conference

See you in
March 19-22, 2023

Registration is Open!


Being prepared and alert to circumstances which could be detrimental to the production and availability of safe drinking water is essential. Please take measures to ensure proper security controls are in place. logo


National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS)

For more on risk level, threats, and protection, visit the Dept of Homeland Security website at


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