Situational Awareness: tampering with the water supply

Situational Awareness: tampering with the water supply

This is a discussion on Situational Awareness: tampering with the water supply within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Someone tampered with the water supply This has nothing to do with guns, but I've put it here to raise SA among those of us ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Situational Awareness: tampering with the water supply

    Someone tampered with the water supply

    This has nothing to do with guns, but I've put it here to raise SA among those of us who watch out for the rest. The national news is distracted by election hyperbole and news of a foundering banking industry, so this never got outside the local news.

    We are wide open, folks, and all it would take is access to an unprotected reservoir, or an unsecured reserve water tower. Without going into delivery systems, the entire population of this town, or an MSA could have been wiped out before they ever noticed the tower. I worked in water utilities for more than a decade as part of a counter-terrorism response team. All of our tower and reservoir security was upgraded after 9/11, but in how many of your towns and cities, like this one, were they not?
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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Forget securing the water tower. There is no check valve or backflow preventer between most (maybe all?) houses and the water mains. A trerrorist with afew drums of methyl-ethyl-bad stuff and a pump can add as much stuff as he wants to the water main without getting around any security...from the comfort of his own basement.
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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    Forget securing the water tower. There is no check valve or backflow preventer between most (maybe all?) houses and the water mains. A trerrorist with afew drums of methyl-ethyl-bad stuff and a pump can add as much stuff as he wants to the water main without getting around any security...from the comfort of his own basement.
    That's not comforting at all and there isn't an easy fix. Perhaps the new(er) homes are equipped with a device, but most probably aren't.
    Tim
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    Member Array 2AMomma's Avatar
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    Do you suppose they are being used as test subjects??
    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Backflow devices are becoming more common, but you're right, in that there are many ways to access the water supply, and many ways to disperse something.

    As to whether or not it is a test, there's no way to know. It could be a test, it could be practice, it could be bored kids with too much time on their hands, it could be a careless worker. That's why every breach has to be taken seriously, and why we have to remain vigilant, collectively, as well as individually.
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  6. #6
    bae
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    I'm on the board of our local water users association. We serve about 1100 customers. We've been working to upgrade our security for several years now, even though we are in a quite remote area. Still, there are so many points of attack, and the cost of attack is quite low compared to the cost of prevention, that it's a losing battle.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    The actual thought of a water supply becoming contaminated as part of a terrorist activity is a very realistic scenario. Many of our daily activities are so repetitive and mundane that we just assume that something like this could never happen. In fact, most people would never even think of this as a possible problem.

    Stories like this really contribute to my SA. Even though I have no control over my water supply, I am still at risk everyday of the unknown's. Its a scary thought.


    _
    "Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem". - Ronald Reagan 1981

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom357 View Post
    Backflow devices are becoming more common, but you're right, in that there are many ways to access the water supply, and many ways to disperse something.
    I'd have to wager that even as backflow devices are installed, they are inside the dwelling, so just a wee bit of plumbing knowhow renders them useless. Does add an extra step though.

    The only real good news is that they'd have to add pretty huge amounts of bad stuff to do anything. Consider what percentage of domestic water is actually consumed...It's pretty tiny. Most of it goes down the drain (literally). Then there is chlorine in most systems that'll make adding biologicals harder. I don't know what they would add that would really do much, but it wouldn't be hard to add it.
    Spend few minutes learning about my journey from Zero to Athlete in this mini documentary!
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