Emergency Preparedness

Emergencies, Drinking Water & You
Why buy bottled water for emergency use when you can store your own for a fraction of the cost? You can store 3 gallons of tap water for a penny - 10 gallons for less than a nickel. Store your water in thoroughly washed plastic, glass, fiberglass or enamel-lined metal containers. Plastic milk jugs, soft drink bottles, and/or pitchers with lids (like Rubbermaid or Tupperware) are best.

Is My Water Safe During & After a Hurricane?
Unless you hear otherwise, your drinking water is safe to drink during any type of weather condition, including hurricanes. If you are concerned about the quality of your tap water, drink your own safely stored water until you can confirm that your water is okay by calling 757-926-1000.

Listen Carefully to the Local News
There may be a "boil water" alert in a community that does not affect us! For example, if there is a "boil water" alert for any locality on the Southside, it will not affect the Peninsula.

Boil Water Alert
If you are instructed to boil your tap water before drinking, bring it to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute. Let cool before drinking.

If You Cannot Boil Water

Due to a power outage or other emergency, you can disinfect your drinking water with household liquid bleach (like Clorox). Do not use scented bleaches, color safe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners. Using an eyedropper, add 8 drops (or about a 1/8 of a teaspoon) of regular bleach to 1 gallon of water. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes.

For further information, contact the American Red Cross / Center for Disease Control

Security at the Waterworks
Water security used to consist of locking city vehicles and putting chain-link fences around facilities. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, water utility security has become a federal, state and local concern. What used to be considered acts of vandalism may today be considered a threat to critical infrastructure and to public health.

It's the Law
In June 2002, the Bioterrorism Act was signed into law. The Act requires all community water systems serving a population greater than 3,300 persons to conduct, certify the completion of, and submit to the United States Environmental Protection Agency an assessment of system vulnerabilities. Waterworks has completed that task and continues to work toward reducing those vulnerabilities.

Our Response and Actions
Waterworks has made many changes and improvements including, but not limited to:
  • Signage
  • Fencing
  • Video surveillance
  • Employee awareness and education
  • Posting professional security guards at the Lee Hall Water Treatment Plant
  • Increased communication with local area police departments
Future Plans
Other security measures are underway. For security reasons we cannot be more specific. The public should be aware of the following:
  • You may be asked to show a picture ID when entering any of our facilities;
  • Videotaping and/or photography on Waterworks property is not allowed without permission; and
  • Vandals will be arrested and charged with a crime.
Waterworks customers can be assured that security on our facilities and around our facilities is a priority and is taken very seriously. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.