Emergency Response and Security

Effective response to a drinking water emergency is supported equally by two categories of information, what you know and whom you know. Water systems can use this page to identify measures to protect drinking water supplies, and whom to contact in a drinking water emergency.

Emergency Phone Contacts

Office of Drinking Water Hotline
1-877-481-4901

FBI Hotline (Seattle Office)
1-206-622-0460

State Emergency Management Duty Officer
1-800-258-5990

National Response Center
1-800-424-8802

Department of Ecology Spill Response
1-360-407-6300

EPA Region 10 Duty Officer
1-206-553-1264

National Guard Joint Operations Center
1-253-512-8773

Dept. of Homeland Security National Operations Center
1-202-282-9685

Top 10 Water System Security Checklist

  1. Prepare (or update) an emergency response plan. Make sure all employees help to create it and receive training on the plan.
  2. Post updated emergency 24-hour numbers at your facilities in highly visible areas (pump house door, vehicles, office) and give them to key personnel and local response officials.
  3. Get to know your local police and ask them to add your facilities to their routine rounds. Practice emergency response procedures with local police, emergency response, and public health officials.
  4. Fence and lock your drinking water facilities and vulnerable areas (such as wellhead, hydrants, manholes, pump house, and storage tanks).
  5. Lock all entry gates and doors and set alarms to indicate illegal entry. Do not leave keys in equipment or vehicles at any time.
  6. Install good lighting around your pump house, treatment facility, and parking lot.
  7. Identify existing and alternate water supplies and maximize use of backflow prevention devices and interconnections.
  8. Use your Source Water Assessment information to work with any businesses and homeowners that are listed as potential sources of contamination and lessen their threat to your source.
  9. Lock monitoring wells to prevent vandals or terrorists from pouring contaminants directly into ground water near your source. Prevent pouring or siphoning contaminants through vent pipes by moving them inside the pump house or treatment plant. If that isn't possible, fence or screen them.
  10. In case of an emergency, first call 911 then follow your emergency response plan.

Related Information

For more information, contact the Office of Drinking Water.