Suggested Measures for Drinking Water

March 7, 2005


The Office of Homeland Security established a five-tiered Homeland Security Advisory System to provide a national framework for notification about the nature and degree of terrorist threats. The system establishes a set of graduated threat conditions, or threat levels, that change in response to increases or decreases in terrorist threats.

The threat levels are color-coded, beginning with green, and increasing in severity through blue, yellow, orange and red. While the threat may not be specific to public water systems, public water systems are potential targets.

The following fact sheets contain suggested steps public water systems should consider implementing. The sheets cover areas of detection, preparedness, prevention and protection, as the threat levels change from one color to the next. The fact sheets build on one another, in that suggested measures at higher threat levels also include those measures listed in the fact sheets for lower threat levels.

Why are the Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Drinking Water Program offering these suggestions?

 Public water systems are at the forefront of ensuring that our nation’s water system infrastructure is protected against terrorist threats. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the various drinking water programs around the country have developed these appropriate security measures that public water systems can utilize in order to improve security. The various threat levels assigned by the Office of Homeland Security serve as guides for the measures public water systems should employ.

These suggestions should not be viewed as a complete source of information on protecting public water systems. Facility managers and public water system security directors will need to take into account the full range of resources available to them and their facilities, as well as the specific nature of the threats, when responding to changes in threat condition levels. These fact sheets and other security information are available on our website at Any questions or concerns should be forwarded to the Maine Drinking Water Program Security Coordinator, who can be reached at the following address:

Sara M. Lippert

Security Coordinator
Drinking Water Program
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Tel: 207-287-5678