Does Drinking Water Need to be Guarded from Terrorist Attacks?

January 14th, 2014

Boiling water at a rolling boil for one minute sterilizes it from bacteria, protozoa, and viral infection.

boiling water

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Does Drinking Water Need to be Guarded from Terrorist Attacks?

September 11, 2001, is a day that changed the way we perceive terrorism. We had experienced terrorism on our soil in the past, but not to the degree of the 9/11 attacks. People naturally fear that water will be in short supply following a terrorist attack. Water is a crucial component to any disaster preparedness plan. But, what about terrorists actually compromising our water supply itself and using it to attack us? It could happen, and our drinking water does need to be guarded from terrorist attacks.

Federal Protection

You see, biohazard and chemical warfare are real in today’s medicinally and technologically advanced world. One way to terrorize any nation is to poison its water supply. A tainted water supply will not only make the nation’s people and animals sick, it will also destroy all of the nation’s crops. Those who survive the tainted water would inevitably starve to death. If you don’t believe me, look at the countries throughout the world currently battling starvation. One of the key reasons people are starving to death in third-world countries is because they do not have an adequate supply of clean water.

Fortunately, the federal government understood this and amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect us against acts of terrorism to our drinking water supplies. After 9/11, the federal government enacted the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Response Act of 2002. The legislation of this Act was specifically written to address the issues of terrorist attacks to America’s food and water supplies. The Act was signed by the president, as well as other key federal agencies the Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Bioterrorism Act of 2002, as it is called in short, amended the Safe Drinking Water Act legislation to include preparedness of our nation’s water supplies. Specifically, municipalities serving 3,300 persons or more are now required to assess their water supply and assure that it is not vulnerable to compromise should it fall under terrorist attack. This includes water treatment and storage facilities, related equipment, and any computer or automated systems associated with the water municipality. The Act also requires emergency protocols be set in place should our country fall under terrorist attack again.

Protecting Your Water

Do not, however, breathe a sigh of relief if your water supply comes from a municipality falling under the Bioterrorism Act’s provisions. You should always prepare yourself and your water supply for the potential threat of terrorism regardless of federally mandated safeguards. If you recall, water mains were destroyed after the 9/11 attacks when the towers collapsed. If it weren’t for the coast guard and other maritime aid, desperately needed water would not have been transported into Lower Manhattan. You should never rely upon your municipality alone to supply you with fresh water.

So, what should you do? You should do the same thing you would do when preparing for any emergency, and that is store plenty of filtered drinking water in a safe place in your home. As with any emergency preparedness kit, you need to assume that you won’t have access to your daily necessities in the event of a terrorist attack; this includes access to fresh water.

You should never assume that you would only need water for a couple of days, either. Look how long it took Lower Manhattan to recover from the 9/11 attacks. Should America fall under another terrorism attack of that nature, it could take us years to recover from it. So, in addition to storing a supply of fresh, filtered water, you should also store necessities to filter your own water should you run out. This includes water filters, water treatment pills, storage containers, and the necessities to boil water.

I know this is a heavy topic; it’s not pleasurable to imagine that something as horrific as 9/11 could ever happen to us again, but when it comes to terrorism – or natural disasters for that matter – one of the worst ways we could be hit is via our water supply. Yes, drinking water needs to be guarded from terrorist attacks. No, no amount of safeguarding is fool proof. Therefore, take your drinking water into your own hands and make certain you have guarded your drinking water supply from terrorist attacks by having plenty of filtered water and the necessary supplies to filter additional water should you need it.


Written By: Lynn Taylor

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