National Homeland Security Research Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio


Earlier articles in this book have pointed out the need for information on how to protect, detect, and respond to a terrorist attack on a water system. Those attacks may happen in many ways and this article focuses on the response to a contamination attack. The information presented here is to be used to help plan for and to respond to contamination of a water system. Other articles focus on the decontamination of the hard surfaces whereas this article focuses on the treatment of the contaminated water.

The treatment of the contaminated water depends on many factors and these factors include class of contaminant, water quality parameters, volume of water to be treated, location of the water to be treated, and more. Many of the factors above are site specific, and so are not addressed in this article. This article presents general treatment techniques that could be used based on various classes of contaminants. These treatment techniques are not solely for treatment of intentionally contaminated water, but are the same ones that would be used to remove contaminants from any water that contain these contaminants.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a system to help communities detect an intentional contamination of distribution system as early as possible. That system is called the ...

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