Water plant break-in leads to security criticisms

"Aquathin OP-ED Commentary"

In the past you have received substantial information in your Splash NewsBulletins concerning the potential for terror attacks at municipal water plants...and the steps being taken to heighten security.  Below you will read just how simple it recently was to break in...and coincidental issues that will exascerbate the problem.  I know that great many of ur Dealers and Customers are located in regions where they are serviced by smaller municipal plants. Regretfully, it may be that these smaller plants have adopted a "can't happen to me" or ostrich approach... or that government is busy attempting to ratchet up security at larger facilities first. Once again for this and a host of other reasons we have related before, it is up to each and every one of us, ourselves, to provide our families the very best in home water security. We should not waste time and wait for others to make decisions, implement programs....or do nothing at all. Invite prospective Customers to call their local municipal plant administrators and ask "how secure are we?" I love my Aquathin!

Water plant break-in leads to security criticisms

DEBARY, FL — Local officials are criticizing the way a break-in at the local water plant in Volusia County was handled, an incident that resulted in the shutting off of water services to many residents in the region.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, roughly 30 hours passed between the discovery of the break-in Sunday morning and Monday's precautionary shutdown of the water plant, which serves more than 4,000 customers in southwest Volusia.

The security breach prompted hours of bureaucratic debate before residents were alerted to the possible danger, the newspaper said, but the emergency-notification system failed to reach thousands of residents with the final decision: Don't drink, bathe or cook with the water.  On Tuesday, officials began handing out bottled water to residents, several restaurants in DeBary and Orange City were forced to close, and state officials launched a battery of tests on samples from the plant, said the newspaper.

County officials say they don't think the intruders at the water plant had an opportunity to contaminate supplies, and no illnesses linked to the water have been reported, said the Sentinel

Dave Byron, a county spokesman, said Tuesday that county officials believed there was no access to the water system during the break-in, the article said.  Byron said county officials disagreed with the Health Department's assessment of the situation but made efforts to notify residents as quickly as possible, the newspaper said.  Officials suspect part of the problem with the certification system was that an area-code change completed more than a year ago was never updated in the computer. County officials are now trying to figure out why the telephone numbers were not updated with the current area codes, the Sentinel said.  Samples taken from the storage tank are being tested at a Florida Department of Environmental Protection laboratory for various chemicals and contaminants, said Pete Thornton, environmental administrator for the Volusia County Health Department, the newspaper reported.


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Edited from Tech Bank 1/13/03