WaterSC - Information Sharing & Analysis Center

Large Combined Utility

Case Study 3 - Large Mid-Western Combined Utility

Plant ExteriorLWU is a large mid-western utility providing water and wastewater services. Extensive residential areas have grown up around the once rural treatment plants. Accordingly, operations are under the scrutiny of several citizen groups and city administrators. LWU is subject to a variety of national and state regulations regarding operations and safety.

When considering subscribing to WaterISAC Pro, top management members looked largely to their responsibility to the community and the need to review and improve existing security measures. They realized that such efforts, aimed at preventing foreign and domestic terrorist threats, paid dividends in addressing in-house personnel safety and vandalism issues. After gaining access to WaterISAC Pro resources, they discovered a variety of other, unanticipated benefits. Because of the size and complexity of the organization they registered three users.

The utility director is pulled in numerous directions in daily work but felt the need to stay informed of major developments in the security arena. He immediately appreciated the value of weekly summaries of security related events. The summaries took only a few minutes to read each week but allowed him to stay current on important topics. He learned that this service allowed him to respond to city administration and board of directors’ concerns often driven by reports in the media. He appreciated the special notifications of major events of concern to utilities. Additionally, he was comforted by the knowledge that should there be a potential or actual physical or cyber attack against drinking water or wastewater systems, he would be notified regardless of the time of day. 

The security officer is a collateral position of one of the utility's top managers. He also appreciated the services the director found important, but also found the "one stop shop" aspect of WaterISAC invaluable. He knew that WaterISAC shared Federal information with utilities that was deemed For Official Use Only. He did not have to individually track and gain assess to the myriad of federal information resources. His favorite resource is the WaterISAC website. Not only does it give him access to the most extensive library of security related assets in one place, but it also provides access to extensive databases on chemical threats. As a joint drinking water and wastewater utility, he found the chemical, biological and radiological contaminant database to be the only source providing information on the effects of hundreds of agents on wastewater operations and treatment processes.