Elizabeth C. Matthews
The impacts of emergencies on society and structures are often reported in the media, but the impact of these emergencies on the water and wastewater system is less publicized. The safe operation of these systems is critical during hazardous events and the recovery process to ensure safe and clean water for the public. This need is magnified in congested urban areas where the number of people affected is greatest. A critical aspect to the safe operation of these systems during emergencies is a timely response by municipal leaders. Municipalities must develop plans to prevent and/or mitigate the damage to water systems during emergencies, which will speed the recovery process when these events occur. This paper discusses the impacts of hurricanes and flood events on the water and wastewater systems of densely populated urban areas and presents measures that could be taken to prevent and mitigate the impacts of these events in the future.