Water officials serious about protecting local sources

After the terrorist events of Sept. 1, 2001, the county Department of Water stepped up efforts to ensure the safety of drinking-water facilities on the island, the DOW manager said.

Random patrols of DOW employees routinely inspect facilities across the island on weekends, said Ed Tschupp, DOW manager and chief engineer.

In addition, alliances have been forged between DOW officials and members of the Kauai Police Department and State Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, to increase the numbers of eyes and ears around DOW facilities, he said.

Using a waiver from state procurement laws allowed to let governmental entities install security measures without going through open-bidding processes, DOW officials contracted to have fences and other security devices installed around water tanks, wells and pipeline systems, he continued.

DOW officials are also working on fine-tuning response plans in the event of break-ins at DOW facilities, he added.

Finally, DOW officials are mandated to conduct a vulnerability assessment of the entire DOW system, stretching from Ha’ena to Mana, and have hired a consultant to do that evaluation, said Tschupp.

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