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Friday, October 11 • 10:30am - 11:00am
Responding to Water System Emergencies

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We all wish our water systems would run flawlessly now and forever, unfortunately we all know that is not reality. Water systems age and power failures, storms, floods and other disasters occur that result in disrupted water service. Contamination of our water supplies can result in failed tests. How we respond and communicate during these events can shape our careers and define the futures of our water systems. This presentation, which is informed by four separate emergency responses the presenter has helped clients recover from, will focus on:
- Immediate actions
- Short term actions
- Long term actions
- Regulatory obligations
- Communication: land lines, media, cell phones and social media
- Managing the message
- Recovery and rebuilding trust
- Finding funding
The emergencies informing this presentation include:
1. Loss of system pressure twice in a month resulting in boil orders
2. Contamination of the source water aquifer
3. Loss of supply, multiple wells "drying up" resulting in insufficient water to meet demands
4. Switching water supplies resulting in failed lead and copper tests (not Flint, Michigan)
There is a silver lining in these emergencies if managed correctly. In each case referenced in this abstract the road to recovery resulted in a much more robust and resilient water system.


Brian LeMon

Vice President Barr Engineering, Barr Engineering
Brian LeMon is a Vice President at Barr who has been helping permit, plan, and design water systems, in one way or another, for over 30 years. Brian has been active in AWWA for over two decades. Over 1.5 million people drink water from systems Brian has helped plan, permit, and or... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 10:30am - 11:00am MDT
Opera House