U.S. Water News Online
DETROIT -- The head of the 4 million-customer Detroit water
system says his department will immediately increase security
measures against terrorism and deliberate contamination.
Water and sewer Director Victor Mercado said he has ordered the
department to fasten down hatches on reservoirs, fix broken security
fences and intensify patrols of the system that serves 126
communities in southeastern Michigan.
``We have to do things very quickly to protect the public safety.
We better hurry up and get it done,'' he said.
Mercado said the department was conducting daily security checks
at all 21 major drinking water reservoirs ``every day, for as many
days as necessary'' to handle any security gaps.
He said it would immediately repair faulty perimeter fences and
install a fence around an unprotected reservoir in Farmington this
The department also will speed up bidding for a new electronic
security system at the reservoirs at an expected cost of $10 million
to $20 million.
A number of needed water system security moves were outlined in a
homeland security proposal Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick submitted to the
federal government in March, said Kilpatrick spokesman Jamaine
``These are issues the mayor addressed early on,'' Dickens said.
``The system is certainly in good hands.''
City Council President Mary Ann Mahaffey praised the water
department's actions, saying she has been told that some suburban
police had increased reservoir surveillance. She encouraged suburban
residents to ask their local officials what security measures they
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