Water Dept. Y2k Statement: Analysis, please.

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Here's hoping there are folks on this forum with the expertise to interpret this, and offer a well-educated opinion. My simple question is this: If your neighborhood was served by this utility, how would you prepare, or WOULD you?

______ Utility (Water and Waste) Y2k Statement:

We are pleased to inform you that we have completed a Y2K audit and evaluation. We are also working with our vendors to learn what steps they are taking in making sure their systems are Y2K compliant.

We are confident in saying we will be fully 2000 compliant by the end of 1999. The services we provide you with will not be affected, providing our vendors can continue service to us without interruption.

We have discovered and wish to inform you that the Windows95 and Windows98 operating systems are not Y2K compliant in their current state, however, a patch may be downloaded from Microsoft's web site that will correct this problem.

After an evaluation of all of our computers, we have discovered that 74% of our computers have passed the Y2K test and are deemed compliant. The remaining computers will be repaired or replaced before the end of 1999.


(Thanks in advance for your input.)


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), June 04, 1999


Do they have a contingency plan in case power is down for a few days (or?) - if large, probably do, then how big a fuel supply?

Did they independently test compliance of systems or did they rely on manufacturer's compliance statements? Calif. State Water Resources strongly recommended not relying fully on manufacturer's statements because they were finding that they were not always correct. If you need that link I can get it for you easily.

Good Luck!

-- Kristi (securx@Succeed.Net), June 04, 1999.

Found it:


When I went to my local water district's board meeting I was encouraged by the sincere folks who are working on it but was also discouraged by the lack of progress in contingency plans.

-- Kristi (securx@succeed.Net), June 04, 1999.

I am glad I have a good filter system. Without drinking water, you die.

-- Bill (y2khippo@yahoo.com), June 04, 1999.

Gee Kristi, if those "sincere folks" are STILL working on it (really, really hard) AND have no contingency plans....I would suggest you STOCKPILE HUGE amounts of H2O, ASAP (Christ). This is *JUNE 1999*

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), June 04, 1999.


Thanks for the link. Your comments inspire another question:

What ARE the questions we should be asking of our water suppliers?

(Our local newspaper is asleep at the switch on this one. If I can compile a good list of questions I may be able to help it take a more in-depth look at this.)



-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), June 04, 1999.

FM, I wish the questions had been asked last year. That might have "sparked" some thought patterns, which in turn, could have led to problem solving. Too bad most of them started in their "billing depts". If there is so much as ONE water dept. in this country, who needs to be "questioned" about THIER sources of water being compliant, that would indicate problems. How many water Depts. ARE the "source"? Not many. I don't scoff at the questions, but the answers! The lack of attention in this particular area, is criminal to say the least. How many systems have sensors reliant on the phones??? MANY. If just ONE system pollutes their water supply, how many down the road will be able to deal with that? Those of you who think you can fish for your food, had better ask yourselves what the "source" of your creek is...and their source....and their source. The thought that this question would be a "talking point" in *JUNE 1999* is quite beyond my level of patience. If those we rely upon for our water are in need of "rattling thier cages".....well. If you're asking the questions on behalf of those who need to know, and the answers are "don't worry, be happy", then what's the point? Kristi believes the answers are being offered by "sincere people, working very hard on it". I say, they have been derelict in their duties, asleep at the wheel and have criminally placed MILLIONS in danger! Sincere my A--.Here's a question : How many of you are able to think for yourselves? Married to "career man" in Public Works

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), June 04, 1999.


No matter what the statement says, we all need to make our own contingency plans for water. Water is perhaps the one thing for which there is no alternative, and your body needs it more than food. Bottom line: store a fair amount of water for your family (enough for perhaps a week). It costs practically nothing to do so.

-- Codejockey (codejockey99@yahoo.com), June 04, 1999.

I would call my local Wal-Mart/Sam's and ask them when they'll be getting in those 55 gallon barrels. Seriously though the only practical water solution is to beable to harvest and purify you own. If your position depends only on stored water, you could be in a hideous situation.

That PR piece worries me for some of the following reasons. It is not so much what is said, but what is not said that should be. "we have completed a Y2K audit and evaluation.", and the results are WHAT? "We are confident in saying we will be fully 2000 compliant by the end of 1999.", if this was my sole source of water I'ld want more than confidence and I'ld want it a lot sooner than 12/99. "providing our vendors can continue service to us without interruption.", ie., don't blame him, don't blame me, blame the fellow behind the tree. "wish to inform you that the Windows95 and Windows98, etc.", this is a bit bizzare. Are they trying to look authoritative here? Reporting on yesterday's leftover mashed potatoes ain't news. "that 74% of our computers have passed the Y2K test" & " repaired or replaced before the end of 1999.", uh... when was this staement made? Will 7 months be enough time to replace and repair and debug 26% of their computers? Now if these are just PC's that's one thing, if it's heavier stuff do they have the in-house or lined up out of house sources to get this done in time for testing? One would hope so.

Nothing horrible is said, but just all the things that are not could be a problem, they just don't say enough. After all, this is for general consumption and isn't intended to be for Y2K concerned people.

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), June 04, 1999.


My only point was that it is very easy and cheap to mitigate the risk of water being disrupted for a short time, which is a good possibility. A couple of the 55-gallon drums should sustain a family of four for two weeks, if use conservatively. If my water is out for longer than that, I expect my suburban city will have been evacuated if for no other reason than the human solid waste hazards. If this happened, I'd have to leave behind my rainwater collection system, if I had one.

Long-term water disruption is something that I'm not prepared for. I suspect that most GIs don't have a self-sustaining water source. We each have to draw a line as to the extent of our preps.

-- Codejockey (codejockey99@yahoo.com), June 04, 1999.

"don't blame him, don't blame me, blame the fellow behind the tree."


Good points, Ken. After everyone has had a chance to comment on this, I'll call the utility with questions.


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), June 04, 1999.

"...providing our vendors can continue service to us without interruption."

This is the statement that "red flags" me.

FM, ask about what kind of water purification chemicals they use (get names), do they have stockpiles, are the chemicals volitile to heat (if the power is off), specifically what ARE their contingency plans locally and if there are critical infrastructure disruptions nationally?

Posted some water links on this thread ...

Water Supplies and Sodium Hypochlorite

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 000naY


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 04, 1999.


I am going to post the EPA water alert in a link on the top of the forum as it is long. Read it and assess the problems your water - waste water systyem may have. This depends on where you live, the population served, age of the plant and on and on. I live at an area with a water reservior. Yet locals are warning to store water when there will be little reason for Y2K. Gravity is fully compliant. Others will not be so lucky. Water is location location location.

Personally I think that disclosure is a joke.

EPA Y2K and Water - Waste Water (Brian, imager@home.com, 1999-06-04)

-- Brian (imager@home.com), June 04, 1999.

No matter what they say we should all know without doubt from reading the govt. reports re: water/electric systems that any of us could be at risk. Not everyone, but someone, will suffer the 'inconvenience' of being without or of rationing. Therefore it is prudent to store water.

'store a fair amount of water for your family (enough for perhaps a week).'

A fair amount of water is at least one month's worth. Since I live in Texas and we often go several months with less than an inch of rain I am storing a six month supply. (That is bare minimum usuage for a family of six) I have a water catchment system now, but wouldn't count on the rain falling at the right moment.

I think it is also prudent to consider the possibility of water flowing through the pipes after the rollover where electricity stays up and yet there being chemical goof ups that make that water poisonous to drink. I will not be trusting the water supply for some time after the rollover. heck, I don't drink water that I haven't retreated now. Paranoid? no, read the literature about the many problems the water systems face in this country now...large populations, too many lawn chemicals, industrial waste, pesticides, etc. make for difficult rowing in the clean water departments of our nation. Help your immune system out by treating your own water a second time.

-- Shelia (Shelia@active-stream.com), June 04, 1999.


My first impression is that it certainly isn't a typical Y2k statement from a large municipal water utility. Might it be from a small community where the utility's statements are sometimes more informal than those in a big city? Or is it an actual statement from a real utility at all, since you don't specifically claim that it is? The paragraph about Windows 95/98 seems out-of-place within the rest of the message.

Having said that -- if I were to accept the statement at face value, then my answer would be that I concur with Codejockey's sensible responses.

-- No Spam Please (nos_pam_please@hotmail.com), June 04, 1999.

Thanks guys for your input.

No spam, yes it's a real utility. It serves less than 100 thousand people I think.

Good questions. I intend to ask them.


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), June 05, 1999.


What about February?

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), June 05, 1999.

It doesn't appear they have done a "mental walk through" (diagnosis of the secondary impacts) of their systems.

In other words: trying to consolidate and repeat much of what said above:

What if power is out for 3 hours/9 hours/3 days/9 days? What if it is irregularly up and down for 9-18 days - what happens to their controllers and pumps? How long can the system stay presurized once power is lost? If phones are out, wha tis impact on sensors and recorders and controllers? Will water department radios work if rechargers are out at the central office? How long? What if phones are out? How are tests of the water done to re-assure no contamination? Who does the tests? Where? How are they done if power/lights/heat/phones are out of service? How are the results published to the public if phones/radios/emergency plans are effect? Who reports? Who updates the samples if outage lasts for several days? If pressure is lost to the system, how are flushes and sampels done? How often are they repeated? When are these contingency plans going to be practiced?

If bills are screwed up, will customers continue to be provided water service? If bills are screwed up, how much should be paid? How will workers be paid if problems occur?

Who are these "suppliers"? and why can't extra "supplies" be stored for 2 month's service? What is the schedule for remedaition and testing?

What is the status if sewage system and the sewage system contingency planning? Can citizens continue using the sewage system if power or water fails? Should they? If sewage runoff or overflow or raw sewage discharges occur due to power outage, how will public be told? Where will these discharges or overflows occur?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), June 06, 1999.

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