There are approximately 160,000 public drinking water systems and more than 16,000 publicly owned wastewater treatment systems in the United States. Approximately 84 percent of the U.S. population receives their potable water from these drinking water systems, and more than 75 percent of the U.S. population has its sanitary sewerage treated by these wastewater systems.
The Water and Wastewater Systems Sector is vulnerable to a variety of attacks, including contamination with deadly agents, physical attacks such as the release of toxic gaseous chemicals and cyber attacks. If these attacks were realized, the result could be large numbers of illnesses or casualties and/or a denial of service that would also impact public health and economic vitality. Critical services such as firefighting and healthcare (hospitals), and other dependent and interdependent sectors, such as Energy, Food and Agriculture, and Transportation Systems, would suffer negative impacts from a denial of service in the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector.
The Water and Wastewater Systems Sector-Specific Plan (PDF, 88 pages – 1.39 MB) details how the National Infrastructure Protection Plan risk management framework is implemented within the context of the unique characteristics and risk landscape of the sector. Each Sector-Specific Agency develops a sector-specific plan through a coordinated effort involving its public and private sector partners. The Environmental Protection Agency is designated as the Sector-Specific Agency for the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector. Presidential Policy Directive 21 changed the name of the Water Sector to the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector in 2013.
For resources available to Water and Wastewater Systems Sector partners, check out the links on the right hand sidebar.