Welcome to Homeland Products and Services ... Protecting the nation's water Supply through hydrant security and backflow protection Learn more about the threat to our nation's water supply through hydrant contaminationLearn about the Davidson ATV anti terrorism valve and how it can be used to secure our fire hydrants from harmful contaminantsFind out who is supporting the use of the Davidson ATV in combatting foreign substance injection and backflow contaminationRead current news about the threat to our water supply and the need for effective hydrant securityClick to read about our company and how we can help in securing your community's water supply though hydrant security measuresContact us to find out more about the Davidson ATV and how you can implement it in your community

Is The Nation's Water Supply Safe?

America’s Fire Hydrants Present the Next Great Threat to Homeland Security …
Are We Doing All We Can to Protect the Public?

Biological warfare, unprotected national borders, and threats at sea … all are on the hit list for those who seek to strike terror in the hearts of Americans. Even with the extraordinary security measures our government leaders are establishing, we live in an era of continual threat. Most citizens don’t realize that one of the most easily accessible and dangerous vulnerabilities that terrorists could exploit remains largely unchecked – America’s fire hydrants. A terrorist attack to the water supply could affect millions

It has been acknowledged by government security agencies – including the FBI and the White House – that our country’s water distribution system is most susceptible to terrorist attacks. In fact, when asked to identify serious vulnerabilities of our drinking water systems, more than 40 nationally recognized water experts identified our nation’s distribution system – and specifically referenced fire hydrants as a top vulnerability in the GAO report (please login to the secure section to view this report). The report, given to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, states that “concerns were greatly amplified … by the discovery of training manuals in Afghanistan detailing how terrorist trainees could support attacks on drinking water systems.”

The Georgia Association Chiefs of Police issued a Resolution for the Protection of the Water Supply, supported by experts including the Federal Government's General Accounting Office, the American Water Works Association and the Georgia Rural Water Association, recognizing unprotected fire hydrants as an area of vulnerability to our drinking water systems. Click here to view the resolution.

The United States Office of Domestic Preparedness' Urban Area Security Initiative Program (UASI) recognizes geographic areas that have been deemed "at risk" to terrorism. The Fiscal Year 2006 UASI Program provides fiscal assistance to address the unique multi-disciplinary planning, operations, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas.

The FY 2007 Homeland Security Grant Program just released in January 2007. Program guidance and application package is included.The Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) contains significant improvements based upon extensive outreach to FY 2006 HSGP participants and stakeholders. In addition, the risk evaluation that forms the basis for eligibility under the HSGP has been simplified, refined, and considerably strengthened. The secure section of our web site offers information about many other funding opportunities.

Should your city qualify as a grant candidate, we encourage you to contact a Homeland Security Products and Services representative to explore options for outfitting the hydrants in your area.

Tests Prove that the Infrastructure is Vulnerable to Accidental Backflow and Intentional Contamination

Our nation’s water infrastructure has three main elements: 1) the supply source (lake, river or well); 2) the treatment facilities; and, 3) the distribution system. Certainly, protecting supply and treatment facilities was critically important and every city in the country has rightfully spent millions of dollars on razor wire, increased security patrols and video surveillance of its supply sources and its water treatment plants. Yet thousands of unprotected points of entry to every city’s system – fire hydrants – sit accessible to accidental backflow or to anyone with a wrench wishing to do harm.

In a series of tests in Atlanta, Ga., water officials demonstrated that it only takes a couple of minutes to access a fire hydrant and insert toxins that could affect tens of thousands of people. A typical hydrant can hold up to 17 gallons of something – whether it be an exotic biological or chemical agent or rat poison found at your local hardware store. But it doesn't take large quantities of toxins to wreak havoc and death. As little as 1/20th of a quart of anthrax or ricin will make one million gallons of water toxic. It takes more than 100 miles of six-inch diameter distribution pipe to accommodate a million gallons. Very small amounts of a biological or chemical agent is necessary to permeate a large supply of water. Our secure section lists many of the various chemical and biological agents, as well as the toxicity levels in each.

Several incidents throughout the world provide a clear indication that water infrastructure networks are a prime target for terrorists. Consider the following breaches into the distribution systems that could have threatened the lives of millions, as reported by the US Army Corp of Engineers:

  • February 2002: Al-Qaida operatives arrested with plans to attack U.S. Embassy water system in Rome with cyanide;
  • December 2002: Al-Qaida operatives arrested with plans to attack water networks in neighborhoods surrounding the Eiffel Tower in Paris;
  • April 2003: Jordan foils Iraq's plot to poison water system from Zarqa feeding U.S. military bases in the Eastern Desert;
  • September 2003: FBI bulletin warns of Al-Qaida plans found in terrorist training camps in Afghanistan to poison water and food supplies in the U.S.;
  • Other reported incidents of planned terrorist attacked on water systems worldwide: U.S., France, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Philippines, Turkey, Singapore, Israel, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the United States, other instances have demonstrated to officials that our infrastructure is at risk:
  • June 2002: Janesville, Wis. Workers at the water utility found the barbed wire perimeter fence cut and the pad lock to a five million gallon storage tank cut. No direct evidence of contamination was found but the tank was drained and super chlorinated as a precaution;
  • July 2002: Federal officers arrested two Al-Qaida operatives in Denver with documents detailing plans to contaminate the country's water supplies;
  • January 2003: Someone jumped the barbed wire exterior fence at a water treatment plant in Debary, Fla., broke the lock on the entry gate and removed the screens on the aerators. No contaminants were found. This had the indications of an insider or professional attack. Introduction of contaminants at this point in the system would have affected the water quality of 4,000 homes. The water utility was assessed a fine because it did not immediately notify the Health Department as required by statute.
  • October 2003: A vial of highly concentrated ricin was found at the Greenville, S.C., post office along with a note saying the city's water system will be poisoned with ricin unless certain demands were met regarding the Federal policy as it pertained to the number of hours that overland truckers were allowed to drive without rest. Subsequent tests of the water system found no ricin in the water system.
  • In 2004: FBI and Homeland Security issue a bulletin warning that terrorists were trying to recruit workers at water utilities as part of a plan to poison our drinking water.

These breaches support the fact that the water distribution system is the most vulnerable, and offers those that would do us harm the ability to affect a large population in a minimal amount of time without leaving a traceable footprint. The ATV raises water security and hydrant security and addresses this weakness by acting as a physical barrier that prevents foreign objects; i.e., biological, radiological or chemical agents, from being introduced into our water supply at the distribution level via the fire hydrant. The cost of the device is negligible considering the price of inaction: possible fatalities and a public distrust in our nation’s water infrastructure.

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