Checklist: Preparing Water and Wastewater Utilities for a Flood Event

Flooding is common throughout much of the United States and can be caused by heavy precipitation events, storm surge, levee or dam failures or inadequate drainage. These events often occur with little or no notice, and can cause extensive damage to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

Flooding impacts to utilities often include, but are not limited to:

  • Infrastructure damage, possibly resulting in service interruptions.

  • Pipe breaks due to washouts, which could result in sewage spills or low water pressure throughout the service area.

  • Debris blockage at an intake or unearthed water and wastewater lines due to falling trees.

  • Loss of power and communication lines.

  • Combined sewer overflows (CSOs).

  • Water quality changes to source waters and treated effluents, including increased turbidity, increased nutrients and other potential contaminants.

  • Restricted access to the facility due to debris, flood waters and damage to roadways from washouts and sinkholes.

  • Loss of water quality testing capability due to restricted facility and laboratory access and damage to utility equipment.

Take action before a flooding incident occurs to make sure your system is prepared to weather the storm.