Causes of supply problems

The "drinking water emergency response plan" provides those charged with its execution with the tools they need to react in an appropriate and flexible manner to events that occur and to provide the best possible protection for the citizens or sectors affected, their vital interests, and the nation's economic interests.

The plan distinguishes between problems of a quantitative and qualitative nature in the drinking water supply.

In the event of a disruption in the drinking water supply presumed to have been caused by an act of terrorism, the Government's Vigilnat plan (the plan for national vigilance in the face of the threat of acts of terrorism) and if necessary its component, the emergency response plan in the event of an attack involving CBRN substances, applies.

The drinking water ERP distinguishes between a number of scenarios involving different emergency measures.

Technical problem

Technical problems involve failures in major technical installations such as treatment stations and supply and distribution infrastructures.

Weather-related problem

Increased precipitation during the winter, reduced precipitation and higher temperatures during the summer, and an increase in the frequency of exceptional weather conditions can cause quantity- and even quality-related problems for the drinking water supply.

Two scenarios have been considered in the emergency response plan:

  • periods of prolonged drought accompanied by high temperatures, causing a significant increase in consumption needs and a significant reduction in available resources;
  • other extreme weather conditions (storms, thunderstorms, heavy rain) or prolonged periods of freezing temperatures.

Microbiological problem

Microbiological pollution of the drinking water may be caused either by the resources used for drinking water or by defective infrastructures for treating or storing water and in networks for supply and distribution.

Soluble or non-soluble chemical problem

Pollution caused accidentally by a soluble or non-soluble chemical may occur in various places, including the areas where drinking water is sourced (on the surface or underground), in defective infrastructures, or inside pipes and networks for supply and distribution.

The difference between soluble and non-soluble chemicals lies in the water treatment methods. Pollution caused by a non-soluble product can, in certain cases, be treated more easily upstream of the supply source. It is also easier to notice pollution caused by a non-soluble chemical than by a soluble chemical.

Radioactive problem

There is very little risk of pollution caused by a radioactive product.

In the event of an accident at a nuclear power station, the emergency response plan in the event of a nuclear accident is set in motion.

Cyber-attack

In the event of a cyber-attack on the system that controls and manages the drinking water treatment and supply installations of the SEBES or other regional suppliers (DEA, SEC, SES, SESE, SIDERE) the emergency response plan in the event of an attack on information systems or a technical failure in information systems ("Cyber ERP") is set in motion.

Terrorist attack

In the event of a terrorist attack on the installations of the SEBES or other regional suppliers ( DEA, SEC, SES, SESE, SIDERE), the Government plan for national vigilance in the face of the threat of acts of terrorism ("Vigilnat Plan") is activated.

Power cut

In the event of a disruption in the power supply affecting the installations operated by the SEBES or other regional suppliers (DEA, SEC, SES, SESE, SIDERE), the emergency response plan in the event of a disruption in the power supply ("Blackout ERP") is applied.

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