After September 11th, the U.S. water industry was forced to re-assess their risks. Realizing that the threat of an attack on U.S. soil had potentially increased, water service companies began to evaluate their security solutions. According to Bill Glover, Tyco Integrated Security national accounts systems sales manager, water supply operations have three major vulnerabilities. First, chemicals used in the plant could be stolen and used for attacks on citizens. Second, terrorists could interrupt the water supply to towns and cities, and then set fires to buildings. And third, drinking water could be contaminated.
Serving more than 22 million customers, American Water of Vorhees, NJ is the leading privately-held water service company in the country. To help ensure that the company would be prepared for the new challenges, American Water underwent a comprehensive search for a business partner that could meet its security needs.
In order to undertake a nationally integrated program, American Water reached out to Tyco Integrated Security, a leading provider of electronic security services in North America. The company has recently begun installing Tyco Integrated Security’s state-of the-art video and digital security solutions in more than 100 water facility sites throughout the United States.
The system was designed from the ground up, and required numerous planning meetings and site visits. The one-of-a-kind system allows water facility site managers to view video and manage security functions from on-site, and also allows them to manage the site’s security system from anywhere in the world via the Internet. The data is also sent to Tyco Integrated Security’s servers, providing critical back-up in case of a major emergency.
The system provides access to centralized information and better prepares American Water for an emergency. The sites are equipped with closed circuit television cameras and digital video recorders for video capture and storage. The company is using an advanced integrated system for access control, alarm monitoring, intrusion detection and data collection. All of the equipment relies on GE’s Facility Commander™ command and control system. This provides plant managers with a single console for all access control, video surveillance and alarm management functions, making it quick and simple to manage the system. Its integrated, intuitive interface also reduces training time and costs, as well as operator errors.
Tyco Integrated Security's vast installation resources were key to meeting American Water's aggressive installation schedule. "Tyco Integrated Security had the capability to install the systems in more than 100 facilities in just 300 days," said Bruce Larson, American Water’s Director of Security. Larson is pleased with the system’s capabilities, particularly the ability to control the system remotely. "Tyco Integrated Security isn't just a systems provider - they are our partner in this endeavor," said Larson. "We are pioneering the industry with this system, and we're doing it together."
Glover agreed. "I'm really proud to be working with American Water," he said. "It's great to know we’re helping to keep U.S. citizens safe."