Liquid News

Irvine Ranch Water District Receives Emergency Water Trailers


IRWD has added more tools to its emergency response toolkit – two 2,000-gallon potable water trailers that may be hauled to wherever there is an emergency or water outage.water trailer

“This project was two years in the making,” said John Dayer, IRWD Fleet Services Manager. “We were involved in helping to write grants and work on the specifications.”

The 2,000-gallon polyurethane tanks are mounted on heavy duty trailer chassis and contain 10 spigots for filling containers from water bottles to buckets and jugs. Of the 12 that were delivered to cities and county water agencies that requested them, IRWD received two.

“That’s because of our size – we stretch from the foothills to the ocean,” Dayer said.

The Municipal Water District of Orange County received a $431,000 Department of Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative Grant for the purchase of equipment to improve retail water agencies capacity for response to major disasters. A panel of representatives from most of the water agencies in Orange County, including IRWD, determined that the acquisition and strategic distribution of potable water distribution trailers would enhance local agency response in case of temporary interruptions in the potable water supply.

One of the trailers will be placed in the Santiago area, while the other will remain at the Michelson Water Recycling Plant, which is a central location.

The purpose of the trailers is to act as a stop gap measure between residents’ own resources, the District’s ability to restore distribution, and the time it takes for outside resources to arrive at the site of a major disaster.

All residents are encouraged to store a minimum of three to five days of disaster supplies, which includes the water needed for drinking, cooking and cleaning from such sources as toilet tanks, water heaters, and cases of bottled water.

The potable water trailers are one method of many possible ways to bring drinking water to the public. IRWD will be able to use already treated water from reservoirs and tanks to fill the trailers and deliver water to public points of distribution.


Interesting trailer facts:

  • Why 2,000 gallons – that’s one day’s minimum recommended emergency water sup0ply of drinking water for 2,000 residents
  • Agencies hosting the trailers will be registered through the Food and Drug Administration as Licensed Water Haulers
  • The trailers will be stored empty to ensure that the freshest water is used for distribution to the public
  • Each trailer full of water weighs just under 24,000 pounds – 16,660 of that is water weight
  • In addition to providing water for emergencies or outages, the trailers can also provide water supply for minor hazardous material incidents where water decontamination shower units may be required to ensure the health and safety of responders in the field
  • The trailers are a mutual aid resource that will be shared between the water ut9lities within Orange County.
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