Liquid News

IRWD: Always Prepared

Irvine Ranch Water District is committed to emergency preparedness and conducts annual drills and exercises for employees. IRWD’s 16-foot-long Emergency Response Trailer is equipped with everything needed for such a response, including orange cones, protective suits, self-contained breathing apparatus, rubber boots and gloves, two children’s wading pools used for decontamination, medical supp-lies, first aid kits, generators and medical monitoring equipment.

“When an emergency situation call for it, IRWD’s highly trained hazardous materials response team utilizes the Emergency Response Trailer to take immediate action,” said IRWD Safety and Security Manager Ken Erwin.

In addition, there are real-life events that put what staff has learned to the test. In October 2007, the Santiago Fire ravaged Orange County and kept IRWD crews across many departments working around the clock to keep the water flowing to firefighters. Crews were out close to the fire lines, installing generators, operating pumps and manually measuring reservoir depths in areas where power and phone lines were knocked out by the flames. Some crews manned hoses to help protect key water facilities. One of the IRWD pump houses in the Portola Hills area was destroyed.

In December 2012, torrential storms caused significant damage to Williams Canyon, washing out a road along with IRWD water mains that supply water service to canyon residents. Over several days, including Christmas, crews worked in the rain to provide access for equ9ipment and construct two water bypass lines to restore water to residents.

Practice does make perfect. IRWD follows the guidelines and procedures practiced in the statewide, six-hour Emergency Preparedness Drill of 2008, one of the largest such drills in the nation’s history in which IRWD participated. To keep our emergency preparedness training current and fresh in the minds of our response team members, IRWD annually participates in a similar, but smaller, emergency preparedness drill.

To help you be better prepared, IRWD encourages you to review our list of emergency preparedness frequently asked questions. While you are there, don’t forget to sign up for the codeRED Emergency Alert System.

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