Emergency Preparedness

We never know when we will experience an emergency or limited access to clean water.  Being prepared can reduce the fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany these scenarios. 

Drinking water advisories
Athens depends on the Public Utilities Department (PUD) for the delivery of clean, safe water.  When PUD has reason to believe the water quality is or may be compromised, a drinking water advisory is issued.  Advisories tell individuals, schools, hospitals, businesses, and others about the situation and how to take immediate action, if necessary.

If an advisory is issued for the Athens-Clarke County (ACC) area, current information and updates can be found here and on the ACC website.

What can cause a drinking water advisory to be issued?
Typically, the most common reason for an advisory to be issued is due to a water main break repair or loss of pressure in our water system.  Other potential events prompting a drinking water advisory include, but are not limited to, a hurricane, flooding, power outage, microbiological contamination, chemical spills, harmful algal blooms, or intentional contamination.

What type of drinking water advisories can be issued?
The situation and characteristics of the contaminant(s) of concern determine what type of advisory to distribute:

  • Informational: Communicate planned or anticipated changes in water quality and recommended actions
  • Boil Water: The most common type of advisory, it tells customers to boil water before use
  • Do Not Drink: Tells customers to use an alternate source of water
  • Do Not Use: Warns customers not to use tap water for any purpose, including bathing
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How can you prepare before a drinking water advisory is issued?
The truth is there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to being prepared.  Evaluate your situation, whether it be for home or work, and develop a plan of action.  The following offers guidelines* of what to expect during a drinking water advisory.  Knowing what to expect and actions to take before an emergency or limited access to water makes you more capable of acting quickly when it matters.

*Guidelines are adapted from the Center for Disease Control recommendations