By Mr. Carlos J Lazo (USACE)September 24, 2013
DENVER -- The U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues to help ensure the safety of drinking water and the integrity of wastewater systems for Coloradans affected by the recent severe storms and devastating floods.
Under a mission assignment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Corps has completed 12 infrastructure assessments of public water and wastewater systems, as of Sept. 22. Additional assessments are underway. State and local officials determine the sites and facilities under evaluation. Completed locations include the cities of Boulder, Loveland, Lyons, Nederland, Sterling and Ward.
The Corps deployed teams from the Seattle and Omaha Districts to carry out the assessments, working in close coordination with representatives from the state, FEMA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"We're assessing the systems to check if they are still operational, semi-operational or nonoperational," said Win Hargis, a USACE team leader.
If the system proves semi-operational or nonoperational, team members will make recommendations to local officials on ways to bring the system back up to operational. The Corps teams may provide technical assistance and engineering expertise, if needed. USACE may perform follow-up assessments, if requested by state officials.
USACE is part of the federal government's unified national response to disasters and emergencies. USACE is the designated lead for ESF #3, public works and engineering-related support.