Operation Dirty Water

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (Chelsea, MA), December 7, 2011

This tabletop exercise tested the capability of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to respond to a water distribution emergency in the City of Chelsea. The exercise forced the activation of Continuity of Operations Plans for many Chelsea agencies, including the Department of Public Works, Fire Department, and School Department. The objective of the exercise was to test the abilities of responding agencies to work within the confines of a unified incident command structure. All 29 participants – representing both local and state agencies – worked together to resolve the posed challenges, which included dealing with the public utility issue, laboratory testing delays, and effective communication to the public.