There are approximately 160,000 public drinking water systems and more than 16,000 publicly owned wastewater treatment systems in the United States. Approximately 84 percent of the U.S. population receives their potable water from these drinking water systems, and more than 75 percent of the U.S. population has its sanitary sewerage treated by these wastewater systems.
The Water and Wastewater Systems Sector is vulnerable to a variety of attacks, including contamination with deadly agents, physical attacks such as the release of toxic gaseous chemicals and cyber attacks. If these attacks were realized, the result could be large numbers of illnesses or casualties and/or a denial of service that would also impact public health and economic vitality. Critical services such as firefighting and healthcare (hospitals), and other dependent and interdependent sectors, such as Energy, Food and Agriculture, and Transportation Systems, would suffer negative impacts from a denial of service in the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector.