33 CFR 214.6 - Discussion.
(a) The amendment provides for furnishing emergency supplies of drinking water. The method of furnishing those supplies is not provided for in the amendment, and is left to the discretion of the Chief of Engineers. Any feasible method, including restoration of service from an alternate source when the main source has been contaminated, is authorized where most feasible (however, see paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section).
(b) The scope of work is limited solely to providing emergency supplies of clean drinking water. Sewage treatment and disposal, and other sanitary requirements, are not included. In addition, the Corps of Engineers role in providing emergency supplies is a temporary measure until the locality is able to assume their responsibility. The locality is ultimately responsible for providing supplies of drinking water.
(c) The cause of the contamination may be due to any situation, not necessarily flood related. It encompasses all situations involving a contaminated source of drinking water, whether caused by flooding or otherwise.
(d) To be eligible, a locality must be confronted with a source of water that is contaminated. The loss of clean drinking water must not be solely the result of a failure in the distribution system. For example, the emergency could be due to a failure of a reservoir purification system, and the locality might thus be faced with a contaminated source. Furnishing of emergency supplies of clean drinking water may not be undertaken in these cases since the distribution system is not considered to be a source. A loss of supply is not in itself a justification for furnishing supplies of water by the Corps of Engineers under this authority.
(e) Employment of the authority under the amendment requires a finding by the Chief of Engineers, or his delegate, that there is, in fact, a contaminated source of drinking water.
(f) The contamination must cause or be likely to cause a substantial threat to the public health and welfare. An identifiable and defined threat of impairment to the public health and welfare is considered necessary. There is no requirement, however, that actual sickness exist from contaminated water to invoke the authority. But a clear threat must be established. Lack of palatability, in itself, may not constitute a serious health threat (see § 214.9(d)).
(g) Inhabitants of the locality, rather than commercial enterprises, are identified as the group threatened. A business firm faced with contamination of water used in its process is not eligible. The drinking water used by the people in the area must be affected.