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City takes steps to ensure water supply

The Sunnyside City Council this past Monday night approved a contract that will help ensure the city's water supply is secure from bioterrorism.

Council entered into a contract to perform a vulnerability assessment of the city's water system with HDR Engineering of Pasco. The cost to the city for the assessment is $18,946.

Sunnyside City Manager Robert Stockwell informed Council that this is a federal requirement of citie's across the United States. The action was brought on by the government following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Stockwell said the assessment will show the city ways it can improve handling of its water system.

Sunnyside has until June 30 to complete the assessment. The time line to complete the assessment was different for every community depending on their population. Larger cities of 100,000 residents or more had to have the assessment done by March 31, 2004. Cities with a population between 50,000 and 99,999 residents had to have the assessment completed by Dec. 31, 2003.

If the city doesn't complete the vulnerability assessment, federal funds and other loan programs may not be made available, said City Engineer Jim Bridges.

HDR Engineering began the assessment project this past Tuesday.

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