Some municipal water utilities are taking emergency measures to sequester some employees to assure that they can keep the water flowing as the coronavirus spreads.
In this country, millions of Americans can follow advice to stay at home so long as the electricity stays on and the water and the phone service. Utility workers need to keep moving about. And to stay on the job, they also need to stay safe. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports that some utilities are taking extraordinary measures, including locking in employees at work.
MASTERS: After two weeks, a new group of workers with the same set of skills, who are currently sitting at home, will switch with the current onsite crew. Something similar is happening at a desalination plant in Carlsbad, California, that produces 50 million gallons of water a day. Ten workers are living there for three weeks. Sandy Kerl is general manager for the San Diego County Water Authority.
SANDY KERL: “These are critical services, highly trained individuals, not easily replaceable, so they have to be protected to ensure that water continues to flow.”
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