A great deal of preparedness work goes on behind the scenes to host an event that the world is watching. From our vantage point – we’ve done our job well when we go undetected and have a boring, uneventful night. (We didn’t expect The Broncos and The Seahawks to do the same. We plead not guilty!)
Preparations for Super Bowl XLVIII began well over a year ago and United Water was proud to have been an active participant and a partner with the Super Bowl Planning Committee from the start.
As a water utility that serves North Jersey and the MetLife Stadium area, United Water New Jersey was ready to welcome the 82,529 people who gathered in the stadium, and the 400,000 people who travelled to the New York and New Jersey area for the big game.
Emergency preparedness is an integral part of our business each and every day. In anticipation of the big game, and in consultation with other cities such as Dallas and Vancouver that had hosted major sporting events, we developed a number of potential scenarios that could occur during the Super Bowl week and designed emergency response protocols accordingly.
Many personnel were dedicated to emergency preparation. Our staff was available, ready and strategically located to support Super Bowl XLVIII. And we upped the ante on our facility security in coordination with state and local police and emergency management officials.
Throughout the weeks leading up to the event, we enhanced efforts in monitoring water quality and water pressure – to ensure that the system would sustain an extra ½ million people in an already populous area – and to enable real-time detection of problems. Taking advantage of the latest technology, United Water installed and used a SCADA system – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition – to do 24-7 live monitoring of the water system in the East Rutherford and Jersey City areas.
Surely with the world watching, a water main break during frigid temperatures would have been wildly disruptive. While we cannot control nature, we did conduct a comprehensive infrastructure assessment in the East Rutherford and Jersey City areas. As an extra precaution, we built in backup systems in the event that a failure should have occurred. Although we were not tested – we were confident of our ability to ensure continuity of essential water service throughout the Super Bowl XLVIII celebration.
New Jersey is better prepared for the future because of the proactive planning and coordination by essential utilities and agencies like the police and the Departments of Environmental Protection and Homeland Security.