The development of technology is underway to save community water systems at the time of a big earthquake. The technology is being developed by a Bothell-based engineering company that has worked with public water utility companies for 37 years in Oregon and Washington in the U.S. The current technology involves shutting off valves attached to earthquake sensors and take from twenty to forty five seconds to close when the sensor detects shaking. The closure of valves upon sensing shaking is a loophole as it may not work until the damage has occurred.
This has necessitated the development of a warning technology that can shut off valves in advance. The system bearing this technology would detect non-damaging primary waves or P waves as a warning to the damaging S waves that follow.
ShakeAlert Enables Wide Area Earthquake Monitoring on West Coast
Prior to this, the consortium of California Institute of Technology, University of Oregon, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Washington located on the west coast of the country have been working to develop a public system that can provide seconds worth of warning about a tremor and the intensity of the tremor. The In this regard, in a recent development the west coast states of Oregon, Washington, and California have been connected through an electronic system ShakeAlert that covers a bigger area for earthquake monitoring.
However, ShakeAlert is still in developmental phase and more work needs to be done before it renders its complete functionality. The developmental phase of ShakeAlert involves adding functionalities for gauging real life situations for shutting off water utilities, prevent flow of traffic on certain bridges, slow trains, and other actions for public safety.