Crisis Management: Orange County Averts Crisis with Proactive PR

When the Orange County Water District (OCWD) discovered a newly regulated and potentially carcinogenic substance in two of its drinking water wells in May of 2000, its PR staff
immediately had visions of an Erin Brockovich public health scandal on their hands. That the levels of n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) found in the wells were within the government-
approved limit was of little comfort. Even the slightest public trepidation about the safety of the local water supply would be damaging to the agency's credibility - particularly
if it were perceived as not being forthright about its findings. So the agency decided to take its story to the press (and the public) proactively.