In recent weeks, New Orleans residents have been required to boil water on two separate occasions due to power failures. The City is ramping up their tactics for better strategies to prevent this from happening again. As a first step, the Sewer & Water Board has started running an additional pump at the Carrollton water treatment plant on internally generated electricity. This will help ensure the agency can keep water pressure throughout the system at a safe level. Below a certain threshold, there is a danger that groundwater can leak into the pipes and introduce bacteria. The permanent upgrades to the system are not intended to occur until 2018. However, the city is planning $3 million adjustments to stabilize the water pressure. The water board has been looking to experts on the matter in an effort to come up with short term solutions aimed at fixing a faulty system. The short-term upgrades are expected to provide the system the ability to sustain brief power outages or fluctuations without allowing water pressure to drop. The New Orleans Sewer and Water Board typically has four pumps running at any given time to keep pressure in the system at about 68 pounds per square inch.
The utility’s long-term plan involves installing a pair of water towers at its Carrollton plant that would contain enough water to keep the system pressurized for 40 minutes if the pumps go down. Construction on that project will begin next year, after drainage work in the area is complete, and officials estimate it to be completed in 3 years.
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