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Posts Tagged ‘SDG&E power outage’

PUD will reassess relying solely on SDG&E power for critical water and wastewater infrastructure

Posted by George J Janczyn on September 28, 2011

Highlights from the agenda for today’s San Diego City Council Natural Resources and Culture Committee beginning at 2:00pm:

* The San Diego Public Utilities Department (PUD) has written a report on the impact of the September 8 countywide power outage on its water and wastewater infrastructure. Explaining the loss of power to two critical pump stations in the executive summary submitted to the committee, PUD indicates it will reassess its reliance on SDG&E alone to provide redundant power feeds.

* PUD also submitted a report on water losses in the city’s distribution system. Unaccounted-for water losses can result from meter inaccuracies, infrastructure leaks and breaks, and illegal usage and theft. The water audit results indicated a national average of 14% among water utilities, but while San Diego’s number is just 9%, the department says it will press forward with capital improvements to replace aging mains, and continue an aggressive effort to repair leaks and breaks.

* An update on the Water Purification Demonstration Project was also submitted. The project is still listed under its original name in official documentation like this — “Indirect Potable Reuse/Reservoir Augmentation Project” — which can possibly confuse some members of the public. The report documents a large number of public outreach presentations, tours of the advanced treatment facility, meetings of the Independent Advisory Panel, and more.

* A presentation about the Water Reliability Coalition’s rollout of an educational campaign on indirect potable reuse is also planned for the meeting.


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San Diego regional water news roundup Sep 8-14, 2011

Posted by George J Janczyn on September 15, 2011

( Selected regional water news reports. Click headlines to read.)

Power outage reports dominated the news but some other interesting developments as well.

1.9 million gallon sewage spill closes beaches / SignOnSanDiego : “All beaches north of Scripps Pier through Del Mar and Solana Beach have been closed for at least two days because of suspected sewage contamination from a spill caused by Thursday’s power outage.”

Sewer, water problems highlight utility weak spots / SignOnSanDiego : “Thursday’s electrical outage did more than expose vulnerabilities in the region’s power system. It also highlighted the lack of backup power at some sewer and water pump stations across the county.”

How the power outage may have affected your water / OB Rag : “The city of San Diego has issued a precautionary measure, called a “Boil Water Advisory“, for water that the public will consume for the foreseeable future.”

Water system operational, but boil order in effect for some in San Diego following power outage
/ Association of California Water Agencies : “San Diego County Water Authority reports its regional water treatment and delivery system is fully operational in the wake of a massive power outage in Southern California Thursday.”

RAMONA: Water use curtailment called off / Ramona Patch : “Assistant General Manager David Barnum reported there is no longer any need for customers to conserve water or to take any safety measures before turning on the tap.”

Water main break reported in Escondido / SignOnSanDiego : “Escondido police have issued a traffic advisory in the area Valley Parkway west of Fig Street because of a water main break that was reported about 5 p.m. Friday.”

Nearly 800 food operations to be inspected for water safety / SignOnSanDiego : “The county began a door-to-door inspection Friday of nearly 800 food facilities — from luxury restaurants to mom-and-pop food stands — to make sure they are complying with a boiled-water order from the city of San Diego stemming from the Thursday power outage.”

REGION: Residents continue to curb water use / North County Times : “After peaking in 2007, water use across Southwest County has dipped more than 20 percent, thanks to the economy, Mother Nature and a rate structure that penalizes homeowners when they consume large amounts of the liquid resource.”

Boil-water advisory lifted in San Diego neighborhoods / SignOnSanDiego : “A boil-water advisory for eight San Diego neighborhoods has been lifted after tests revealed no contamination, city officials said Sunday.”

DEL MAR: Lagoon water contaminated during blackout sewer spill / North County Times : “Bacterial concentrations exceeded the maximum level Coastkeeper’s test can detect at 241,920 E. coli/100ml. That’s more than 600 times the maximum limit for healthy human contact, set at 406 E. coli/100ml, the report stated.”

Sewage spills still haunt county coastline / SignOnSanDiego : “Sewage pollution from last week’s accidents is dissipating in places but growing worse in other areas as wastewater moves from a lagoon to the shoreline, environmental health officials said Monday.”

San Diego Coastkeeper’s water quality data reveal severity of 1.9-million gallon sewage spill into Los Penasquitos Lagoon / San Diego Coastkeeper : “In addition to Coastkeeper’s data showing high levels of fecal indicator bacteria, ammonia and phosphorous, volunteers noted grey-colored water, a strong sewage odor and a fish kill in the lagoon.”

Pump station failures during blackout raise questions about backup power / KPBS : “”City and state agencies are wagering human and environmental health against the odds of another emergency,” said San Diego Coastkeeper’s Executive Director Gale Filter in a news release.”

CARLSBAD: Council approves contract with county water authority / North County Times : “The agreement spells out how the county water authority — the
region’s main water supplier — will treat the city of Carlsbad, both during and after construction of a $700 million desalination”


Imperial Irrigation District board: Salton Sea mitigation cannot wait / Imperial Valley Press : “…talks have morphed into a discussion about mitigation of the effect of the nation’s largest agriculture-to-urban water transfer, the Quantification Settlement Agreement, on the Salton Sea and how to mitigate it. Another option…would be to cut San Diego County Water Authority’s water in half and use that water for mitigation.”

Local experts discuss region’s future water supply / San Diego News Room : “Three San Diego water officials joined Water Authority Board Chair Michael T. Hogan and the North County Chamber of Commerce to discuss existing water supplies and proposed future water supplies, including indirect potable reuse…”

Lake Hodges project begins pumped storage and power generation operations / San Diego County Water Authority : “Facility improves emergency water storage and distribution; provides reliable power to SDG&E; revenues from operation will offset Water Authority costs”

Generator set backs up new secondary treatment operation / WaterWorld : “The International Border and Water Commission (IBWC) is installing a new emergency standby power system at the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment plant in California. [The plant]…is a joint effort between Mexico and the U.S. to treat sewage from Tijuana, Mexico, and eliminate environmental concerns in the Tijuana River Valley just south of San Diego”

Questions about sewage spills grow as beach closures end / SignOnSanDiego : “City wastewater officials are expected to address last week’s 1.9 million-gallon sewage spill in Los Peñasquitos Lagoon at a meeting Thursday night of the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board.”


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San Diego power outage: why were some areas under a “boil water” advisory?

Posted by George J Janczyn on September 12, 2011

A few areas in San Diego County were under a “boil water” advisory during/after the power outage.

Some people have been asking: “I still don’t understand the “boil water” order; how/why does the possible contamination come about?”

There were a few pressure zones where pumps lost power. I’m not sure if they lacked backup power or if there was a malfunction in the backup. I thought all had backup, but then I thought all wastewater pumps had backup too! Some homes were reporting no water at all coming from faucets.

Anyway, when water pressure is lost in the delivery system, the potential exists for water to siphon back into the system from landscape irrigation systems, garden hoses, in-home plumbing, and probably other places. Landscape irrigation systems are supposed to have anti-siphon devices installed, but many do not or may not be working, and in any case, they aren’t the only sources of potential contamination.

Whenever such a breach occurs, the assumption is contamination until they restore pressure, flush the system, and run water quality tests.

As things turned out this time, tests revealed no problems.


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San Diego boil water advisory in effect following power outage

Posted by George J Janczyn on September 9, 2011

[Update Sep 11, 2011: The advisory has been cancelled for all areas]

A Boil Water Advisory has been issued for the City of San Diego:


Here’s more details from the City’s Post Outage Information page, including a map showing the affected pressure zones and lists of affected street and block numbers.

Arian Collins, San Diego Public Utilities Dept. Supervising Public Information Officer said that problems with servers and databases prevented them from updating their website earlier this morning.

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