__Water Equipment-Blackout Protection in Doubt
Protection in Doubt
CA, March 29,2001 Public safety could be compromised if the California Public
Utilities Commission (CPUC) decides not to exempt water utilities from rolling blackouts,
warned the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).
The CPUC was poised to rule as early as 27 March on ACWA's appeal of a 16 March draft
decision not to classify water utilities as "essential facilities" exempt from
rotating power outages. If the commission does not issue a ruling this week, it may
revisit the appeal at its next meeting, 3 April.
"Undermining the reliability of water service is not only a risk for public health,
safety and welfare," said Dan Smith, the ACWA's director of regulatory affairs.
"It also could threaten many economic activities and the basic economic stability of
many local communities and the state itself."
Several water utilities have suffered from rolling blackouts since the beginning of the
state's power shortages last year. From 1 November to 31 December 2000, for example, the
Orange County Water District was hit by nine electricity interruptions. California
officials are warning the state faces a severe power crunch this summer, due to air
Under current regulations, a water agency may request to be excluded from a blackout or to
have electric service restored in case of an emergency, such as a fire. Smith said that
trying to communicate with a power company in the event of a fire emergency would be
problematic at best.
He also noted that sudden outages and power surges can create mechanical problems for
water utility equipment, resulting in extended down time and the inability to respond to
such an emergency.
..........courtesy of http://www.watertechonline.com