Streamline - Spring 2015 - (Page 5)

FromThePresident BY PAM BAUGHMAN, VRWA PRESIDENT Power Failure ON OCT. 14, 2014, I was offered the position of General Manager of Louisa County Water Authority (LCWA). It was a position I had wanted for many years and I was thrilled for the opportunity. When I received the call, I couldn't help but think: this can't be happening in my first trimester! I felt everything was going along just fine when on Jan. 8, 2015, at approximately 5:45 a.m., an alarm was received by Zion Crossroads Wastewater Treatment Plant staff that a power failure had occurred. When staff reported to the plant the entire plant was without power and the two main disconnects/breakers had tripped, the heater in the main Motor Control Center (MCC) was not working and the exhaust fan was running. It was an extremely cold and windy night with a temperature upon arrival at the plant was 7°F. When I received the call, I couldn't help but think: this can't be happening in my first trimester! Staff tried varying methods to restore power with no results. At 6:40 a.m. our electrical contractor was called and notified. The electrician arrived onsite at 7:30 a.m., the voltages and phases from Dominion Virginia Power and the on-site generator were checked and both were correct. The electrician continued his assessment by troubleshooting the switchgear and opening electrical manholes to find many with water levels submerging electrical lines. Rain/ground water had accumulated in some of the manholes over time submersing some or all of the electrical wiring. While this isn't uncommon with buried electrical banks, the decision was made to pump the manholes and dry the lines. The electricians also found a bad thermostat for the heater in the main electrical building that would not allow the heater to operate and caused the exhaust fan to run. During this time, LCWA's sludge truck pumped down the wet well and hauled it to our equalization basins and offloaded there, and in all, four loads were pumped and hauled. LCWA staff pumped out the electrical manholes, the electrician used a generator and blowers in addition to an LCWA blower unit to help dry the cables and manholes; and replaced the bad heater thermostat. Once the electrical work was complete Wesley Basore, Wastewater Operations Manager and staff brought the Zion Crossroads Wastewater Treatment Plant individual buildings, MCC, equipment and SCADA back online. Most of the buildings and equipment were back online by 2 p.m., with SCADA and several other pieces of equipment back online by 5 p.m. It has been determined that two separate incidents occurred and either individually or the combination of the two caused the outage. The first was the submerged electrical lines created a ground fault condition and/or two the bad heater thermostat causing condensation to form in the main electrical building service disconnects which froze causing a ground fault to the service disconnects, leaving the plant without power. As a backup plan, LCWA had an additional sludge truck on stand-by and a large pump in Richmond on stand-by. There were no overflows and early testing indicated the biological integrity of the plant was not compromised during this event. The LCWA staff worked all day in single digit weather to bring positive closure to this situation. I cannot say enough good things about these hardworking, knowledgeable dedicated utility workers. I consider myself blessed to work side by side with such wonderful people. I am proud, honored and humbled to call each and everyone my coworker and friend. www.vrwa.org 5 http://www.vrwa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2015

From the President: Power Failure
From the Executive Director: Highlights from 2014
The Sustainability Managed Utility
Communication… Say What?
Flushing Away the Ebola Threat
Hazard Communication Standards – Guidelines for OSHA Compliance
State Water Control Board Approves Controversial Permit
VRWA Said Goodbye to Past Executive Director
USDA Rural Development
The RATES Program
Adequate Rates versus Affordability
NRWA Recap
Debt Refinancing: An Alternate Source of Capital
How the Cloud is Revolutionizing the Future of Water Utility Management
Southern Corrosion Supports Victory Junction
Throwing My Loop: Call Me Anytime
Wastewater Math
Booster Club
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
VRWA Mailbag
New Members
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/ Ad.com

Streamline - Spring 2015

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