Galveston suspends water service
September 12, 2008
As Hurricane Ike starts to land in Texas, the city of Galveston has suspended water service
to some parts of town due to fears of contamination by sea water. When flooding occurs here in the upper Midwest, the contamination problem is usually reversed: It becomes imperative that the system remain on and pressurized, so that flood waters don't seep into the system and contaminate the water supply. Moreover, even a drop in pressure can be extremely hazardous, since any water distribution system contains enough natural leaks that a low-pressure or vacuum condition can cause the water mains to pull contaminants out of the soil and into the water supply. That's why the Des Moines Water Works
had to shut down service and decontaminate the city's water system during the floods of 1993, and why Cedar Rapids was desperate to keep its last well in service
during this summer's flooding. All of this goes to confirm the value of pump stations with engine backup systems
that can remain in service when power is lost.
last revised September 2008