San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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July 3rd, 2009
Generators reduce risk of water outages, pollution

SUBMITTED REPORT

San Marcos residents have less likelihood of water outages or sewage spills due to the installation of backup generators at city pumping and lift stations this spring.

The Public Services/ Water and Wastewater Utility recently completed the installation of seven diesel-powered generators ranging from 250 to 750 kilowatts that will back up electric connections that power the pump stations.

The $1.167 million generator project was recently completed, with the installation of the largest generator at the Spring Lake Pump Station, a 1914 water well into the Edwards Aquifer that supplements the city’s surface water supply.

The generators, made by Holt/Cat, have been set up at critical stations around San Marcos to keep water pumping and prevent sewage spills in the event of power failures that would otherwise shut down the pump and lift stations, said Bert Hendrix, Utilities Maintenance Supervisor.
“Six generators were installed at the water production stations and well sites critical to providing water to the community,” Hendrix said.

San Marcos now has a total of nine generators at major sewer lift stations and six at water production stations and well sites.

The generators are wired into the existing power systems at pumping stations and are set up to automatically turn on during a power outage. Once electricity has been back on continuously for about five minutes, the generators automatically turn off. The goal is to assure that water and wastewater pumping and lift stations operate without interruption.

“It is important that residents don’t have to worry about flooding around their homes and also about the possibility of running out of clean water,” Hendrix said. Utilities Maintenance has the generators set to run once a week to make sure they will be ready in an emergency.

San Marcos is believed to have eclipsed area cities in achieving this high level of protection of critical infrastructure, said Tom Taggart, Director of Public Services.

— FROM THE CITY OF SAN MARCOS/MELISSA MILLECAM

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