Severe weather hit Kentucky this past weekend affecting several facilities in Kentucky. After speaking with staff in the Division of Water (DOW), we are glad to report that the drinking water plants and systems in the affected counties are operating, although some are on generator power. Two of the biggest issues these plants, systems and operators are facing are the loss of power and communication. In an effort to assist these systems and plants, DOW offers the following suggestions:
- Shut off damaged services and service to damaged homes and businesses to prevent draining the system. Debris may keep you from actually being able to locate the meters.
- If telemetry is down, try to visually inspect all distribution facilities, even if from a distance. This is a good idea, even if telemetry is working, just to assess possible damage.
- If SCADA is inoperable or intermittent in operation, run the full plant on manual.
- Request generators, bottled water and additional staff through local Emergency Management or contact DEP’s Environmental Response Branch.
- Try to rotate staff at the plant and in the system so no one is overworked. You may need to ask for assistance from nearby unaffected water systems.
- Sometimes text messages can be sent and received even when phones are down.
- Provide DOW staff with emergency phone numbers, even if they are personal numbers (we don’t give these out).
- Try to get the word to repair crews to locate mains and services before they dig. We want to restore power quickly, but broken mains can drain an already strained water system and compromise public health and fire protection.
The Division of Water understands that systems may be late getting monthly compliance reports turned in; therefore, the system may email the reports to DOW at Amber.Vaughn@ky.gov.
If you are a drinking water system or plant and need additional storm-related assistance, don’t hesitate to contact the Department of Emergency Management at 800-928-2380.