APWA Book Review

Emergency Power Source Planning for Water and Wastewater
135 pp; 2004; AWWA; Fred J. Ellermeier, P.E., Donald R. Stevens, P.E., and Larry D. Pittman, P.E.

The American Water Works Association's (AWWA) policy on water and wastewater electric power reliability, which was reaffirmed in January 2003, reads:

"Uninterrupted utility service is an operating goal of public water and wastewater utilities.

"To achieve this goal, each public water supply and wastewater utility must determine the local probabilities of complete or partial electric utility power outages expressed in terms of frequency, duration, and percentage of requirements, and second assess its own capabilities to provide water and wastewater utility service from storage, alternate supply, or other source, similarly expressed in terms of frequency, duration, and percentage of requirements, when there is an electric power interruption."

The import of that policy was never more clear than on August 14, 2003, when the devastating Northeast blackout occurred, rendering 34,000 miles of power transmission lines and over 100 power generation plants useless to transfer power. Naturally, this largest blackout in North American history resulted in the usual outages: 50 million residents in New York, the Midwest and southeastern Canada were engulfed in darkness; transportation systems were shut down; and communication systems were out of service. But something the average citizen might not have expected also occurred in some areas when electricity-dependent municipal water and wastewater systems weren't able to treat water. Boil-orders were necessary for millions of consumers, and several hundred million gallons of raw sewage were dumped into waterways because the treatment plants could not operate. After the event, a public outcry arose from citizens and politicians of every level in both the United States and Canada.

A new book from AWWA reviews the causes and effects of power outages and discusses the planning needs, costs and options related to standby power supplies. Emergency Power Source Planning for Water and Wastewater establishes reliable plans that are resistant to vulnerabilities. Financial and public health risks are addressed to assist facility planners and operators when considering the multi-faceted issues of standby power options.

Written by power generation and water/wastewater industry experts from the Black & Veatch Corporation's Water Americas Division, this book provides information about emergency and standby power for water and wastewater utilities. Although it is not intended to be a design/build engineering text, the book provides guidance to:

  • Assess the vulnerability, condition, and reliability of primary electrical equipment
  • Determine current and historical electrical load demands and estimate future electrical demands for water transmission, treatment, and distribution systems
  • Evaluate various onsite electrical-generating equipment options, benefits, and costs and assess placement locations to facilitate integration with the existing electrical system
  • Coordinate and communicate with local electric power provider to assure water utility priority and assess rate options
  • Determine backup power capacity needed to meet peak demand
  • Understand and communicate the legal, health, and economic risks of not providing uninterrupted water or wastewater service

No community wants to leave its citizens sitting in the dark, without water, and vulnerable to the onslaught of ecological problems that might result from such outages. Emergency Power Source Planning for Water and Wastewater is a valuable tool for anyone responsible for providing water services to a municipality of any size. The publication includes the following:

  • Table of Contents
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. History
  • 3. An Overview of Emergency and Standby Power
  • 4. Defining Water and Wastewater Utility Needs
  • 5. Risk Factors and Scenario Planning
  • 6. Planning, Evaluation, and Design
  • 7. Conclusion
  • Appendices: Standby Power Information Checklist; Survey Questions; Emergency Response; Scenario Planning; Case Studies; Cleveland Division of Water: Lessons Learned; Emergency Preparedness Checklist

For more information on purchasing this book and other American Public Works Association books, please visit the APWA Bookstore online at www.apwa.net/bookstore or call the Member Services Hotline at (800) 848-APWA, ext. 5254.