AUSTIN (KXAN) – In addition to completing repairs due to damage from the February winter storm, Austin Water is preparing its three water treatment plants for winter conditions.
The water department says it has followed the recommendations of a recent report released by Austin-Travis County officials outlining what could be improved if another extreme winter event occurs.
Some of the winter storm damage to factories included broken pipes, valves, basins and impacts on chemical supply systems. Repairs on these are complete, says Austin Water.
Supplies for winter conditions, including heaters, sand and de-icing fluid, among others, are also stored at all water treatment plants to facilitate driving on icy roads.
Safety supplies are also available, including boot cleats and tire chains. Austin Water says if staff have to stay in factories for an extended period of time during an extreme winter event, cots, ready-to-eat meals and other supplies are available for them.
Operators have changed their winter maintenance schedule so that factories are able to quickly increase water production in the event of a sudden increase in customer demand, due to leaky faucets or leaks caused. by burst pipes, both of which occurred during the winter storm in February.
Austin Water also reports that a new power substation at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant is under construction to “improve energy resilience” and that power distribution upgrades are nearing completion at. Davis Water Treatment Plant.
The water utility is also increasing lime tailings or “sludge” storage and disposal capacities at the three factories, as it is difficult to transport sludge from the factories in freezing conditions.