During heavy rains earlier this week a City of Long Beach storm water drainage pump was temporarily inoperable due to a power outage. This occurred during a peak storm period and is at least partly to blame for flooding in the area. A similar event at the same location is said to have occurred before.
The added expense of installing and maintaining an engine driven pump may have been the deciding factor in favor of an electric motor driver. Given that the continuous supply of electric power during severe weather events is often compromised, the choice of electric motor drivers for storm water pumps is perhaps not the most robust civil works solution. That is not to say that choosing electric motor drives for storm water drainage pumps is “incorrect”. But rather, an electric power outage in the middle of a severe storm should not be considered a remote possibility. And when choosing an electric motor to drive a storm water pump, appropriate backup equipment should be considered in the overall capital cost and maintenance expense budget.
23 January 2010
Alliance Concrete Pumps says
Wow, definitely sounds like an area for serious compromise. Depending on the area, there may be some very significant property damages and or losses tied to such infrastructure failure. I assume there are appropriate secondary responses in place in the event the power is cut to the drainage systems. Good Luck with that one! Dave
Randal Ferman says
Dave, I did not have first hand information on this event. Regardless of what backups were in place, flooding did occur. In recent history we have seen multiple backup failures and their consequences. BP’s Macondo well and Fukushima nuclear come to mind. Randy