Job for Microgrids: Utility Grid Outage at Houston Water Pump Station leads to Boil Order

Nov. 30, 2022
A power outage was blamed for the threat. It brings up the issue of mission critical operations and grid resiliency. Many public works entities are now considering microgrids

 A temporary boil order was issued in Houston after one of the city’s water systems suffered transformer outages that caused pressure to drop below acceptable levels.

The boil order was issued this past weekend and rescinded on Monday. The Houston Public Works Authority didn’t see problems with the water, but was required to send out a boil order when pressure dropped to 20 PSI or below.

A power outage was blamed for the threat. It brings up the issue of mission critical operations and grid resiliency. Many public works entities are now considering microgrids and other on-site power options to strengthen backup when storms threaten grid power.

In April, the nearby West Harris County Regional Water Authority selected Texas-based microgrid provider Enchanted Rock Solutions to deliver backup gas-fired power systems for water pump stations which serve the WHCRWA’s 127 water districts.

The stations also provide water to the North Ford Bend Water Authority.  Overall, Enchanted Rock was selected to provide nearly 20 MW of natural gas microgrid support.

Register for our free Jan. 11 webinar on RNG and Energy Resiliency featuring Enchanted Rock and EPRI

The systems produce more than 300 million gallons of treated water in the county every day, according to reports.

The release about the agreement noted that the natural gas-powered system will be multiple times cleaner emissions-wise than alternatives powered by diesel generators. The company also will operate and maintain the microgrids under a long-term agreement.

Enchanted Rock is focused on providing both conventional and renewable natural gas backup power systems for entities that include municipalities, retirement centers, data centers and other mission-critical services.

On Jan. 11, EnergyTech will host a webinar, sponsored by Enchanted Rock, on “Balancing Reliability, Sustainability and Cost: The Role of RNG in Energy Resiliency.” The webinar is free and will be available live and on demand.

Presenters for the webinar include speakers from the Electric Power Research Institute and Enchanted Rock.