Water: Back-up generator for city system

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This mesage was posted by Ian Wells to the Y2K Water List. (Note the web address and listserver instuctions below):

From : Ian Wells
Date : June 5, 1998


My city water supply currently has no backup power supply (it does have two different grids supplying it) and they will be going out to bid in a couple of months to get a back up power generator installed. It is excellent that we are getting backup power for this, Lowell has 100,000 people and from everything I read, the chances of power failures in 2000 are higher than they are today.

I called China Diesel and they said they were back ordered 6-8 months because of "Y2k chaos". I called our Cummins dealer and he has generators in stock with no increase in demand because of Y2k.

Answers to these questions would help me to know what to do, or not do: Do you, or people on your list have hard evidence about increasing demand/price for water supply scale generators? Is there any reason for the city to speed up their process, beyond normal business practices?

I don't want to sound an alarm unnecessarily. I don't want them to follow business as usual if that means missing an opportunity to have a generator available on time.

Thanks for your time,

Ian Wells - ian@rsn.hp.com - Belvidere Neighborhood Association Y2k Committee, Lowell MA

Lowell Community Y2K site: http://www.lowellonline.org/bna/y2k

Std. disclaimer

subscribe to Lowell Y2k list: mail majordomo@oceana.uml.edu, in body "subscribe y2k"

-- Bill (billdale@lakesnet.net), June 07, 1998


In a note sent to the Lowell, MA, list:

Your water pumping back-up generator plan reminded me that I was talking with a friend of mine a couple months ago about big generators. He said there are lots of "army surplus" generators around, big enough to "power small towns," for something like $5,000. I have no idea _where a person locates them, if they're actually available, that cheap, or worth it, but I thought I'd mention it. He said the major problem with them is that they've been sitting so long that they're hard to start and often need work. Don't know what that translates into in terms of addition "start-up" cost, maintenance, or risk of breakdown, but some of the mechanical wizards you can usually find in any city street/road equipment maintenance shop might have a pretty good idea...

Ian Wells replied:

"For generators, the place to contact apparently is "Defense Reutilization Office" at closed bases, they apparently have old generators for sale for good prices.

Lowell is an old mill city, I wonder what kind of equipment is still workable from the days when water was the city power source."

A search on "Defense Reutilization Office" led to the http://www.drms.dla.mil/, the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service home page. A large web site that's purpose is marketing military surplus.

-- Bill (billdale@lakesnet.net), June 14, 1998.

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