Overwhelming amounts of silt and trash that flow into Lake Travis and Lady Bird Lake after historic floods in Hill…
Overwhelming amounts of silt and trash that flow into Lake Travis and Lady Bird Lake after historic floods in Hill Country last week, Austin Water tested the ability to ensure both water quality and fire fighting pressure, which led the city to Monday to call water restrictions as became more important as the day progressed.
In the end, city administrators must weigh both needs and fight fires that won. Early Monday, Austin Water – the city-owned utility that serves residents in Austin, Rollingwood, Sunset Valley and West Lake Hills – issued a cold water announcement that the open brown water treated at the city’s three water purification plants would no longer meet federal standards.
The stress at the treatment plants set water levels and pressure in conflict with each other.
The tool must maintain a certain level of water pressure in the system to provide firefighting services. However, as customers continued to use water at near normal levels and reserves fell for limited water purification, the city would choose to guarantee firefighters’ ability to fight fires or maintain water quality.
The decision to issue a cold water message came after days of extremely elevated levels of rubbish, silt and clay in the water, which was 1
00 times what is normal for the lakes, “said Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros.
“It’s a level we’ve never experienced in our tool, and it’s a real fight,” he says.
The city’s three water treatment plants have been struggling to meet the needs of the consumer, as the pollution level has made efforts on the water treatment plant to pointing out that they could only work at about a quarter to one third of their usual capacity on Monday, Meszaros said. Even at its limited capacity, the tool uses about half of the treated water to clean filters stuck with dirt and dirt from the upstream. 19659002] “It’s like a bad loop we’re in,” Meszaros said. “It’s only got worse and worse.”
Because of this, treatment facilities have come on and offline, because the tool works to figure out how It will handle the deep muddied water.
The water quality “is so abnormal that plants need to be driven differently from the ones before,” says Desmond Lawler, c iv engineer at the University of Texas. “They need to find out what these parameters are.”
Flood events in the Austin area are usually fast business. The cities usually see water in the Colorado River getting dirtier and pass after a day or two. In a normal situation, the tool can rely on its reserves.
Not this time.
Meszaro said that the tool has seen five days of greatly increased turbidity. This has meant constant stress on the water reserves, which led to the city demanding water management on Sunday, boiling water notice early Monday and later a ban on almost all outdoor uses of water.