City of Palestine looking into back-up power source for water plant

The plant lost power on Thursday after severe storms

City of Palestine looking into back-up power source for water plant

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - One community in Palestine remains under a boil water notice following a city-wide outage on April 18.

Residents in the area surrounding Westwood Road are still being advised to boil their water.

The outage was caused by an early morning storm. At that time, city employees said they rushed to find a backup generator because they don’t keep one on site, a policy they are now looking to change.

“This has never happened to where we lost power for more than two hours,” says Felipe Garcia, Director of Public Works. “We weren’t well prepared for it."

With the storm came down power lines and power outages in the city as well as a 16-hour search for a back-up generator for the city’s water treatment plant.

"We have equipment that runs very efficiently,” says Garcia “However, it runs on 2,300 volts. An uncommon voltage cannot just be powered by any generator, so we had to look throughout the state to find one.”

Garcia says there wasn't a back-up generator at the plant because it's not required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality and it's costly. He says the city is looking into a long-term back-up option.

"We've got electrical contractors coming to see what our options are to ready for another emergency such as this,” says Garcia. “We are looking into setting transformers and such to where we could bring a more common generator in and run the plant."

Garcia says the rented generator that's currently on site will stay there in preparation for the storms expected on Wednesday.

A boil water notice is still in effect for the community surrounding Westwood Road could be lifted on Wednesday.

The TCEQ says they are in communication with the City of Palestine regarding its response to the storm and actions related to the low pressure, backup power, and the boil water notice.

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