Passaic Valley Water Commission prepares for risk of power outages

Passaic Valley Water Commission said it is prepared for any major power outages that may happen; the Clifton-based utility recently installed four new diesel-powered emergency generators totaling 12 megawatts of energy at its Little Falls Water Treatment Plant.

In the event of an electrical failure in the area, the $29 million project ensures the generators, which have been operational since mid-July, will supply enough energy to power the raw water pumps and filtration plant, residuals facility and pumps distributing finished water to its distribution system.

“It is very important to sustain PVWC treatment operations in the event of a power outage,” Jim Mueller, executive director of PVWC, said. “With hurricane season upon us, and considering the storms we’ve had lately, if there is a power outage, we want the assurance that we will be able to have a seamless transition from the power grid to the generators so that our customers will continue to receive their water without interruption.”

PVWC recognizes the need to have a backup energy source, especially since climate change has made the weather so unpredictable. PVWC wants its customers to know that it is doing everything possible to be able to continue running the treatment plant and key facilities during an emergency. In the event of a power outage, the generators are expected to run and to create power for as many days as necessary so the plant and pump station will be able to operate as efficiently as it would in a non-power outage situation.

The generators are just part of what PVWC is doing to lessen the impact of climate change. The company is also looking at improving drainage issues in various areas to help combat flooding along with other resiliency projects to protect its resources.