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SOMEBODY FLIPPING ONE FUCKING SWITCH WOULD HAVE KEPT AUSTIN IN WATER


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Watching this debacle from west Austin, I discovered our neighborhood has it's own water supply corporation. Board members all live in the neighborhood. We provide our own water and have our own treatment plan. Never heard of something like that. Pretty neat. Also, we never lost water. Just moved about 2 months ago. Old place was without power and water for days. Really dodged a bullet there

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I finally got my no more boil water notice at 11:58 AM, just a few short minutes ago.  But now my damn Ice maker fill tube is frozen up.  Wondering if damn debris got in there to slow flow to trickle.  Probably damnit.  I am hoping the 30 pounds of ice I put in the freezer is the real culprit.  

 

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14 minutes ago, horn4life said:

I finally got my no more boil water notice at 11:58 AM, just a few short minutes ago.  But now my damn Ice maker fill tube is frozen up.  Wondering if damn debris got in there to slow flow to trickle.  Probably damnit.  I am hoping the 30 pounds of ice I put in the freezer is the real culprit.  

 

Damn

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23 minutes ago, horn4life said:

I finally got my no more boil water notice at 11:58 AM, just a few short minutes ago.  But now my damn Ice maker fill tube is frozen up.  Wondering if damn debris got in there to slow flow to trickle.  Probably damnit.  I am hoping the 30 pounds of ice I put in the freezer is the real culprit.  

 

I pulled the aerators from my downstairs faucets a minute ago and they were full of lime scale and crap.   So yeah, it might be clogged.

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That was also on the line that froze the other day.  Got the mini ice dam melted enough to pry out, and uses some hot water to get the last piece that was preventing flow into the tray.  Big bag of ice was covering up a portion of the air intake so I am hoping for the ice being the culprit.  Guess I will know in in the next hour or so.

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Everyone's talking about generators and solar cells.  Water purification and medical gear must be a priority.  Just basic camping gear.  Steri-pens.  Purification tablets.  Portable filters.  Portable, jet-boil-type stoves and a few days of fuel cannisters.  Or even little tailgate grills that use wood/charcoal.  

Most modern cars have outlets in them for laptops, etc.  Work for hairdryers too.  Park it in the garage, crack the doors to let the carbon monoxide out (or not if it's your MIL...), and do your thing such as thawing pipes.  

Solar stoves work great in temperate climates like ours.  Not so much in the winter, but for a Katrina-esq emergency in the spring/summer they are great.  

Remember the hierarchy:  shelter, water, food

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1 hour ago, horn4life said:

That was also on the line that froze the other day.  Got the mini ice dam melted enough to pry out, and uses some hot water to get the last piece that was preventing flow into the tray.  Big bag of ice was covering up a portion of the air intake so I am hoping for the ice being the culprit.  Guess I will know in in the next hour or so.

My water dispenser drips for a while now after getting water from the door.  These things must not like being inactive for several days.

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https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/austin-water-outage-single-gear-switch-report/269-c0aee9ce-418c-4669-9d1a-ca76f8abbffd

Austin Water outage impacted by a single gear switch, report says

Staff members did not know how to operate a 52-year-old switch that would have restored power to the plant

Author: KVUE News Staff

Published: 10:28 AM CST March 1, 2021

Problems with the power outage at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant that in part eventually led to a boil water notice across the city were traced back to an old gear switch staff members did not know how to operate, according to a report by KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman.

The Statesman reported that state regulations force the plant to have a backup power source or a substantial amount of water reserves in the event of an unexpected shutdown, both of which the Ullrich plant has.

But, according to the report, a tree limb fell on an electric line feeding the substation that powers Ullrich, which is the city's biggest water treatment plant. On Feb. 17, those backups should have kicked into gear to keep the facility operating.

So, what happened?

The report states no one on-site that day knew how to operate a 52-year-old gear switch that would have restored power. As a result, the facility went dark for three hours. It stalled about half of Austin's potable water production and added even more pain to the winter weather crisis that was already leaving thousands of Austinites without electricity.

According to the Statesman, the outage caused the plant to operate below capacity for more than 10 hours. During this time, water was quickly drained from the water reserves as thousands of pipes and water mains were burst across the city.

The failure at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant led to a boil water notice that lasted several days and even led to evacuations at St. David's South Austin Medical Center.

 

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27 minutes ago, Hefeweizen said:

You want to cripple civilization?  Shut down drinking water for a few days.   This should be, but won’t be, a wake up call for everyone.

Nope, that won't do it - plenty of folks lose their water in hurricanes, etc., and 18 wheels with water can make their way in eventually.  Plus, we have HEB.

We were melting snow to flush our toilets, and we could have made drinking water if necessary with a little boiling.

No, if you really wanted to cripple Austin, have the sewer system stop working.

We go from "it's a pain in the ass to flush the toilets, but we have a shit-ton of snow so we can do this" to "welp, people are shitting in their yards, on their balconies, shitting in bags and throwing it in the trash, etc."

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Posted (edited)

You can't expect the city to spend money on training folks how to flip a switch when they need to be spending it on bike lane planning. 

Edited by Deej
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Posted (edited)

With each passing day, it becomes more and more obvious why Austin Water pressured the Mayor and Council not to allow for independent reviews of their budget expenditures.  

"Says, here we could either replace that 52-year old system or train somebody to control it for just $50,000.  Like maybe you could use the $50,000 you spent last year on expanding the electric car charging stations in the employee parking lot?"  

"Nah, we got lots of public water treatment employees here driving Teslas so need to get the parking lot up to snuff.  Besides, anything goes wrong with that 52-year old turbine system...we can just call Frank's dad.  Ain't that right, Frankie?" 

"Nah man, Dad died in '96."  

"Well, we'll figure something else out."  

What a fucking disgrace.  Adler and his shitheap team should be dragged in front of court for this.  But nope, you guys will probably throw him a fucking parade when he terms out.  Fucking imbeciles.   This isn't transgender bathrooms for homeless encampments or flyover bridges for bike lanes.  This is water, this is serious stuff.  This is the adult table.  
 

Anybody wanna call Spencer Cronk and tell him it's been two years.  Anytime he wants to start doing his fucking job...we're totally ready for him to start.  How did a city as advanced as ours get stuck with the even more mentally deficient version of Michael Phelps as its City Manager?  

Edited by Lobo
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  • immamac changed the title to SOMEBODY FLIPPING ONE FUCKING SWITCH WOULD HAVE KEPT AUSTIN IN WATER

did anyone have a working cell phone? was there no one who knew how to operate the switch reachable by cell, somewhere in the world?

how can anyone involved be allowed to remain employed with austin water?

will anyone be held accountable?

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Damn, man. I think all of us realize that Austin does a lot of silly, overly-woke type things and blows money like a drunken Stepford wife. But this is structural incompetence that I figured they were better than. Like surely they have someone competent running the treatment plants for the substance most critical to human life. Pretty terrible. 

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We spend hundreds of millions on bullshit feel good projects but can't bother to spend two hours developing a process document to turn on a fucking switch? Where's the disaster recovery plan? How many incompetent assholes are getting fired?

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Well, the Austin Water Commission's next meeting is March 3rd.  I think we should all hoist a few drinks and dial-in on zoom as we are allowed to do.  Don't hold your breath though, this Commission is one colossal fuck up after another.  They haven't managed to issue an annual report on Austin Water in three fucking years.  

Greg Meszaros is the Director of Austin Water though.  Adler's been covering for his ass for weeks on this already.  Remember when Adler assured us that many other cities were going through the exact same water shutoffs/boil notices that Austin was?  Yeah, that was bullshit folks.  You fucking Adler ball-garglers have got to get your shit together.  Adler looked Andy Brown and KXAN in the eye and said this was a problem for many other Texas cities, to have power go down at water plants and not have sufficient backup power or water supply.  BULLSHIT.  

Your Mayor, precious Steve, lied to you.  He's trying to tell you that by sheer fucking coincidence, dozens of other large water treatment plants across Texas also happened to have the same 52-year old valve shutoffs that nobody could operate in an emergency?  

Did some guy named Gil scour the Texas Countryside 52 years ago and sell some industrial switch for water plants that had functional obsolescence built into it?  

"So uh, Austin can I put you down for 3 valves for each of your plants?  50 year warranty is optional, but I highly recommend it, these valves will rust up on you like.......dammit Gil, just close the sale man!"  

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5 hours ago, Deej said:

You can expect the city to spend money on training folks how to flip a switch when they need to be spending it on bike lane planning. 

That's my line, asshole!

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3 hours ago, Hagbard Celine said:

did anyone have a working cell phone? was there no one who knew how to operate the switch reachable by cell, somewhere in the world?

They probably had a phone, but it was rotary dial and no one knew how to make a call.

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12 hours ago, Lobo said:

With each passing day, it becomes more and more obvious why Austin Water pressured the Mayor and Council not to allow for independent reviews of their budget expenditures.  

"Says, here we could either replace that 52-year old system or train somebody to control it for just $50,000.  Like maybe you could use the $50,000 you spent last year on expanding the electric car charging stations in the employee parking lot?"  

"Nah, we got lots of public water treatment employees here driving Teslas so need to get the parking lot up to snuff.  Besides, anything goes wrong with that 52-year old turbine system...we can just call Frank's dad.  Ain't that right, Frankie?" 

"Nah man, Dad died in '96."  

"Well, we'll figure something else out."  

What a fucking disgrace.  Adler and his shitheap team should be dragged in front of court for this.  But nope, you guys will probably throw him a fucking parade when he terms out.  Fucking imbeciles.   This isn't transgender bathrooms for homeless encampments or flyover bridges for bike lanes.  This is water, this is serious stuff.  This is the adult table.  
 

Anybody wanna call Spencer Cronk and tell him it's been two years.  Anytime he wants to start doing his fucking job...we're totally ready for him to start.  How did a city as advanced as ours get stuck with the even more mentally deficient version of Michael Phelps as its City Manager?  

Don’t mix my people and good decisions there and the homeless debacle and his bad decisions together mkay?  Resident bathroom boogeywoman here who thinks Adler is a joke of a mayor - fully on display with the homeless issue, now the water and power issues - and the council is filled with folks that need to go too. We need a major leadership upgrade across the board. 

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It was hyperbole for effect and you know that.  I am team your side when it comes to bathrooms, not Dan Patrick---you should know that by now after years of me railing on that asshole.  My point is how much time, money, and media coverage was spent on that issue, on homelessness, on bike lanes, etc.  All valid issues...but I'm sorry to offend your people----------added all up don't make a shit compared to Water.  Austin Water has been one disaster after another for the last 3 years culminating with this.  I can deal with do-gooder liberal feel-good bullshit policy that doesn't actually help anybody but feels really damn good and it's shiny object candy to keep the minions who think they actually control Austin content.  They keep fucking around with Water though, then that's a real fucking problem we can't walk away from.  

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15 hours ago, atomheartbevo said:

We go from "it's a pain in the ass to flush the toilets, but we have a shit-ton of snow so we can do this" to "welp, people are shitting in their yards, on their balconies, shitting in bags and throwing it in the trash, etc."

I mean, somehow San Francisco makes it work.

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Pos rep.  Who knew the last step in Austin's evolution into full blown San Francisco wasn't escalating cost of living, tech HQ's moving in, or progressive policies for the homeless? It was public defecation the whole time.  "Well, we're moving on up..." 

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On 3/1/2021 at 4:27 PM, Hagbard Celine said:

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/austin-water-outage-single-gear-switch-report/269-c0aee9ce-418c-4669-9d1a-ca76f8abbffd

Austin Water outage impacted by a single gear switch, report says

Staff members did not know how to operate a 52-year-old switch that would have restored power to the plant

Author: KVUE News Staff

Published: 10:28 AM CST March 1, 2021

Problems with the power outage at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant that in part eventually led to a boil water notice across the city were traced back to an old gear switch staff members did not know how to operate, according to a report by KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman.

The Statesman reported that state regulations force the plant to have a backup power source or a substantial amount of water reserves in the event of an unexpected shutdown, both of which the Ullrich plant has.

But, according to the report, a tree limb fell on an electric line feeding the substation that powers Ullrich, which is the city's biggest water treatment plant. On Feb. 17, those backups should have kicked into gear to keep the facility operating.

So, what happened?

The report states no one on-site that day knew how to operate a 52-year-old gear switch that would have restored power. As a result, the facility went dark for three hours. It stalled about half of Austin's potable water production and added even more pain to the winter weather crisis that was already leaving thousands of Austinites without electricity.

According to the Statesman, the outage caused the plant to operate below capacity for more than 10 hours. During this time, water was quickly drained from the water reserves as thousands of pipes and water mains were burst across the city.

The failure at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant led to a boil water notice that lasted several days and even led to evacuations at St. David's South Austin Medical Center.

 

13696871.jpg

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It was originally entitled "Opus Dais Jizzus" and was to be their ballad answer to "Bohemian Rhapsody"...but you know how the labels always fuck it up.  

Seriously though---it is criminal how little Adler has been taken to task on his handling of the leadership at Austin Water.  I mean the fucking Chronicle hasn't even bothered to look into the story and they look into the most mundane shit.  

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Lobo said:

Seriously though---it is criminal how little Adler has been taken to task on his handling of the leadership at Austin Water.  I mean the fucking Chronicle hasn't even bothered to look into the story and they look into the most mundane shit.  

Perhaps because Austin media still remember what happened to the city’s second tv station (KHFI - Channel 42) in the mid 1960s after its investigative reporter did an expose about the land scandal surrounding the new Decker Lake power plant construction.
On air he showed the certified land acquisition transactions done by the local political power brokers - how they snapped up the thousands of acres of land  east of Austin at cheap prices well before the news of the location of the city’s new power plant was announced to the public, and what inflated prices the city’s taxpayers paid when it was sold to the city.

Not long afterwards, the FCC (under the LBJ administration) did not renew KHFI’s license to broadcast, and the station went off the air. A few months later a new station, KXAN, took over that slot - which was later moved to Channel 36. The AAS and KTBC TV (owned by the LBJ family) did not investigate the changes at all.
Bidness continues as usual.

Edited by Armybrat
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The more I think about this, the more pissed I get.

How the fuck did the city pass audits? Is ISO certification required of critical utilities? Surely someone or some entity audited the plants disaster recovery protocols???? It's a fucking utility. Contingency and back up plans are vital. Also, when was the last time they tested the back up generators? Surely this century? They had no one on staff or available via cell phone to call and ask, "hey bob, how do I turn on this switch?" Maybe the last asshole who knew how to turn on the fucking generator retired years ago? Surely someone at the plant still keeps in touch with him. Was a phone call made?

The fucking incompetence of this city government knows no bounds. 

FUCK everyone. I'm so sick and tired of idiots running the city. And then the idiot citizens vote in fitlump which assures that idiocy will continue to reign.

FUCK everyone of these assholes!

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38 minutes ago, Lobo said:

It was originally entitled "Opus Dais Jizzus" and was to be their ballad answer to "Bohemian Rhapsody"...but you know how the labels always fuck it up.  

Seriously though---it is criminal how little Adler has been taken to task on his handling of the leadership at Austin Water.  I mean the fucking Chronicle hasn't even bothered to look into the story and they look into the most mundane shit.  

I'm all for Adler catching pure shit, but let's not forget the person who should really be crucified for this: Spencer Cronk.  Fucker makes over $300k+ per year and this is the best he can do?  He's the dumbass who hired Greg Meszaros ($200k+) and Jackie Sargent ($400k+).  All three of them should be on the next bus back to where they came from.  And they should take any of their other hires with them.

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1 hour ago, Samson's Wig said:

I'm all for Adler catching pure shit, but let's not forget the person who should really be crucified for this: Spencer Cronk.  Fucker makes over $300k+ per year and this is the best he can do?  He's the dumbass who hired Greg Meszaros ($200k+) and Jackie Sargent ($400k+).  All three of them should be on the next bus back to where they came from.  And they should take any of their other hires with them.

I need to start working for the city. Bloated pay with no accountability. 

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56 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

I need to start working for the city  government. Bloated pay with no accountability and pensions and lifetime healthcare.

FIFY. the whole point of working for the govt was lowish pay but nice pension for 20 years of work. I told my kids to definitely look into a govt gig early. starting a small private business isn't going to be worth it 15 years from now.  taxes will keep rising to pay for the idiocy and at least your taxes come back to you in some small form.

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