Press Releases

Repaired Turbine adds more power to New Orleans' Drainage System

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 2:22 PM

New Orleans – After a battery of successful tests, the Sewerage & Water Board brought Turbine 5 into service Wednesday, March 28, adding more power at its Carrollton Water Plant to run the city's drainage system.

“I want to congratulate the S&WB team for all their hard, diligent work over the past few months to bring this power source back online,” said Interim Executive Director Marcie Edwards. “While we want to caution conservative optimism about this, we appear to be in a much better place today than we were last summer.”

Turbine 5's return to service is the latest hurdle cleared in the S&WB's push to repair and stabilize New Orleans' drainage system before the 2018 hurricane season.

Adding an extra 20 MW of power, Turbine 5's availability provides an essential redundant source of power for the drainage system. Turbines 1 and 6 are also available. To attach the turbine to the power system, four electro-motive diesel generators (EMDs) that supply backup power had to be disconnected. They are expected to be reconnected in a different configuration in the next few days. Once the EMDs are reconnected, the S&WB will be able to generate 59.25 MW of 25 Hz power.

Built in 1958, Turbine 5 has been out of service since July. It was methodically repaired and carefully tested over the course of the past few weeks to minimize, or eliminate, as much as possible any future breakdowns.

Similar repairs to Turbine 3 are expected to be completed in April, and Turbine 4 is expected to be back in service by June 1.

Turbine 5's return followed the S&WB's repair of most of its drainage pumps. All major drainage pumps capable of pumping 1000 cubic feet of water per second or more are operational. The last major pump, Pump C, at Drainage Pumping Station 7, was returned to service in early March. The remaining two pumps out of service are a 250 cfs at Drainage Pumping Station 15 and a 90 cfs constant-duty pump at Pumping Station 6. That leaves 118 of the S&WB's 120 pumps operational.

Constant-duty pumps are used to regulate water levels in drainage canals more so than to react to heavy rain events.

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