Saint John Water is in the final stages of completing an investigation into the cause of last week’s Boil Water Order. Officials are presently confirming that the root causes have now been identified and have either been corrected or are in the process of being corrected.
Results of the investigation point to the successive power outages contributing to the system interruption as well as a pressure switch that is required for the operation of the back-up control panel. Successive power outages, in short period of time, prevented pumps from being restarted. In addition it also caused a change in water pressure, and the pressure switch prevented the back-up control system from operating. Saint John Water is confident that a similar reoccurrence is unlikely as the pressure switch settings have been be adjusted and the system programming will be modified.
A detailed report into the investigation, and steps Saint John Water can take to prevent a reoccurrence, will be available for the May 30th meeting of Common Council.
Saint John Water’s operations across the City are monitored by a SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system, which is a system for remote monitoring. The SCADA system ensures that if a malfunction or failure occurs in the operation, Saint John Water operators are promptly alerted. As a result of this system working effectively, Saint John Water was promptly alerted of a system issue and were able to quickly notify the Department of Health about the failure and prepare for the Boil Water Order.