NEED TECH ADVICE.RE: SM. COMM. WATER SUPPLYgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
WE LIVE IN A COMMUNITY OF 4,000...(HAWAII) WITH CONCERN ABOUT OUR WATER/SEWAGE PUMPING SYSTEM...WE HAVE TWO DEEP WELLS, IAM TOLD...SPOKE TO THE ENGINEER IN CHG...HE SAID "NO PROB" RE: Y2K...WHAT APPROPRIATE QUESTIONS/APPROACHES CAN WE USE TO GET SPECIFIC INFO AND/OR CONFIRMATION...NOT KNOWING THE "TECH.JARGON" I WOULD APPRECIATE SUGGESTIONS AND APPROPRIATE "BUZZ WORDS" TO GET CONFIRMED ANSWERS...AM AWARE OF GETTING ANSWERS IN WRITING...BUT...FROM WHOM AND HOW DO I MOTIVATE THIS GUY...AND...THE COMMUNITY? THANKS, BB
-- BOB BOWMAN (email@example.com), June 06, 1998
Bob, Your efforts would be better spent directed at community officials. In a small water system like yours the greatest threats from Y2k are external. It is most likely that if this small system failed due to computer problems it could easily be operated manually since the computers in water systems are primarily external to the actual operational equipment (pumps, valves, etc.). However, if the electricity goes down for a long period of time and the water service provider doesn't have enough fuel to span that time frame with backup generators then you will be out of water regardless of the functionality of the water system. There is plenty of outstanding material available on this forum and others regarding all the potential problems that a community faces so I won't belabor those issues. Let me just humbly suggest that anyone who wants to impact the efforts of any utility service: water, electric, telephone, whatever should be concentrating on pressuring their local community leaders to assure that all of the infrastructure will be sound. As a recepient of questionaires and also one who leads the effort to solve this problem at a utility I can tell you that the questionaires don't have much impact coming from individuals and since they are on the virge of becoming a flood it will soon be impossible to deal with each one individually. It appears that there are many organizations entrusted with the public's health and safety which have yet to properly address this problem, but to get their attention you will need the power of a centrally focussed effort by the most authoritative individuals and groups you can recruit. I would suggest you start with the mayor and the town council and when you address them have plenty of empirical evidence supporting your concerns. One more point to buttress my suggestion that unilaterally dealing with the utilities is not the best way to go -- there are many people in many organizations who are not doing as much as they should because their hands are tied by their superiors. In many cases letters of inquiry will only be a nuisance to someone who knows he has a problem but can't convince his boss. Go to work on the boss!
-- Don Harlow (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 12, 1998.
Your answer scares me. What you've effectively said, is "Don't bother the guy who is in charge of the machinery (plant remediation)........go bother someone else who doesn't know squat about it."
The implication is that the guy who is doing the work is not getting proper support. That's what's scary. From what I've read, it might be the rule, rather than the exception in municipal utilities. Don, I have a question for you. A tough one. You say you're heading up the effort at a utility. Good. Now, at what point in time do you (and others like you) go public if there's really going to be a problem?
If you go public you kiss the job goodbye, and maybe any chance of working in the industry afterwards.
Don't go public and the situation can become life threatening.
Ugly choice. I do not envy you.
Good luck. Give it your best shot, and that's all you can do.
-- Rocky Knolls (email@example.com), June 12, 1998.