"Oh no," was the reaction from Anna residents on Tuesday evening, July 30 after listening to the Code Red message or reading Anna city email alerting everyone that the city’s west water well was down.
Residents concerns, increased perhaps after the recent water main breaks, were however allayed as water continued to flow from faucets. And the following day came the reassuring messages that 50 percent of water was recovered and repairs were underway.
But between then and now there was much going on behind the scenes of which the average city resident is not aware.
"All well sites and tanks are monitored by SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) monitoring system," explained Anna City Manager Philip Sanders. "It’s an electronic monitoring system for utilities through which we become aware when and where there is a any problem to our system. It checks well locations, levels of all towers, the stages of the tanks, whether too high or too low."
In this case, Sanders said, the system’s data code said that power was down. A standby Public Works Department crew was called out that night. The crew inspected the breaker panel that provides electricity to the affected site and found that the panel failed and was completely destroyed.
"Without that panel there was no way to get electricity to the well," said Sanders.
An electrician that works with the city in specialized incidents such as this was called out and he determined that a new control panel was needed. The new control panel to replace the damaged one was ordered immediately. In the meantime, temporary repairs were made to get back-up pumps restarted to bring the water capacity up to partial levels.
With the repairs completed, Anna residents were never inconvenienced, and thankfully everything ended well.