NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It was during the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board meeting Thursday morning that emergency manager Paul Rainwater announced tests of the city's water system came back negative which allowed the mayor to immediately lift the boil order.
During the board meeting, Rainwater detailed how the loss in pressure happened. Telling members turbine six failed around 7:25 a.m. on Wednesday.
It took about twenty minutes before pressure was restored when crews were able to switch the turbine to diesel gas but because of the loss in pressure, the boil order had to be issued.
That happened nearly an hour after pressure was restored.
Rainwater says the issue is directly related to the aging equipment some of which was installed during the Calvin Coolidge presidency.
Rainwater also detailed a $50 million so-called"water hammer" project funded by FEMA.
The project began last year in November to create two 200-foot water towers that would provide uninterrupted pressure and water service for at least forty minutes during a power failure.
That is supposed to be enough time to switch to backup power so a loss in pressure never happens. That project though, likely will not be complete until 2018.
In the meantime, the board is discussing the best way to power critical elements in the water and drainage systems boiling it all down to whether or not New Orleans will purchase power for its critical infrastructure or generate that power on its own.
To that end, Mayor Mitch Landrieu says creating a new power plant to fuel the sewerage and water boards infrastructure would be the equivalent of building a new Superdome or airport.
The mayor says the emergency team will present five options that the S&WB can take moving forward to improve it overall.
They will present those options later this year.