JUNCTION CITY (KSNT) – A switch in the power supply to the Junction City Water Plant may have been the cause of water problems that interrupted the city’s supply according to City Manager Allen Dinkel.
Dinkel explained in a press release what happened following the storm.
According to Dinkel, on Wed., Dec. 15 the electric power to the plant was interrupted. The city believes the storm was to blame.
When the power was interrupted, the plant was switched to an alternate power source, the natural gas-fired generator located at the power plant. That generator was installed in 2018 as part of improvements being made to the plant. Prior to 2018, the city had no backup power for the water plant.
Early Thursday, Dec. 16, a Veolia employee made the decision to switch the power back to Evergy. Warning systems alerted crews that water was entering the basement of the facility.
Crossland Construction employees, local electricians and HDR Engineering staff with city staff immediately went to work assessing the damage. Dinkel said identifying and restoring water service to the community was the primary task.
According to Dinkel the backup generation was working until the switch to Evergy. The 30-year-old plant has contracted with Veolia Water to operate the water and wastewater operations for more than 30 years.
Dinkel said the city is continuing to investigate what happened and what the ramifications will be.