In 2018, the Sienna water and wastewater system, a group of the Sienna MUDs (Sienna MUD’s 1,2,3, 10, 12 and the Management District), undertook a $1.6 million renovation to install permanent backup power for the sanitary sewer lift stations throughout the community. Many of the sanitary lift stations in Sienna provide services to multiple districts. The Sienna MUDs purchased and installed a total of 21 permanent natural gas generators. These generators are designed to keep the lift stations operational in the event of an electrical power outage, such as Winter Storm Uri. Sienna chose to implement generators that operate on a natural gas fuel source to limit the amount of time, effort, and expense to refuel them.
The District’s water supply system also has permanent emergency generators located at the three water plants. The availability of the backup power during the outages experienced during Uri allowed Sienna to continuously provide plentiful and safe water to residents throughout the event. There was a short period of time when pressures dipped in the community. This was caused by a frozen pressure sensor which, when located by the operator, was quickly remedied and pressure was restored to the system.
The District’s critical systems have been upgraded in anticipation of extended grid power outages. While the District cannot anticipate every eventuality, it will continue to monitor and upgrade its systems when appropriate to provide high levels of service to its customers.