dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
3913
share rss forum feed

JoeSchmoe007
Premium
join:2003-01-19
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Callcentric
·Verizon FiOS

Water and natural gas availability during power outage.

Sorry for being somewhat off-topic but I figured people on this forum would know the answer.

I live in 6-floor apartment building in Brooklyn, NY. In my area there was not much damage from Sandy except some fallen trees and squashed cars. My building was without power only for about 2 hours.

However, as all of you know not everyone was so lucky.

To be better prepared I would like to understand more about water and natural gas availability during extended power outage.

I guess my question comes down to this: what forces water and gas into building pipes? Obviously when electricity is out in my building these 2 don't stop immediately. But for how long will they keep working in case of extended power outage?

As far as water - I haven't seen any standalone water towers around here. Don't know if we have one on the roof. So I assume there are pumps somewhere but have no idea about how they operate. Same for the gas I guess.

Can someone with more knowledge clarify this?



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

NG delivery does not rely on the electrical grid. It works by pressure hat is regulated down as it is distributed.

Water is pumped by electric pumps. It can either be pumped out directly, pumped into large towers, or pumped up to a rooftop tank.
If your building is tall enough, water might be pumped to the top so it can be reserved and provide pressure.
In some situations, there may simply be a booster pump for the upper floors.
I've heard that you can lose 4-5 PSI per "story" of a building.

The water company will have generators on their pumps. If those fail, then no water.

In the event of a major natural disaster, NG supply can be interrupted. Even if the disaster didn't destroy the gas infrastructure, the buildings it serves may be leaking (think tornado or large fire). If you are in the vicinity, you could lose service too.
In earthquakes, gas pipelines can be ruptured, including large pipelines that serve entire cities.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to JoeSchmoe007

Highrises often have an engineered, redundant array of pumps for boosting domestic water pressure.

Whether a six-story building would call for this would depend on the pressure and volume available from the city. If your building has relatively low pressure from the city, your building may use pumps and tanks. If not, you may just get what you get from the city water pressure.

Your best bet is to ask your building management how domestic water pressure is maintained in your building.

You might find this interesting:
»www.pmengineer.com/CDA/Articles/···00133285
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

2 edits
reply to JoeSchmoe007

said by JoeSchmoe007:

To be better prepared...

To specifically address that issue...

You should store as much water as you possible can, and have a method of filtering bad water for drinking:

»www.wavesforwater.org/community-filters/

»www.vestergaard-frandsen.com/lif···ifestraw

»eartheasy.com/lifestraw

Make provisions for heating, or, rather, staying warm, given your expressed concerns. I'm thinking clothes, blankets, and one of these:

»www.mrheater.com/ProductFamily.aspx?catid=41

Note that this device is safe for interior use as it has a low-oxygen shutoff.

The four immediate-need basic groups you must have:

• Water
• Food
• Medical
• Security

You already have shelter, and, due to the nature of your building, probably will have in most circumstances. It would be prudent, however, to have a 72 hour pack ready to go near your exit...because, you know, shit happens.

Finally, you might want to consider talking with your neighbors (if you like them ) in some fashion to discuss in a friendly way how "the building" will deal with things if you all aren't as lucky in the future.

Have a plan...
--
The most powerful weapon in the world is ignorance. Politicians exploit it to achieve almost anything they want.



Smokey
I'd rather be skiing
Premium
join:2003-05-20
Wild West
reply to nunya

NG does require power, but not at the user side of the system. Most pumping stations can run off the gas in the pipeline for power, or shore power or both. The three stations around here use gas during the day, and shore at night to take advantage of the cheaper power rates.

In NY, it is very possibly that he has a cistern on the roof for his water supply. While it may have a pump to get the water to the roof, once it is there you are gold. To check, he should just pull up google earth.
--
Para Bellum!!



TypeO
Premium
join:2002-06-06
Colorado
reply to JoeSchmoe007

Natural gas is brought into your home through the use of differential pressure. The main transmission line ties into your service provider which ties into your house. The transmission lines run at high pressure. When the pressure is cut through pressure regulators, it's then safe enough to be brought into your appliances.

To try and keep your eyes from glazing over, I will try and make the rest of this as simple as possible.

Field gas compressor stations (gathering systems that pull directly from wells) can run on either gas or electric. This is due to environmental permitting (combustion engines), power price/ availability, and the intended design of the plant (more or less complicated). The facilities that run on gas can survive for an indefinite amount of time in a natural disaster if the plant and pipe are not structurally compromised.

The larger refineries can only function without electricity temporarily running on backup generators. The emergency generators in the refineries I have been in only run heat trace, air compressors, the DCS /SIS (control system) UPS, and the lights. In an extended natural disaster like the one you just experienced, the emergency action plan would most likely be activated in order to bring the plant to a safe, stable state. For instance, the facility where I just transferred from uses way too much electricity to generate locally.

The nation as a whole has several underground storage locations that contain gas for just such an emergency as the one you are experiencing. The national grid is designed for withdrawal as needed to support extra demand or to float in case of a major outage of NG refineries. You can see the weekly storage report at this site: »ir.eia.gov/ngs/ngs.html

Without looking at a map of your local utilities, it's hard to judge how well your neighborhood will fare if a line breaks. Your utility should be able to answer that question for you. Pipeline maps should also be public record.

Hope that helps.


JoeSchmoe007
Premium
join:2003-01-19
Brooklyn, NY
reply to JoeSchmoe007

Thanks for all responses. They were extremely helpful. Why didn't I think of checking out Google maps ? It seems there is something on my roof but it doesn't look like water tank.


JoeSchmoe007
Premium
join:2003-01-19
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Callcentric
·Verizon FiOS
reply to John Galt

said by John Galt:

said by JoeSchmoe007:

To be better prepared...

....I'm thinking clothes, blankets, and one of these:

»www.mrheater.com/ProductFamily.aspx?catid=41

Note that this device is safe for interior use as it has a low-oxygen shutoff.
...

Did anyone ever use one of these indoors? Reviews mention that it gets too hot to use on regular floors (wood/carpet) and you need to isolate it somehow (put it on bricks or something like that.?


tmh

@verizon.net

said by JoeSchmoe007:

Did anyone ever use one of these indoors? Reviews mention that it gets too hot to use on regular floors (wood/carpet) and you need to isolate it somehow (put it on bricks or something like that.?

I have. After a couple of hours of use in the basement, it gave me a splitting headache, and I'm not prone to headaches.

Al


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

In the event of a major natural disaster, NG supply can be interrupted. Even if the disaster didn't destroy the gas infrastructure, the buildings it serves may be leaking (think tornado or large fire). If you are in the vicinity, you could lose service too.
In earthquakes, gas pipelines can be ruptured, including large pipelines that serve entire cities.

Just got an email on my ham radio club's mailing list. Basically the guy said his son at the Jersey Shore was told it would take 6 to 8 MONTHS before his electric and gas was restored.

One of my wife's coworkers also had her gas shut off because two large trees toppled over and pulled up the gas main in the proces. Nobody wants to touch the trees, not national grid, not her insurance (the trees landed on her house) not state and local Gov't. So they are out of gas and electric while the insurance, gas company and the Government bicker over who should remove the trees.

I will never ever rely on the grid as my sole source of backup. Even if you have an automatic standby genset on natural gas, it is probably wise to keep a small gasoline powered generator as a backup. Natural gas can be and has been interrupted for many people. The Government can also shut it off and ration it for whatever reason.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

I remember a natural gas shortage in the northeastern US in 1977. Businesses were required to turn down their heat to 60 F if they wanted to stay open past 8 PM. I recall wearing a coat while eating in a restaurant in Jersey City. My burger was cold before I finished it.


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:2
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to JoeSchmoe007

Being out of natural gas here in the winter here would really suck, that's for sure.

Assuming electricity was still available, I wouldn't be surprised if transformers would overload from everyone trying to heat their houses with electricity (here, almost all heating is normally done with natural gas, and few people have air conditioning, thus the utility transformers server a greater number of houses than they would elsewhere).

That's assuming the stores don't run out of electric space heaters to sell, which they probably would in a hurry. Then again, people will likely re-purpose their ovens and electric clothes dryers as space heaters.

If both electricity and gas goes out during the winter, you're essentially screwed unless you happen to have a wood-burning stove to heat with. There's no way you're gonna heat a whole house with the electric output of a generator, unless it's a pretty big one, which pretty much no one has. It is not uncommon for us to have temperatures of -20C (-4F) or colder during the winter.

Thankfully, natural disasters in this area of Canada are extremely unlikely to happen during the winter. About the only natural disasters that could happen here are possibly flooding, and tornadoes, and neither of these can happen in the winter.

Nevertheless, it's still good to be prepared, and the best way to do that is to install a wood burning stove.



fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

said by TheMG:

If both electricity and gas goes out during the winter, you're essentially screwed unless you happen to have a wood-burning stove to heat with. There's no way you're gonna heat a whole house with the electric output of a generator, unless it's a pretty big one, which pretty much no one has. It is not uncommon for us to have temperatures of -20C (-4F) or colder during the winter.

I agree with this fully. That's why I have a wood burning stove. I am quite frankly shocked by people who leave a critical function like heating their homes up to the whims of the grid.

But that's not the only solution. If you store fuel locally like LP (propane) or heating oil you can have a reserve that will not fall to the grid.

Everyone who can have a wood stove should have one. Even a pellet stove is a good backup.