MSD developing new back-up power monitoring system for pumping stations

Nov 1, 2011

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District says it will be developing a new system to monitor back-up power sources at its pumping stations.

Massive flash flooding in June caused by inoperable gates at five of the agency's pumping stations forced people in the Penrose neighborhood in north St. Louis city out of their homes. Agency spokesman Lance LeComb says the gates didn't work because of a power failure - and backup batteries were out of juice.

In addition to a system to monitor those batteries, LeComb says the agency will be looking at its staffing patterns.

"Just to make sure that we're dealing with the priority systems in a systematic [way] and then work our way down the list so that the most important things get taken care of first and everyone knows what their role is in the event of something like that happening again," LeComb said.

LeComb says money for the upgrades will come from the agency's general operating budget. He had no estimate on costs.

Because the agency was at fault for the flooding it waived its $2,400 cap on damages. LeComb says officials are still tallying the total they'll have to pay out.