Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Swapping spit with turbines

You know New Orleans tap water has won state and national "taste tests" on several occasions. (This really is a thing.)  I always wondered what the secret was.   Turns out it's very possibly the turbine backwash.
Under the current set-up, which Korban said has been in place for more than 100 years, the turbines that power the S&WB's systems are cooled by drawing water that has already been treated by the utility. That water moves through copper pipes in the turbines before being poured back into a pool of water that is then sent out to taps across the city.

While that system is designed to keep the cooling water from coming in contact with the mechanical equipment, it raises the risk that contaminated water could be introduced into the drinking supply.
During the pitch for an aborted early 2000s privatization scheme, Ray Nagin wanted to bottle and sell the city water. He suggested we brand it as "Crescent City Clear."  I wonder if he would have followed through on the whole thing if he had the tagline, "It's like kissing 25 cycles of power" available.

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