NEW ORLEANS – The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans halted construction work on one of two new $50 million water towers after a drop in water pressure was detected while workers tried to tie the tower in to the water system.
Monday, S&WB warned residents drops in water pressure were possible as a contractor began work on the tower's tie-in, and Wednesday, the work was shut down, pending further tests.
A news release, issued Wednesday, said the drop in water pressure led crews to shut down work, but the loss of pressure did not require a boil water advisory.
As construction began to install a 48-inch water line as part of the project, water pressure levels dropped, forcing crews to reopen a water main they'd previously closed.
The Water Hammer Project is meant to provide the city with constant water pressure in the event the S&WB suddenly loses power, preventing an effect known as a 'water hammer,' when the pipes forcefully vibrate.
The vibrations can cause further damage to the S&WB's aging network of pipes, which is why the Federal Emergency Management Agency funded the towers as a hazard mitigation project.
The project includes two new 200-foot tall water tanks that will hold 4 million gallons of water at the Carrollton Water Purification Plant.
The two towers are designed to keep the city's water pressure up for 40 minutes, buying workers time to switch over to an alternate power source to maintain water pressure in the city's drinking water distribution system.