Pump Malfunction Causes Big Losses at LA Waterworks

Recent news story is a cautionary tale for anyone with aging industrial hydraulic equipment.

Pump Malfunction Causes Big Losses at LA WaterworksEarlier this month, a pump malfunction at a Los Angeles County waterworks facility caused the loss of 82,000 gallons of precious clean water. Considering that 82,000 gallons is approximately equivalent to one year’s worth of clean water for one Californian, this loss was quite significant. And coming just days after California Governor Jerry Brown announced the institution of mandatory state-wide water use reductions to help combat the effects of one of the worst droughts in the state’s history, the loss was demoralizing as well.

The problem began when a pump in one of the Val Verde facilities malfunctioned, causing tens of thousands of gallons of water to soak the communications system on a nearby wall. With the electronics in the communications panel shorted out, pumps at a nearby facility did not receive the proper signal when the tanks they served were full. The valves did not close, the pumps did not shut off, and even more water was wasted.

Officials suspect that a series of small earthquakes in Santa Clarita may have played a role in triggering the loss, though they have not yet established any direct link.

However, workers point out that the facilities are decades old and seem more inclined to attribute the failure to issues with aging equipment.

Is Your Industrial Hydraulic Equipment in Good Shape?

This news story should serve as a cautionary tale to any company that works with industrial hydraulic equipment. Industrial systems are often more difficult to care for than mobile hydraulic equipment because of their uniqueness. Industrial systems may include custom hydraulic parts as well as unique operating temperatures and pressures, meaning that maintenance and inspections must be performed by someone who really understands the specific application.

If you have a custom hydraulic system, it is essential to stay on top of your maintenance activities if you want the equipment to continue to perform properly. This is especially true as the system ages, since the failure of even one small part can have big consequences.

The good news is that Bernell Hydraulics can provide valuable assistance with custom hydraulic systems, including those used for unique industrial applications. We offer custom hydraulics parts fabrication services, as well as troubleshooting from experienced technicians.

If you have any concerns at all about the performance or reliability of your custom hydraulic equipment, please call Bernell Hydraulics at 909-899-1751 for help.

Posted on April 25, 2015
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