The Ridgewood Council will consider an emergency appropriation of up to $15,000 following damage that occurred to the village’s water treatment due to a power outage New Year’s Eve.
About 40,000 in Bergen and Passaic counties lost power early that evening due to a failure at PSE&G’s Fair Lawn switching station.
Electricity was restored about an hour later, “just in time to avoid bypassing untreated sewage into our local bodies of water,” Chris Rutishauser, the village engineer, wrote in a memo Jan. 2.
A backup generator had failed at the plant, Rutishauser told council members Wednesday night. When questioned, he said the generator, installed at the plant permanently in 2004, is tested monthly but that the tests are subject to weather and regulatory constraints.
Extra personnel had been called in to manage the incoming flow to the offline plant that night, and a private electrician began work repairing the damage the following day, Rutishauser said.
The ongoing work includes inspections of each component of the system – including motors, fans and pumps – and repairs as needed.
“The power outage caused significant upset in our electrical systems,” Rutishauser said. “We’re still not back 100 percent at full operational ability.”
In addition to parts, the costs associated with the work are being billed hourly, but officials were hopeful it could be completed below an initial budget of $15,000.“A definitive cost for the repairs is unknown at this time,” Rutishauser wrote in his request.