Monday, January 6, 2014

Cascading Water Calls

New Life Science Lab: 1 of 4 Umass buildings with a water main break


Dr. Ed said...

AFD can't pull the meter themselves?

If you think you might have an electrical fire, you pull the damn meter and *then* call the electric utility and tell them why you did it (and where their meter is) -- they either can trust the fire department or they can't and exactly what reason would you have to go out there and mess with a meter if it wasn't because you believed it necessary to expediently shut off the power to the building.

Anonymous said...


Dr. Ed said...

We always could -- had to justify it, and had to have a good reason for doing it, but we could do it.

In fact, the protocol for something like a flipped-over & leaking gasoline tank truck was (I presume still is) to send your best distance runners down the road with a pair of wire cutters and instructions to pull the meter of each house, toss it on the lawn, and keep going.

Of course this was back before the computerized circuits where WMECO (or whomever) can "turn off" a neighborhood -- or all of Amherst as they did during the October Snowstorm a couple years back. Also before cell phones and a few other things...

I was never involved in something like this, but I do know of a situation where it was done -- a decision to pull all the meters off the houses near the accident as an expedient way to reduce potential ignition sources as the gasoline was leaking and hence vapors would be spreading.

(Gasoline vapor is heavier than air and hence follows drainage ditches and the like, and a truck with the third axle on the trailer can carry (memory is) 5000 gallons or more, which is a *lot* of gasoline...)