Power Protection FEATURED ARTICLE


Power Outage Causes Untreated Waste to Be Dumped into Massachusetts River

November 06, 2017

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

Much of northern New England experienced widespread power outages due to a severe storm that passed through the region early last week.  More than 1.5 million residential and business customers lost power. 

In some areas, utilities projected power could be out for as long as a week due to flooding and downed trees and power lines.  Children looking forward to their annual candy-fest will have to wait a bit longer, as many towns formally postponed annual Halloween activities until as late as Friday to ensure safety of trick-or-treaters.


In North Andover, Massachusetts, the power loss resulted in eight million gallons of untreated waste being dumped into the Merrimack River, as a failed pump was not able to direct the waste into the treatment facility, eventually causing it to back up into the river.  According to North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor, backup power is in place for the plant itself, but not the pump.

While Maylor says there is no immediate threat to residents, such a spillage could have longer-term effects on local land and residents, which the DEP is investigating.

It serves as a reminder to all businesses to ensure all critical infrastructure is supported by properly designed power protection systems.  Whether that means the external pump at the waste treatment plant, or switches and servers in other businesses, keeping critical equipment safe is paramount to not only safety, but business continuity.

Although most businesses don’t have to deal with such potentially harmful situations, power outages are severely limiting for all businesses.  Backup power systems, of course, can keep businesses operational for short periods – or longer, with higher output systems. 

Perhaps more importantly, without power systems, the impacts of power outages can easily extend well beyond the outages themselves when equipment isn’t sufficiently protected.  The obvious case is when technology is visibly damaged by power surges – which can occur when an outage hits, and when power is restored.  But, what most business owners and IT staff don’t realize is that even surges that don’t cause servers, switches or other systems to fail are likely to weaken circuits, which will eventually fail, even without an outage.  The result is an expensive repair or replacement – taking time and money – and potentially leaving the business without access to resources supported by the damaged technology... all avoidable with the installation of a power protection system.




Edited by Erik Linask


Article comments powered by Disqus

Power Your campus

Featured Whitepapers

Security & Power: The Critical Role of Power Protection for Security

This White Paper provides security users and installers with valuable information about the importance of power protection for security equipment.

Saving Time & Money with Remote Power Management

This White Paper provides statistics and information about the cost of downtime related to remote equipment, and how organizations can benefit from including remote power management products (IP-addressable PDUs) in their power protection strategy.

Powering Your Disaster Planning

The white paper describes key components of a comprehensive plan to prevent businesses and other organizations from suffering severe consequences as a result of a power outage.

Featured Technotes

What is 3-phase Power?

This installment of the TechNotes series takes you through the basics of single, dual, and 3-phase power, giving you the knowledge to decide which type of power is best for your needs.

Endeavor: Added Runtime vs. Added Cost

This TechNotes paper looks at the relationship between added cost and added runtime when including XL battery packs with Minuteman Endeavor 1kVA, 2kVA, & 3kVA UPSs.

Featured Podcast

The Importance of Remote Power Management for Disaster Preparedness

TMC podcast with Minuteman UPS/Para Systems on the importance of remote power management solutions for optimum power protection.