Water Code Section 13.1394
Standards of Emergency Operations
(a)In this section:
(1)“Affected utility” means a retail public utility, exempt utility, or provider or conveyor of potable or raw water service that:
(A)furnishes water service to more than one customer; and
(B)is not an affected utility under Section 13.1395 (Standards of Emergency Operations in Certain Counties).
(2)“Emergency operations” means the operation of a water system during an extended power outage that impacts the operating affected utility.
(3)“Extended power outage” means a power outage lasting for more than 24 hours.
(b)An affected utility shall:
(1)ensure the emergency operation of its water system during an extended power outage at a minimum water pressure of 20 pounds per square inch, or at a water pressure level approved by the commission, as soon as safe and practicable following the occurrence of a natural disaster; and
(2)adopt and submit to the commission for its approval:
(A)an emergency preparedness plan that demonstrates the utility’s ability to provide the emergency operations described by Subdivision (1); and
(B)a timeline for implementing the plan described by Paragraph (A).
(c)The commission shall review an emergency preparedness plan submitted under Subsection (b). If the commission determines that the plan is not acceptable, the commission shall recommend changes to the plan. The commission must make its recommendations on or before the 90th day after the commission receives the plan. In accordance with commission rules, an emergency preparedness plan for a provider of potable water shall provide for one or more of the following:
(1)the maintenance of automatically starting auxiliary generators;
(2)the sharing of auxiliary generator capacity with one or more affected utilities, including through participation in a statewide mutual aid program;
(3)the negotiation of leasing and contracting agreements, including emergency mutual aid agreements with other retail public utilities, exempt utilities, or providers or conveyors of potable or raw water service, if the agreements provide for coordination with the division of emergency management in the governor’s office;
(4)the use of portable generators capable of serving multiple facilities equipped with quick-connect systems;
(5)the use of on-site electrical generation or distributed generation facilities;
(6)hardening the electric transmission and distribution system serving the water system;
(7)for existing facilities, the maintenance of direct engine or right angle drives;
(8)designation of the water system as a critical load facility or redundant, isolated, or dedicated electrical feeds;
(9)water storage capabilities;
(10)water supplies delivered from outside the service area of the affected utility;
(11)the ability to provide water through artesian flows;
(12)redundant interconnectivity between pressure zones;
(13)emergency water demand rules to maintain emergency operations; or
(14)any other alternative determined by the commission to be acceptable.
(d)Each affected utility that supplies, provides, or conveys raw surface water shall include in its emergency preparedness plan under Subsection (b) provisions for demonstrating the capability of each raw water intake pump station, pump station, and pressure facility to provide raw water service to its wholesale customers during emergencies. This subsection does not apply to raw water services that are unnecessary or otherwise subject to interruption or curtailment during emergencies under a contract.
(e)The commission shall adopt rules to implement this section as an alternative to any rule requiring elevated storage.
(f)The commission shall provide an affected utility with access to the commission’s financial, managerial, and technical contractors to assist the utility in complying with the applicable emergency preparedness plan submission deadline.
(g)The commission by rule shall create an emergency preparedness plan template for use by an affected utility when submitting a plan under this section. The emergency preparedness plan template shall contain:
(1)a list and explanation of the preparations an affected utility may make under Subsection (c) for the commission to approve the utility’s emergency preparedness plan; and
(2)a list of all commission rules and standards pertaining to emergency preparedness plans.
(h)An emergency generator used as part of an approved emergency preparedness plan under Subsection (c) must be operated and maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
(i)The commission shall inspect each utility to ensure that the utility complies with the approved plan.
(j)The commission shall consider whether compliance with this section will cause a significant financial burden on customers of an affected utility when making recommended changes under Subsection (c).
(k)An affected utility may adopt and enforce limitations on water use while the utility is providing emergency operations.
(l)Except as specifically required by this section, information provided by an affected utility under this section is confidential and is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552 (Public Information), Government Code.
(m)The commission shall coordinate with the utility commission in the administration of this section.
Section 13.1394 — Standards of Emergency Operations,
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/WA/htm/WA.13.htm#13.1394 (accessed Dec. 2, 2023).