Water Code Section 13.1395
Standards of Emergency Operations in Certain Counties
(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 furnishes water service to more than one customer:
(A)in a county with a population of 3.3 million or more; or
(B)in a county with a population of 800,000 or more adjacent to a county with a population of 3.3 million or more.
(2)“Emergency operations” means the operation of a water system during an extended power outage at a minimum water pressure of 35 pounds per square inch.
(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 as soon as safe and practicable following the occurrence of a natural disaster; and
(2)adopt and submit to the commission for its approval an emergency preparedness plan that demonstrates the utility’s ability to provide emergency operations.
(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 shall provide for one of the following:
(1)the maintenance of automatically starting auxiliary generators;
(2)the sharing of auxiliary generator capacity with one or more affected utilities;
(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; or
(8)any other alternative determined by the commission to be acceptable.
(c-1)An emergency preparedness plan submitted under Subsection (b) may provide for the prioritization of water restoration to an end stage renal disease facility, as that term is defined by Section 251.001 (Definitions), Health and Safety Code, in the same manner as an affected utility restores service to a hospital following an extended power outage. The affected utility must restore the service in accordance with:
(1)the facility’s needs;
(2)the affected community’s needs; and
(3)the characteristics of the geographic area in which water is to be restored.
(d)This subsection does not apply to raw water services that are unnecessary or otherwise subject to interruption or curtailment during emergencies under a contract. Each affected utility that supplies, provides, or conveys surface water shall include in its emergency preparedness plan under Subsection (b) provisions:
(1)for the actual installation and maintenance of automatically starting auxiliary generators or distributive generation facilities for each raw water intake pump station, water treatment plant, pump station, and pressure facility necessary to provide water to its wholesale customers during emergencies; or
(2)that demonstrate the capability of each raw water intake pump station, water treatment plant, pump station, and pressure facility to provide water to its wholesale customers during emergencies through alternative means acceptable to the commission.
(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 may grant a waiver of the requirements of this section to an affected utility if the commission determines that compliance with this section will cause a significant financial burden on customers of the affected utility.
(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 13.1395 — Standards of Emergency Operations in Certain Counties,
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/WA/htm/WA.13.htm#13.1395 (accessed Nov. 25, 2023).