It’s easy to take safe water for granted. For many, it’s natural to expect healthy water to flow out of the faucet the moment the handle is turned on without considering the complexities involved in the production process. For more than 180,000 residents and business owners in southern Texas, North Alamo Supply Corp. is the local company turning undrinkable water into a safe, reliable resource.
Established in 1966, North Alamo serves a 973-square-mile region throughout eastern Hidalgo County, northwestern Cameron County and Willacy County. Water sourced from the Rio Grande and brackish underground pockets is processed through one of six surface water treatment plants that North Alamo oversees. Although North Alamo has four reverse osmosis treatment plants and five water towers throughout its service area, the company didn’t always operate at such a large scale.
In fact, North Alamo’s service area was 90 percent rural during the 1980s. Comprised of mainly farmland and ranches, North Alamo catered to a very small population. Since then, growth in the region has exploded. Hidalgo County has seen the most exceptional development in the area, as it’s one of the fastest growing counties in the country.
Supplying an increasing population with safe water isn’t North Alamo’s only challenge. Strong seasonal winds, hurricanes and ice storms can all disrupt the state’s electrical grid, which powers North Alamo’s infrastructure. Without standby reinforcement, seasonal brownouts or total power outages can hinder or even halt water production.
During the February 2021 polar vortex, often referred to locally as the Valentine’s Freeze, frigid temperatures led to outages and mechanical issues across the state. North Alamo was forced to issue a boil water notice to a segment of its customers, many of whom were already struggling to contend with the storm without adequate heating. That was a risk that North Alamo no longer wanted customers to face.
“In the past, we’ve had difficulties with other generator sets. Our customers suffered for it. It was important for us to find reliable generators so that we can support all of our customers during an outage to maintain safe water outputs, including those in rural areas. The last thing we want is for our customers to have to take water safety into their own hands,” said Steven Sanchez, general manager for North Alamo.
Starting in the fall of 2019, North Alamo began conversations with Taylor Power Systems to purchase new generator sets. The project saw completion in spring 2021, with six sets ranging from 60 kilowatts to 600 kilowatts strategically installed throughout North Alamo’s service area. These generators were placed in both highly populated and rural regions to accommodate North Alamo’s current and future customers. Ready to assist during a local or grid-wide outage, the generators are available to facilitate water production and distribution.
This wasn’t North Alamo’s first encounter with Taylor Power. Four years earlier, the company had supplied two of North Alamo’s water treatment plants with similar standby generators. Whereas past generator sets didn’t live up to North Alamo’s expectations, Taylor Power generators have exceeded.
“We’ve worked with Taylor Power in the past and we’ve always been very happy with their quality, responsiveness and reliability. When it was decided that we would install these new generator sets, we knew that we wanted them for the project,” Steven explained.
North Alamo was sold on Taylor Power’s heavy-duty, ruggedly built systems as well as their exceptional service. Taylor Power provides training to North Alamo’s technicians so they are prepared for any potential troubleshooting situations. They also include a one-year preventative maintenance agreement that includes a quarterly visit, load transfer and load bank test and any necessary filter, battery or belt replacements.
Packaged in the generator sets are Perkins engines, ranging from the 1100 Series to the 2800 Series. Known for robust performance, low cost of ownership and high power density, these Perkins engines are designed to keep up with strenuous demands in harsh conditions. Where generator reliability is key, Perkins engines excel. Electrical output is supported with consistent Perkins power.
“Perkins engines have been used in Taylor Power generators for much of our 30 years in generator manufacturing. We’ve had great experience with them. Their nationwide service group is valuable to us,” shared Nicholas Burden, national accounts manager for Taylor Power.
Thankfully, North Alamo hasn’t had to rely on its new standby generator support yet. But the North Alamo team already has confidence that their Taylor Power generator sets will be ready to perform. Preliminary measures and startup testing have all garnered positive results. With guaranteed service and support from both Taylor Power and Perkins, North Alamo is prepared for whatever may come their way.
Since 1966, North Alamo Water Supply has provided a 973-square-mile region of Texas with safe water. With exponential growth and a history of severe weather, it became necessary for North Alamo to find standby power. But after struggling to find a reliable provider, the company turned to Taylor Power Systems. The newly purchased generator sets, powered by Perkins diesel engines, stand ready to backup North Alamo’s water treatment and production in the event of a power outage to make sure that customers are able to maintain the access they need to a clean water supply.
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