S&WB Carrollton

Advocate photo by Matthew Hinton -- The Sewerage and Water Board's Carrollton plant, where a "power fluctuation" caused low water pressure throughout New Orleans Wednesday morning. 

A newly repaired turbine at the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board's Carrollton Plant failed a test run using diesel on Thursday, though it is still "fully functional" when using natural gas as its fuel, the utility announced Thursday.

The Thursday test was aimed at seeing whether the repairs would allow Turbine 5 to be switched to diesel in case its main natural gas fuel supply was interrupted during a storm. But officials concluded that "additional repairs are needed" before it'll be able to switch to that backup fuel supply, according to a news release.

After the diesel test, the turbine was tested with natural gas and "continued to show strong performance," according to the release.

The turbine is one of five operated by the S&WB to run its pumps and water system. It broke down during flooding last summer and was brought back to service in March.

Four of the utility's five turbines are now operational.

The one turbine that is still offline, Turbine 4, has been under repair since 2012 and is currently undergoing testing, S&WB spokesman Rich Rainey said on Wednesday. 

Officials had hoped that Turbine 4 would be brought back online by the start of hurricane season on Friday. The current schedule calls for it to be fully tested later in June, though the S&WB may be able to use it if necessary before the tests are complete, Rainey said.

With the four turbines operational, the S&WB can generate 71 megawatts of power, about 19 megawatts more than would be needed to run all of the city's 120 pumps at full capacity at once.