Reporter 'ears' conclude work reduced Unit 5 noise

An unscientific experiment by The Reporter has concluded the work done over the past two weeks by Luminant has reduced the noise and vibration from Sandow Power Plant Unit 5.

On Oct. 31, Reporter Editor Mike Brown visited five locations, ranging from virtually underneath Unit 5, to a remote county road five miles away, as the crow flies, to monitor the sound before work on the unit commenced Nov. 6.

He re-visited the locations Friday (Nov. 20) two days after Unit 5 came back on-line following the repairs.

Location 1, The Old Bechtel Parking Lot, across the road from Unit 5—On Nov. 6 noise was constant, fairly loud and somewhat annoying. On. Nov. 20, noise was more of a wave than a constant and at lower part of wave noise faded noticeably.

Location 2, Rockdale Country Club, about two miles from Unit 5—On Nov. 6 noise was noticeable but not easy to hear due to traffic on FM 2116. Calls of birds and many ambient noises were louder than Unit 5. On Nov. 20 the noise was somewhat harder to hear, especially at the low part of the sound wave.

Location 3, at-grade crossing on FM 2116, almost to FM 487 intersection, three miles from Unit 5—Unsure if Unit 5 noise was heard at all either Nov. 6 or 20. Heavy traffic noises on FM 2116, FM 487 and nearby US 77. Also road has swung to the north at that point and sound seems to be almost focused toward the east.

Location 4, alongside US 77, looking across former mining area at Unit 5, about four miles away—Unit 5 noise not audible Nov. 6 or 29, due to highway traffic, nor discernible in traffic lulls.

Location 5, County Road 314, one miles east of US 77 and five miles east of Unit 5—On Nov. 6 noise was at least as prominent, though not at loud as at country club, more than twice as close to Sandow 5. On Nov. 20 there was an obvious difference. Noise was reduced, again the "wave" aspect was noted and at lower part of wave the noise virtually disappeared.

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2009-11-26 digital edition

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