Unit 5 noise equipment ordered

Neighbors ‘disappointed’ problem not fixed during outage
Reporter Editor

Neighbors started reporting noise problems as soon as Unit 5 came on-line in 2009. 
Reporter file photo/Mike Brown Neighbors started reporting noise problems as soon as Unit 5 came on-line in 2009. Reporter file photo/Mike Brown The buzz is that the buzz is on the way out.

It’s more than just conversational buzz around Luminant’s Sandow 5 power plant, especially in the Country Club Estates subdivsion where residents have complained about noise from the 581-megawatt generating unit for almost two years.

Luminant’s corporate office has told The Reporter a purchase order for equipment to stop the vibrating noise emanating from the unit has been issued.

“ We’re hoping we can install this new noise-cancelling equipment in the later part of this year,” Ashley Barrie, Luminant spokesperson, said.

OUTAGE—That’s music to the ears of Country Club Estates residents, who at one point were considering a petition over the situation, and expressed some disappointment noise was not addressed during a routine maintenance outage early in the spring.

Kathie Bassler, Champions Drive resident, said company officials had met with residents in late 2010 and indicated noise-reduction would be performed in the spring.

“I know one day early in the spring the noise was gone, just all of a sudden,” she said. “I thought ‘that’s it, they fixed it’!”

It was a maintenance outage but not the end of the noise.

“It was off for about 10 days, then the unit was back on and so was the noise,” she said.

“I admit to being a little disappointed,” Bassler said.

PRIORITY—Luminant continues to call noise reduction a priority and Bassler agrees the company has kept the Champions Drive residents well informed.

“They’re telling us once they do start work on the noise project, they want to be sure it fixes the problem,” she said.

Barrie said Luminant believes the equipment now being purchased will do the job. “The manufacturer has assured us this will reduce the noise,” she said.

“Personally, I feel like I can live with this for a while longer,” Bassler said. “I know it takes a lot of expertise and money to fix this problem. I just don’t feel like I, and the other people out here, ought to have to live with it for the rest of our lives. It’s just not fair.”

Within weeks of Unit 5 starting up in August, 2009, persons who lived close to the plant described vibrations strong enough to shake windows and walls and jiggle water in a glass.

Steel plates were installed on Unit 5 in November, 2009, a move which lessened, but did not eliminate, the problem.

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