Disaster Zone

The Connection Between a Gas Pipeline Explosion and Trash Pickup

And what about transit?

by Eric Holdeman / October 10, 2018

We don't think about the interdependencies between infrastructures and services very often. They lay hidden — until there is a problem. Back in 2006 in a major windstorm event and power outage, we found out that all the hospitals in King County used the same linen service provider — that had lost power and did not have a backup generator. It is hard to operate a hospital without clean linens. It also revealed the "sole source" provider that becomes the "single point of failure" in a disaster.

Then there is the current natural gas shortage in Washington state's West Side due to a pipeline explosion in Canada. Today, the dependency between trash pick up (and maybe transit) has been revealed. One of the major trash firms in the region that services much of King County and Pierce County used trucks fueled by natural gas. There will be no trash pick-up at the Holdemans' tomorrow.

The timing of the outage is still unknown. Might there be "other issues" that pop up? I suspect there might be something. Perhaps the linen company that supplies hospitals fuels their cloths dryers with natural gas?