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MLGW News Release
MLGW Strengthens System Against Potential Earthquake Damage: New Video Series Highlights Preparation Efforts
April 13, 2011
(April 13, 2011) - The devastation brought on by the massive earthquake in Japan has increased both awareness and concern of earthquake preparedness across the globe. The subject is especially relevant to Shelby County residents, given the region's proximity to the New Madrid fault and the 200th anniversary of the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812.

For the past several years, MLGW has taken a leading role in local earthquake preparation through its proactive seismic retrofitting efforts. Seismic retrofitting is the modification of existing structures to make them more resistant to seismic activity, ground motion, or soil failure due to earthquakes.

To illustrate these efforts, MLGW has produced a series of videos entitled "Structurally Sound," that highlight the utility's efforts to brace its system against earthquake damage to its electric, gas and water systems, as well as its facilities. A compilation video is also available.

The Structurally Sound videos can be viewed on MLGW's Youtube channel at: Customers can also request to have a DVD mailed to their home or business by contacting MLGW at 528-4557 or e-mailing MLGW at

Since 1990, MLGW has spent nearly $81 million on seismic mitigation projects: Some of these improvements include:

  • Improvements to water facilities include retrofits at four pumping stations to include aerator, filter, and pump buildings.

  • Installation of reservoir-mounted high service pumps at three pumping stations to negate the effect of building collapse hazards on transmission or pumping capabilities.

  • Emergency generators have been installed at six water pumping stations, with a second backup generator project currently nearing completion.

  • Anchoring of transformers and other equipment at electric substations and other areas.

  • Securing a total of $6 million in FEMA grants to help fund improvements to the electric and water systems.

  • Replacing older cast iron gas mains with polyethylene, which is more flexible and reliable.

  • Relocating critical areas such as the Customer Care Center, Commercial Resource Center and Information Technology from the Administration Building to MLGW's Netters Business Center location on Whitten Road for business continuity.

  • Retrofitting of truck canopies at work centers to prevent damage to parked crew trucks.

    "MLGW is committed to bringing safe and reliable utility services to its customers in the best and worst of conditions," said MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins Jr. "While no structure is "earthquake proof," MLGW continues to brace its system to help minimize the affects of such an event in the Memphis area."

  • Earthquake Preparedness Video Series Intro

    MLGW is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 423,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County.