Water Distribution Division
What we do:
Operate and maintain the network of pipes and valves that deliver clean water
to homes and businesses. This network includes (numbers are
110 miles of water main
1,200 fire hydrants
1,400 gate valves
5,000 water services
300 backflow prevention devices
Perform emergency repairs to water main breaks
Install and read meters
Perform tests on meters, backflow prevention devices, and other components of the water distribution system
Monitor the work of contractors installing water main extensions into businesses and new subdivisions
Meter Replacement Program
The water distribution division has an ongoing program to install radio read water meters to improve billing efficiency. The current focus is on commercial and difficult-to-read meters. Our goal is to replace all 5,000 meters and to maintain this replacement program over a twenty year cycle coinciding with the design life of the meter.
Hydrant Flushing Program
The water distribution division maintains an active unidirectional flushing program which is designed to exercise and test gate valves and hydrants as well as flush sediment out of the water mains. Sediment is naturally occuring iron and manganese that has not been completely removed by the treatment plants. Over time this sediment interacts with residual chlorine in the water and forms red and black deposits of oxidized iron and manganese. If not periodically controlled by a flushing program, these deposits will not only stain laundry and plumbing fixtures as they find their way into homes, but the buildup of the deposits in the water mains can also reduce the capacity of the mains and promote the growth of naturally occuring bacteria in the water, shielding it from the chlorine that has been added to control the growth. To promote a clean system, the DPW flushes hydrants in the spring and the fall. This is a normal maintenance function. We make every effort to minimize damage to landscaping during these operations.
Staff and Budget
The water distribution division operates with a staff of six employees and has an annual operating budget for FY 12 of $628,475.