Water, for the most part, seems to be fairly ubiquitous.
Think about it. We shower with water, we drink water, we cook with water, and we clean with water.
But, believe it or not, there’s actually quite a bit of work and maintenance that goes into supplying all that water.
From underground wells and pipes to treatment facilities and tanks, our drinking water goes through a lot of hoops and hurdles to get to us. Not to mention how much goes into the purification process to ensure we are delivering safe, reliable water.
So, what happens when there's a sudden service disruption? Like when there’s a power outage. Or a big storm. Or a water main break.
While it’s no fun to experience some of these disturbances, Aqua has a talented team that carefully monitors and carries out our daily operations so you can go about your life with the water you need.
We’ve got your back
Overall, Aqua operates 2,738 treatment facilities, with locations in Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas, says Justin Kauffman, director of asset management and field services at Aqua.
In most of our states, Aqua has a centralized maintenance crew that we deploy whenever there’s a system issue. Over in Texas, however, they do things a bit differently. Unlike the other states that have a large maintenance hub, Aqua Texas is comprised of many small, rural water systems spread out over a large geographic area. So, in order to meet such a high demand, Aqua employs numerous contractors in Texas to stay on top of all the maintenance and repairs.
To better understand about the upkeep and maintenance of all of the water systems and equipment, we spoke with Dan Rimann, vice president of operations and engineering at Aqua Texas.
Finding the problem
First, whenever there’s a glitch in a water delivery system, it’s necessary to figure out what’s going on.
This can be difficult as most of the equipment we use is located underground, after all. On top of that, it can be tricky to know what equipment is your responsibility as a customer, and what is Aqua’s.
For example, Aqua is responsible for the company service line, curb stop, and meter, while the customer service line, meter pit, pressure reducing valve, and the backflow preventer are upkept by Aqua’s customers.
When Aqua experiences a glitch, most often it is a maintenance issues occurring in our water distribution systems, specifically with the pipes, which are responsible for collecting water from ground and surface sources and transporting them to your home.
“In Texas, the majority of pipe breaks are caused by the ground shifting during long periods of hot, dry weather — think drought-like conditions,” Rimann told us.
Fixing the glitch
According to Rimann, most of the piping we have in the ground is small diameter plastic pipe, which can be affected under by extreme weather conditions.
When a pipe breaks, we quickly assess the damage and send out a repair crew to get things back in order. Most of the time, this entails installing a repair clamp in the pipe or sleeving in a new section of pipe.
And while we may not be able to predict when, exactly, these issues will occur, we know our maintenance and repair teams will work quickly so you (and your water) get back to business as usual.
Thanks for tuning in to another step of our Aquastructure journey. We’ll see you next time!