The City's Water Distribution Division constructs and maintains approximately 400 miles of water distribution mains ranging in size from 2” to 30.” Water is transported under pressure through this network of buried pipes. Smaller pipes, called service lines, are attached to the main water lines to bring water from the distribution network to your homes and businesses. The City currently has 19,500 water taps ranging in size from ¾ inch to 12 inches.
Water storage is provided by five one-million gallon elevated tanks. Depending on the demand for water and the pressure in the distribution system, the water can reach your tap by one of two ways. When demand is higher than pumping rates, or when the high pressure pumps are off, water will flow out of the elevated storage tanks to either supply all of the water or to supplement pressure and flow from the pumps. When demand is lower than the pumping rates, water will fill the elevated tanks, and the high pressure pumps will supply all the water to homes and businesses.
Each person uses an average of 150 gallons of water per day. All of the clean water that comes into your house by one set of pipes leaves your house by another set of pipes. Clean water becomes wastewater which travels through our collection system to the City's wastewater treatment plant to be purified before being released into Contentnea Creek. Every day, an average of 9 million gallons of wastewater flows through our collection system.
Our wastewater collection system consists of almost 300 miles of piping ranging in size from 2 inches to 36 inches. A total of 20 pump stations lift wastewater from low lying areas to gravity outfall lines. This system is maintained by the Wastewater Collection Division, which also provides special programs in I&I reduction, backflow prevention, manhole rehab, and others.
Infiltration/Inflow (I&I) is defined as excess water inflowing into sanitary sewers or infiltrating sewer lines. Excess water may come from too much rainfall infiltrating through the ground, leaking manholes, or illegal connections such as roof drains. Sewer lines can also be infiltrated by growing tree roots. I&I is a major cause of Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs), which can be a public health issue.
The City has an aggressive I&I program to significantly reduce and/or eliminate SSOs. A full-time I&I Technician inspects the collection system daily for leaks and other problems. The Wastewater Collection Division has a new closed circuit TV (CCTV) truck that uses a TV camera and video recording equipment to record leaky joints, breaks in pipes, etc. A full-time Sewer Monitoring Technician is dedicated to monitoring the system using the CCTV. We also have a crew for the rehab of manholes to eliminate leaks. Replacing and rehabilitating these lines and manholes reduces I&I into the sanitary sewer system, thereby protecting the public health, improving wastewater treatment plant efficiency and reducing system maintenance.