Water Distribution staff has a team that is dedicated to conducting scheduled predictive and preventative maintenance on a variety of essential assets. This team works diligently to maintain pressure reducing valves (PRVs), fire hydrants, air vacuum/release devices, and various other assets such as pumps, motors, curb stops, and meters. Staff works on a preventative and predictive schedule to perform maintenance on these assets before they break down and cause issues within our distribution system. Long-term system stability and long asset lifespan are directly dependent on the preventative maintenance crew and the efforts that they put forth to keep the community's resources in great condition.
Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) Maintenance
Pressure reducing/relief valves are in-line valves that reduce water pressure in the distribution system. Failure of PRVs can result in over-pressurization of water mains which often causes water mains to catastrophically fail. Our staff takes a proactive approach to maintaining pressure reducing valves in the water distribution system. Staff conducts inspections of PRVs on a regular basis and performs complete PRV rebuilds every year. Completely rebuilding these PRVs is a very complex task and requires a high level of expertise to ensure that system pressures are neither too high nor too low. All staff members receive CLA-VAL certified training to rebuild and replace PRVs within a water distribution system. The investment that the utilities department makes in maintaining these devices helps to minimize the number of water main breaks due to over-pressurization.
Fire Hydrant Maintenance
With roughly 1900 fire hydrants in the distribution system, staff must take a proactive approach to ensure that all fire hydrants are in proper working condition. Fire hydrants provide the obvious fire protection for homes and businesses, but they also provide additional value to distribution staff for flushing during construction projects and to ensure water quality is maintained on dead end streets and at the far ends of town.
Water Distribution staff focuses their efforts on rebuilding hydrants to ensure that the fire department can access and operate them quickly and easily in case of emergency. The role that the distribution team has on the safety of the public is directly dependent on the reliability of the 1900+ fire hydrants that it maintains. Rebuilding these hydrants takes a great deal of mechanical aptitude and problem solving. Some hydrants in the city have been kept in great working condition since the early 1950s. Without a dedicated effort to maintain these hydrants this would not be possible.
Air Release Valve (ARV) Maintenance
ARVs exist in the system to allow air to exit the distribution system when it collects at high points. Air naturally exits in our water systems and is also introduced during repairs and replacement jobs. As air enters the system, ARVs allow this air to exit the system through these valves.
The city has many combination ARVs that both allow air to enter the system and exit the system. Allowing air to enter the system helps eliminate the risk of pipeline collapse due to negative pressure in water lines during emergency situations. Staff maintains ARVs in both the potable and recycled water systems. ARV maintenance helps staff ensure that air can both enter and exit the distribution system when need be. This work is scheduled every year in an effort to keep these ARVs in proper working condition and to minimize the risk of large-scale damage when pipe line breaks do occur. With over 80 potable water ARVs and 44 recycled water system ARVs, staff has a focused effort on keeping these assets great condition from the treatment plant to far reaches of the system.