Water System Maintenance
Well Sites - Each well site is visited and checked twice weekly plus monitored through the District's SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system. This includes maintaining the chlorination feeder and inspecting the well motor and any booster pumps and electrical components located at each site. The booster sites are maintained continuously and are refurbished as needed.
Annual Well Maintenance - Metro Water has an annual contract for well maintenance. The objective is to have all wells regularly maintained within a five year cycle. While approximately five wells are identified for such maintenance, invariably only three or four wells are maintained during the year, since two to three wells usually require emergency maintenance. In 2008 and 2009, budgetary constraints reduced the number of wells to be maintained even further. Since 2010, the budget includes funds for a more aggressive well maintenance program.
Storage Tank Maintenance - One storage tank is usually targeted each fiscal year to be inspected and correct any defects to preserve the life of the storage tank. This work is done by a contractor, which requires emptying the tank, sand blasting, and coating the interior with epoxy paint.
Water Line Maintenance - Staff addresses leaks and breaks that occur in the water system along with breaks caused by contractors or other events. If a break occurs, the leak is isolated by closing valves in the system to ensure a minimum of customers are out of water. If a repair is planned and not an emergency, customers are notified in advance that they would be out of water. In an emergency, customer service staff is available to answer questions customers may have regarding lack of water. Utility staff works to repair the break or leak as fast as possible. If a difficult repair is required, staff looks at how to isolate the leak in such a way as to move water around it to reduce the length of time customers may be out of water. This is done morning and night, whatever the situation requires.
Security - The District has made a number of upgrades to well and reservoir sites to increase security. This has involved approximately $150,000 in capital expenditures as well as thousands of hours of staff time to ensure the integrity of the system. Prior to Y2K, the District completed a large amount of emergency preparedness. Since September 11, 2001, the District has been more aggressive in strengthening the security of the system.
The District completed the required certification of vulnerability assessment in 2004 for EPA.
Arizona Water and Wastewater Response Network (AZWARN) - The District along with Phoenix and Tempe were the first signers to an agreement that initiated the Arizona Water and Wastewater Response Network (AZWARN). Whether fire, flood, or human caused, a severe emergency could overwhelm the resources of one utility, making assistance from other resources or agencies critical to ensure water and wastewater services continue for the populace. AZWARN now has 18 members and establishes a framework for water and wastewater utilities to provide such assistance to each other during such an emergency.