The field operations division handles many tasks related to the water distribution system and the wastewater collection system. The distribution system consists of approximately 133 miles of water mains from 2” diameter through 24” diameter, about 800 fire hydrants, and nearly 1200 water valves. The wastewater collection system is comprised of about 122 miles of sewer mains from 4” diameter through 24” diameter, and over 1500 manholes. In addition, the field operations crews install large water meters, assist in maintenance of the 10 lift stations in the system, replace sections of water main or sewer main, respond to many line locates from other utility companies, operate water valves to isolate sections of line, clean sewer mains with high pressure jetting equipment, and many other tasks related to maintaining the water distribution and wastewater collection system.
One of the means used by the field operations crew to maintain the water quality in the distribution system is to occasionally flush water from the system via the fire hydrants. This operation focuses on regular flushing of dead end mains as well as response to citizen calls.
One of the important functions of the field operations division is the timely repair of water main breaks. Due to various factors such as age of the pipes, climate conditions, ground moisture, etc. lines occasionally break. As the older lines are replaced, the number of breaks on the newer lines will normally decrease.
In order to try and prevent accidental leaks in water or sewer mains caused from excavations by outside contractors, the crews respond to line locate requests as they are received.
Common problems that occasionally occur in the wastewater collection system include blockages that interrupt the normal flow of wastewater to the treatment plant, as well as infiltration and inflow of water into the collection system. The blockages can cause the wastewater to back up and out of the system via manholes, and sometimes into customers’ homes and/or businesses. The field operations division responds to such calls promptly to prevent overflows or damage to property. The calls included instances where the stoppage was in the main line as well as stoppages found to be in the customers’ service lines.