Maintenance and Service

Posted on: March 2, 2012

Perhaps not as interesting as large projects, but more important, is the ongoing work of the AWA employees every day.

  1. Plant maintenance and updates are constant.  For example, ultraviolet treatment as an addition to the current chlorine purification is in the early stages of planning right now. Plant operation is done on a 24-hour basis by five individuals.  The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requires that water plant operators pass a certification test following a 4-year training period before they can operate the plant without supervision.  Presently, AWA is pumping 1.7 billion gallons of water per year.
  2. Meter improvements continue to add value to the billing and collection processes.  AWA is now installing data-logging Neptune water meters that will not just detect a leak, but tell us when it happened!  This is of great value to customers because these meters can often give us advance warning before a leak becomes very large and the customer receives a high bill.  Newer meters send a radio signal to a small computer carried by the meter reader, enabling faster meter reading by fewer individuals.  If you would like one of these meters, give Customer Service a call.  There is no charge to have your meter upgraded.
  3. Continual repair and replacement to the 100 miles of water mains is a big part of the work done by the distribution employees.  Distribution employees are subject to certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which includes training and testing.  Presently, seven employees possess this certification.
  4. Older water lines with repeat breaks are targeted for replacement as funds become available.  Every year pipe is replaced somewhere in the system.  Unfortunately, grant funds are seldom available to AWA; however we continue to make application at every opportunity.  The cost of replacing a 8” line is about $800 per linear foot at present.  Seven pumping stations are also handled by the distribution crew.  All finished water requires pumping to be delivered to a customer, there is no gravity feed.  The electric cost averages $45,000 per month.
  5. Computers and specialized software are at the core of many business and operational systems.  They provide more information to employees to enable better decisioning on a faster basis.  Changing systems have greatly affected the way work is done, and achieved better efficiency by fewer employees.  AWA presently has only 18 employees to run a water system that covers over 25 square miles plus a 1900-acre reservoir 7.2 miles away.