Water pressure drops during tank maintenance

Published 2:44 pm Monday, June 28, 2010

Maintenance on the Ridge Water Tank put some customers in a pinch, causing pressure problems throughout the water system.

“We had some problems with the tank painting and as a result, people had lower pressure than we anticipated,” said Wesley Bass with Artesian Utilities.

Upon a final inspection, a few spots remained on the tank that still needed to be painted, Bass said. Although the painting itself did not take long, Bass said it took an additional week after the painting was completed in order to let the paint cure before refilling the reservoir.

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Bass said they took every step to insure that pressure stayed up, including overfilling the tanks.

“We had to waste some water to keep the pressure up,” Bass said. “When we have to paint this tank again in another 10 years, we know what causes the pressure problem.”

The 8-inch lines in the current system are inadequate for the areas they serve, Bass said, and he intends to learn this problem in order to fix it for the future.

“We are making plans to increase line size,” Bass said. “The water lines aren’t big enough in certain areas, and booster stations are pulling through these lines.”

With the pressure problem at bay for now, Bass said line loss will be Artesian’s next priority.

“We are running about 16 percent line loss, and it is generally accepted that 15 percent is a tight system,” Bass said. “That means we are pumping more than we are selling.”

Older systems, he explained, tend to lose more water. Everything from poor meters to leaking pipe connections plague older systems, Bass said.

Bass said he is working to shore up the older lines in the system, because line loss in one sector will increase the average line loss for the entire district.