CWLP devotes substantial time and resources each year for the maintenance and repair of the water distribution system, as well as for the construction of new facilities required to accommodate system growth. However, because of the age of the water distribution system, we believe it is important to provide funding to rebuild deteriorated sections of the water system rather than continue to incur the expense of repair.
Our Water System Rebuilding Program consists of six key components: replacement of deteriorating water mains; valve replacement and insertion; dead end ties; replacement of galvanized risers; meter pit cut-ins; and replacement of old water meters. To learn more about each of these topics, click the blue expandable panels below.
Replacing Deteriorating Water Mains
Valve Replacement and Insertion
When water main breaks occur, valves are used to turn off the water so repairs can be made. If the valves closest to the break are inoperable, other valves must be closed, necessitating the interruption of water service to additional customers. To reduce the likelihood of this occurring, the CWLP distribution system has been surveyed to determine where older valves should be replaced and where the installation of additional valves would enhance system control.
In some areas of the distribution system, water mains dead end without being looped to other mains. Dead end ties loop dead end mains together to improve water pressure.
Replacing Galvanized Risers
Galvanized iron risers to hold water meters in meter pits were considered state-of-the-art between 1945 and 1965. About 23,000 were installed in Springfield. However, galvanized risers deteriorate with age and often break when meters are changed. As meters are changed, CWLP replaces galvanized risers with copper setters.
Meter Pit Cut-ins
The existence of approximately 10,000 water meter settings located inside structures within the CWLP distribution system presents a problem to our customers, meter readers and service personnel, alike. Not only does this complicate the meter reading process, but the "curb-stop" valve boxes controlling these meters are frequently difficult to locate. And even if they can be located, the valves are often inoperable. To rectify these problems, CWLP is actively involved in the replacement of inside meter settings with meter pits, which are equipped with their own control valves.
Replacing Old Water Meters and Automated Meter Reading
As a meter ages, it tends to record less than the full amount of water used by the customer. CWLP's ongoing meter replacement program pays for itself through accurate meter readings.
CWLP is in the midst of a long-term project to replace customer water meters with new Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology that allows the meters to be read remotely. This enables meter readers to get accurate and timely readings without having to physically access every meter, which makes their jobs more efficient and safe. AMR also makes meter reading more convenient for customers who will no longer be required to let our meter readers onto their properties or into their homes or businesses each month.
Initially, the project addressed the replacement of large (3-inch through 12-inch) commercial meters and certain problem installations. Funding for much of this portion of the AMR project was provided by a zero-interest loan, which included $167,000 in principal forgiveness (meaning the utility does not have to repay this amount), from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus program.
As of mid-2013, the utility had completed 97% of the replacement and upgrade of all meters sized 1-1/2 inches through 12 inches and had begun replacement of approximately 52,000 primarily residential 5/8-inch through 1-inch meters. This phase of the project, which is being funded by CWLP revenues, will take several more years to complete.
Links to more information about water transmission and distribution, as well as related topics, can be found in the left-hand column of this page.
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