Mar 07 2014

Water Main Flushing


Water Main Flushing

Water Main Flushing You might be asking what it is they are doing when the staff is flushing the distribution system.  The short answer to that question is that we are removing sediment and minerals that have collected in the distribution system during the slowest time of usage.  Most water distribution systems are sized primarily to meet Fire Flow, which means the volume and velocity of the water moving thru the pipe during normal domestic usage is very low.  This low velocity allows for sediment and minerals to precipitate and settle in the mains.  This sediment can cause color issues and even taste and odor issues if not routinely removed. When we are flushing, we purposely open hydrants in strategically predetermined locations in order to simulate the hi-velocity water flows a fire situation would generate.  The benefit of generating these high velocity flows, and in some cases flows in the opposite direction as domestic usage, is that they scour the main and remove unwanted sediment and minerals that have collected over the winter.  We run the water out of the hydrants until all noticeable discoloration is gone; then we run the water for a bit longer to make sure the water is clear. After the flushing of that portion of main is complete, we shut down the system and return it to its domestic role.  Then we  move on to the next portion of the main, moving progressively away from our tank sites so as to keep moving any potentially discolored water away from the new water being put into our distribution system. What will you see while we are flushing?  You will likely notice our truck parked alongside of the roadway with a District employee connecting a hose to a hydrant.  On the end of the hose is a device that diffuses the water flow to reduce any damage, and one employee will be following the water to make sure  it is draining in a safe manner and is not generating any unforeseen issues. What can you do to help?  All you need to do is look for signs in your area indicating when flushing will occur, read the notices provided, and if you do have some discoloration during this process, please run the tap for 5-10 minutes.  If this doesn’t clear up the water, then let us know.  The other important thing you can do to help is to slow down when you see the flushing crew, as there may be water on the roadways for short periods during these operations.  Please watch for our employees, and drive slowly through any standing water you may encounter. This process will be occurring throughout the District between March through May, so look for the signs, drive carefully, and enjoy the quality, clean, safe drinking water that it is our great privilege to provide to you.  Thank you for visiting our website.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask our qualified, courteous customer service representatives.

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Dec 03 2013

EPA Fire Hydrant Regulations


EPA Fire Hydrant Regulations

House Bill 3588 is heading to the Senate for a Vote soon.  HB3588 would block an EPA Act requiring all fire hydrants installed after January 4, 2014 to contain lead- free pipes.  This act could cost communities millions of dollar to replace hydrants that are currently available in their inventories.  Ohio Representative Bill Johnson states, “Water utilities have made it clear that they have two choices come January 4: fail to comply with federal law, or leave gaps in critical fire hydrant service.  No one should ever face that choice.” The EPA Act was passed to ensure safe, lead-free drinking water to the American public.  Exemptions are in place for some fixtures that do not provide drinking water; however, fire hydrants are not currently on that exemption list. We fully intend to provide the safest, lead-free drinking water to our customers, but we do not want to jeopardize the safety of our customers due to an Act that prohibits the use of current hydrants.  We also do not want to burden our customers with the enormous costs that new hydrants will generate if the Act goes into effect January 4, 2014. Click Here for a sample letter that can be sent to Senators Murray and Cantwell urging them to support the passage of HB3588.  Please take the time out and write your Senators in support of the passage. Read more: http://www.awwa.org/home/awwa-news-details/articleid/1958/house-passes-bill-to-exempt-hydrants-from-lead-safety-law.aspx ,  

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Nov 22 2013

Preventing Frozen Pipes


Preventing Frozen Pipes

As the cold season settles in and temperatures begin to drop, frozen pipes could become a concern.  We want to provide you with some tips to help you avoid frozen pipes and the issues that can accompany them. Prevention: Insulate pipes: Exposed pipes are the most susceptible to freezing, but pipes in a basement or attic also run the risk due to the possibility of a lack of temperature control in these areas.  Insulating these can reduce the chances of having your pipes freeze. Heat Tape: Electrical heat tape can be used to keep the pipes warmed, but be sure to use tested and approved products, and follow the installation and operation instructions closely. Garden Hoses: Disconnect garden hoses and use a valve to shut off and drain the water leading to the faucets, if available. Water Drip: Allowing water to drip overnight from a faucet on an outside wall may be enough to prevent freezing Open Cabinets: Open cabinet doors so the heat from the house can get to the pipes under sinks and appliances Thermostat: It’s recommended to set the thermostat no lower than 55°F (12°C) even if you are leaving for an extended period of time. If vacationing during the winter, having the water temporarily shut off and pipes drained could be an option.  Ensure other items (hot water heater, sprinkler system, etc.) are factored into this plan. If Freezing occurs: If you turn on your faucets and find no water, leave it in the on position and call a plumber. It may be possible to thaw the pipe using a hair dryer on a low heat setting.  Work from the faucet back towards the main.  Ensure faucets are on so that water may flow through the pipes.  Do not use a torch or open flame, as that could present a fire hazard and make matters worse. If your pipes have burst due to the freezing, turn off that water at the main shut-off valve if possible and call your local water provider. In the event you used electrical heat tape and the pipes still froze, the heat tape may be used to thaw the pipes, but be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.  Ensure water faucets are on so that water can flow. These tips are not fail-proof but have proven helpful in preventing frozen pipes.  In the event of frozen pipes, calling a local plumber and your local water company are always your best choices.   Lakewood Water District 11900 Gravelly Lake Drive SW Lakewood, WA 98499 Office Hours Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Voice: 253-588-4423 24-Hour Emergency Line: 253-588-4423    

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Nov 07 2013

Importance of Water to the United States Economy


Importance of Water to the United States Economy

Source: American Water Works Association (AWWA) On Nov. 5, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report entitled “The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy.” The report concentrates on raising awareness of the value of water and its economic impact and may be useful to utilities as they describe the value of water services to public officials and consumers. The report’s overview states that, “Driven by…heightened competition, the economic value of water will rise, and decision-makers in both the private and the public sectors will need information that can help them maximize the benefits derived from its use.” It is meant to serve as an initial step toward: •    raising awareness of water’s importance to U.S. economic welfare and •    assembling information that is critical to sustainably managing U.S. water resources. Since the report’s release, AWWA has publicized it through its social media channels and draw attention to related content on the website of the Value of Water Coalition. Questions can be directed to Amber Wilson, AWWA Communications, at (303) 734-3455. Please take the opportunity to check out the report The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy and the Value of Water Coalition website.

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Sep 11 2013

William W. Philip Tank Dedication


William W. Philip Tank Dedication

LWD staff and family of Mr. William W. (Bill) Philip gathered on August 23 at the District’s largest water tank (8 million gallons) to dedicate it to Mr. Philip for his over 44 years of dedicated, faithful service as a Commissioner and Vice President of the Board for the past many years. The former Western State Tank at the end of Hemlock Street in Lakewood is now officially the William W. Philip Tank.  For a photo gallery, click here. Mr. Philip, retired last November, continues to actively support the District, its staff, and the community it serves.

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