At one of the largest municipal water treatment departments in the United States, 1,400 employees work hard to keep clean water flowing through the taps of households and businesses over a 1,079-square mile service area in the Midwest. That includes a major city and 127 suburban communities. Wastewater service covers an area almost as large: 946 square miles, including the city and 76 neighboring communities.
The department’s system draws fresh water from a large lake to the north and a river to the south. Its network consists of 3,438 miles of transmission and distribution mains within the city, plus 402 miles of transmission mains to its remaining service areas. Its five water treatment plants deliver an average of 1.2 billion gallons of clean drinking water each day. Its sewage capacity is 800 million gallons a day.
Like other municipal water and sewer departments across the country, this department must deal with an aging infrastructure that shows itself in expensive and disruptive broken water mains and undetected leaks that can cost tens of millions a year in lost revenue. Some of the city’s water mains are more than 100 years old.
Learn how the department reduced annual maintenance costs by $265,000, while forecasting an ultimate savings of up to $3 million in yearly non-revenue water losses.