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Rehabilitation of the water system keeps water flowing

By ThisIsReno

TMWAlogoTMWA NEWS — Planning and construction happens year round when it comes to your water distribution system. In 2013, Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) invested $8.5 million in water system rehabilitation projects in Reno and Sparks.

“People expect to turn on the faucet and have safe, clean water delivered to them without interruption,” said Scott Estes, director of Systems Planning and Engineering for TMWA. “We take that responsibility very seriously, investing in our aging infrastructure every year to ensure reliability to our customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he added.

Summer and fall road construction presents an ideal opportunity to inspect and replace aging water mains with newer materials, greatly reducing the likelihood that a new road surface will have to be cut again to make repairs. Many of the 2013 efforts were conjunctive road projects with the City of Reno, City of Sparks and Regional Transportation Commission, reducing both the inconvenience to the public and construction cost. Expenditures on main replacements totaled $4.0 million in 2013. Also competed last year were improvements to the Highland Canal, which is the principal intake for the Chalk Bluff Water Treatment Plant. By reconstructing portions of the canal to increase capacity, TMWA is now moving more water through the canal via gravity flow, greatly reducing reliance on power-consuming pumps. The improvements to the canal are expected to save TMWA over 3,400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, reducing TMWA’s electric bill by up to $290,000 per year.

Rehabilitation of pump stations, water tanks, wells, pressure regulator stations and other service replacements totaled another $3.0 million.

Aging pipes and facilities in the water system are continually being assessed for rehabilitation, and planning for these projects is underway for the 2014 construction season. Parts of the distribution system, including underground water mains, are now reaching their useful life of over 70 years old. There are over 1,300 miles of water mains underneath the Truckee Meadows serving more than 93,000 homes and businesses. For more information on TMWA’s 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan and a list of all of the pending projects, go to www.tmwa.com.