Whitworth Water District No. 2

"Working for Better Water"

WHAT'S ON TAP?

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ISSUE 25 MAY 2013

Newsletter 2013
A Letter from the Board of Commissioners...
Hand washing

The Whitworth Water Board of Commissioners would like to recognize you, our customers, for your role in the District's Board-employee-customer partnership.  During the last ten years a small but steady growth in our customer base has occurred; however, at the same time virtually every Whitworth Water family has been hit with some type of financial hardship resulting from the country's economic situation.  In addition, numerous failing private wells in the Whitworth Water service area have resulted in many rural homeowners having no water available for their basic health and safety needs.

The District has been able to respond to these situations for several reasons.  Our Manager has been able to secure low cost State project funding that has allowed us to provide water to those in need at the lowest possible cost and in the quickest amount of time.  Careful Management budgeting and planning and Whitworth Water's extremely knowledgeable and dedicated customer service and field operation employees have made it possible for us to continue to carry out our mission of providing quality service to our rate payers at a reasonable rate and no rate increases since 2008.  You, the customer, have also helped us to keep our costs low by continuing to use your water carefully and wisely and by locating and fixing leaks on your property, actions that reduce water waste and leak losses to a minimum.  This, in turn, has allowed us to reduce our pumping (power) costs, which is one of the largest expenses for the District.

During the uncertain times that state, national and world conditions reflect we have moved forward with a feeling of accomplishment and pride in what we and our employees have been able to get done and with appreciation to our customers who, through conservation in their own lives, have helped us to continue to maintain and improve our water system and achieve our water provision goal during these times.  We extend our thanks to every one of you, employee and customer alike; we could not have done this without you!

Commissioners      Board of Commissioners
Chris Johnson, Commissioner - top, left
Dennis Brown, President - top, middle
Chan Bailey, Commissioner - top, right
Rick Koller, Secretary-Treasurer - bottom, left
Irene Anderson, Commissioner - bottom, right
 
Spokane Smart Scape Gardening
Sunflowers




Holidays Observed
New Year's Day - January 1st
Martin Luther King Day - 3rd Monday in January
President's Day - 3rd Monday in February
Memorial Day - Last Monday in May
Independence Day - July 4th
Labor Day - 1st Monday in September
Veteran's Day - November 11th
Thanksgiving - 4th Thursday and Friday in November
Christmas Eve - Half day December 24th
Christmas Day - December 25th
New Year's Eve - Half day December 31st




Under Construction




 
 
 




811




It's A Fact...

1.  Ground water is water that sinks into the upper portion of the earth's surface.

2.  It takes 39,090 gallons of water to manufacture a new car and its four tires.

3.  Each year nearly 10,000 cubic miles of water flows along the world's rivers to the oceans.

4.  U.S. public water suppliers process nearly 34 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use.

5.  Americans drink more that 1 billion gallons of water per day.

6.  The major source of pollution of drinking water in towns and cities is rainwater that flows into street catch basins (storm water runoff). While the rainwater alone is not necessarily harmful, it frequently carries untreated waste products from the street and yards directly to rivers, lakes and streams-our drinking water sources.

7.  If you reduce your time in the shower by 5 minutes, you save 25 gallons of water a day (9,125 gallons a year).

8.  The ozone hole is at its smallest since 2004 due to reduced chlorofluorocarbon usage. It is predicted to disappear altogether by 2050.

9.  Every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of plastic trash.

10.  Rainwater does not contain any salt; however, when it falls on the ground salt from the soil dissolves in the water as it flows back to the ocean.  When this evaporates from the ocean, the salt stays behind. This is a process that has been going on for more than billion years and the salt has increased in the ocean with each cycle.




Rippling Water Drops



General Statistics - 2012
New Meters Installed 66
Hydrants Repaired/Replaced 41
Meters Repaired/Replaced 1,235
Service Location Requests 1,875
Number of Services 9,363
Booster Stations 12
Wells 15
Reservoirs (14,035,000 gal) 12
Mains Installed (Total) 270 miles
Water Pumped (in gallons) 2,905,809,000
Unaccounted for Water 1.37%





H2O





Water Samples - 2012
Types of Samples No. Taken Cost
Bacteriologic 480 $9,600
Volatile Organic 2 $320
Chemical 2 $600
Nitrates 12 $240
Gross Alpha 2 $570
Lead and Copper 30 $1,260




GIS
Geographic Information Systems - GIS
Whitworth Water District has implemented a geographic information system, also known to many people as GIS. Whitworth Water District is using the GIS as an effective way to locate water lines, valves, meters, and hydrants. This information allows us to quickly and efficiently navigate to most locations of these system components day or night, regardless of weather conditions, to within six inches of the object. GIS also prevents us from having to unnecessarily spend time excavating land in order to locate broken lines, valves, meters, or hydrants.
When an object is entered into the GIS, the information obtained about the object such as size, manufacturer, and location is noted and made available to us upon demand. This enables the District to quickly find an underground water system part.
In addition, the data obtained from the GPS is providing the basis for adjusting our original water engineering drawings to more accurately lay over the Spokane County road and high resolution aerial photos.
Have you ever thought about wanting to convert portions of your lawn areas to a water-saving alternative?  Have you also wondered where you might find easy to understand, useful information on selecting water-conserving plants and ideas for creating a small (starter) xeriscaped area?  If so, www.spokanesmartscape.com is a website you will want to visit.  Spokane Smart Scape is a program designed for moving from lawn to drought-friendly plants and grass that not only look good but will reduce landscape watering (and save you money) and are easy to maintain in the process.  This site considers local Spokane conditions (climate, native plants) for designing and planting an outdoor Spokane area garden.  Spokane Smart Scape covers four main topics as follows:

How to Smartscape - planning areas and process
Landscape Designs - five different plans to get you started on your project
Irrigation - lawn vs. plants, type of grass, watering duration, mulching, irrigation systems
Native Plants - trees, ground covers, shrubs

What I like about this site - great ideas, sensible landscape designs, easy to read and follow instructions and recognizable plants.


Whitworth Water District #2 Projects
Projects Scheduled - 2013
Zone 3 Replace 2020' of 12" main east side of Hwy 2 to south at request of Washington Department of Transportation (carry over project from 2012). $100,000
Zone 8 Installation of 2430' of 10" and 16" main and 3 hydrants in vicinity of Silver Pines and Hatch Rd area to tie two dead end lines together and improve system flow. $275,000
Zone 8 Install 14,000' of 16" main from Perry and Chattaroy to Cottonwood Rd, 15 hydrants, and a connection to a public water system experiencing well problems at request of the State Department of Health.  Project will also include crossing a creek and railroad tracks and the construction of a booster station (Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan and grant funding). $2,987,000
Zone 8 Install 11,600' of 16" main and hydrants, Yale and Chattaroy Rd area to provide water to a contaminated community system at the request of the State Department of Health (Public Works Trust Fund loan project if approved by State Legislature). $2,079,800
Zone 9 Install 13,500' of 12" and 16" main, 10 hydrants and system connections in the vicinity of Green Bluff Rd and Highway 2 in order to close two dead end lines and improve flow. $750,000
Zone 9 Install 24,500' of 8", 12" and 16" main in Bernhill from Colbert to Woolard Rd, hydrants, service lines and a booster station to provide water to a community water system experiencing water quality and quantity problems (Public Works Trust Fund loan project if approved by the State Legislature). $2,113,900
 
Projects Completed - 2012
Zone 1 Landscaped expanded property at Well 1A and installed sprinkler system; reconstructed and improved access to site off Wall St. $22,160
Zone 2,3 Installed 2-3 intertie meter and controls. $5,100
Zone 3 Replaced 2,472' of 8" and 12" main, Five Mile to Mill Rd in conjunction with Spokane County Waikiki Rd project. $88,820
Zone 3 Installed 300' of 16" main at Mill Rd and Dartford Bridge in conjunction with the Spokane County Bridge project. $59,953
Zone 8 Installed 7,305' of 8", 12" and 16" main, 5 hydrants, valves and services, Saddle Mountain-Burk Rd area. $325,486
Zone 8 Installed 5,000' of 12" main, 3 hydrants and services in Chattaroy and North Rd area to complete system loop. $294,829
Zone 9 Installed 13,430' of 8", 12" and 16" main, 31 hydrants, valves and services in Big Meadows, Dunn and Woolard Rd area.  Constructed booster station on Dunn Rd (Public Works Trust Fund Loan Project). $3,127,933
Zone 9 Upgraded Lane Park Booster electrical and some building changes.  Installed new generator. $150,850
Zone 9 Installed new communication repeater antenna, Reservoir 9. $59,958
All Zones Added remote access capability to the District SCADA System. $6,500
On-Going District Wide Projects

*   GPS field locate all in-ground facilities in order to identify their exact location, especially in emergency or night time response situations. (5 year program)

*   Replace 500, ten year meter radio batteries with a 20 year battery, (on-going).  

Your Money At Work
WATER QUALITY REPORT - 2012
SOURCE TYPE - Wells, Spokane-Rathdrum Aquifer
WATER HARDNESS:   176 ppm
MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water.
MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Level Goal - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MCLG's allow for a margin of safety.
TT = Treatment Technique - A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
IOC = Inorganic Chemicals mg/L = Milligrams per liter - 1 ppm pCi/L = Picocuries per liter
VOC = Volatile Organic Chemicals ug/L = Micrograms per liter - 1 ppb ND = Not detected above quantifiable limits
< = Less than AL = Action Level  

Source Water Testing
Contaminant Most
Stringent
Standard
(MCL)
MCLG Highest
 Amount
 Detected
Complies
 With
 Standard
Possible Source
Nitrate - IOC 10.0 mg/L 10 3.22 Yes Runoff from fertilizer use/ septic tank leaching
 sewage; erosion of natural deposits.
Arsenic - IOC 10 ug/L 0 3.24 Yes Erosion of natural deposits, runoff from orchards,
glass and electronic production wastes.
Radium 228 5 pCi/L 0 .53 Yes Erosion of natural deposits
Gross Alpha 15 pCi/L 0 3.03 Yes Erosion of natural deposits
VOC 5 ug/L 0 .59 Yes Dry cleaning solvent and metal degreaser

Distribution System Testing
Contaminant Units MCLG MCL 9th Percentile High No. of Sites
Exceeding AL
Possible Source
Lead (Tested 30
 at risk homes in 2012)
ug/L 0 AL = 15 1 1.24 01 Lead based products used in service lines and home plumbing during World War II and 1988.
The above information is provided to notify you of the results of our water quality monitoring in 2012.  More than 82 compounds were tested for in 2012 in every case except those listed above, there were no levels detected.  Where a level was detected, the compound was well below federal regulations established by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The sources of drinking water for both tap and bottled water include wells and surface water sources (springs, lakes, ponds, rivers).  As water moves through the ground or over land surfaces, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from animal or human activity.  Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.  The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk.  More information about contaminants and health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA safe Drinking Water hotline (800-426-47910).
Compounds that may be present in water include the following:

     Organic - Synthetic and volatile compounds that are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production; can also come from gas station and urban storm runoff, and septic systems.

     Inorganic - Salts and metals that are either naturally occurring or result from urban storm runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharge, oil and gas production, mining and farming.

     Pesticides/Herbicides - From agricultural and storm water runoff and domestic uses.

     Biological - Viruses and bacteria occurring from sewage treatments plants, septic systems, feedlots and backflow in a public system.

     Radioactive - Naturally occurring; also result of gas and oil production and mining activities.

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.  Immuno compromised people such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly and infants can be particularly at risk from infections.  These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.  EPA/CDC guidelines are appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800) 426-4791.  You may also contact our Water Quality Specialist at 466-7511 for more information on Whitworth Water District's water.
System Leakage
Whitworth Water is required to calculate its distribution system leakage annually based on a State Department of Health directive. Their water use efficiency standard establishes a 10% or less distribution system loss based on a 3-year rolling average for the previous three years. The System Leakage graph details our system leakage results for the past 12 years, all of which have been below the requisite 10%.
Leaking Pipe
 
Connections and Gallons Pumped The table to the left shows the total amount of water pumped annually by Whitworth Water and the actual number of connections for the same year.  Even though the number of connections have increased, the water pumped has generally decreased or remained stable because of your careful watering practices.  Our thanks to you.
 
Wow, you did it again!  You reduced water use in 2012 over the District's high usage year by 10%.  Since 1998, our highest average usage per connection was 3893 cubic feet in 2006 and in 2012 the average per connection usage dropped to 3373 cubic feet per month.  The Target goal is 3752 cubic feet per connection.  You have once again helped the District achieve its State required water reduction goal. 
Dripping Faucet
Average Monthly Use 
 

Aquifer Protection/Wellhead Protection
Whitworth Water takes its responsibility to protect our drinking water source, the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum (SVRP) Aquifer, seriously.  Along with other stakeholders, the District participates in an ongoing Wellhead Protection Program, the Spokane County Watershed Planning Unit for WRIA's 55 and 57 and numerous Spokane Aquifer Joint Board and Spokane County educational programs and processes that are directed at protecting our drinking water wells, water resource conservation and the prevention and elimination of contamination of the SVRP Aquifer itself.  The participants work together with personal care and concern to prevent and solve local and regional groundwater problems.  Whitworth Water District and all other water systems do all they can to ensure they provide a safe and clean supply of water so there is enough water available to supply our customers every day.

When it comes to groundwater, however, no one is in a better position to protect it than the people who drink it and who need it for business uses.  You can't wait for someone to come in and take care of your water source; you have to do it yourself.  There is no ground-water fairy godmother sitting idly by to deal with source water availability or contamination issues.  People generally do not get concerned about groundwater unless there is a problem in their back yards.  However, it is up to you...the homeowner, business owner, governmental official, user and drinker of the water...that has the incentive and power to not only prevent the problem from occurring to begin with but to individually promote groundwater protection in your area in order to keep our water clean and pure for all necessary uses, to use it efficiently and to effect changes quickly if it is not.  You can be the leader and advocate of changing behavior and practices so that the everyday policy of your friends and neighbors becomes one of groundwater education, protection and action.  It is as easy as saying to those affecting your water irresponsibly, "Excuse me Sir, that's my aquifer".
   
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