FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Who do I call if I see a leak or have questions about my water?
A. Please call Nate @ 801-458-0175
Q. Who do I call if I have a question about my water bill?
A. Please call the office phone, 801-876-2510.
Q. What is the current condition of the distribution system?
A. HWC's distribution system has never been better! Seriously! We have a new well with a SCADA system that alerts us whenever the tank levels drop below a set point and automatically turns the pump on. We have chlorinated our water for many years, but within the past couple of years we upgraded to an automatic switchover system. We continue to replace aging pipes and fittings. Where some of our tanks had minor leaks, those have been repaired. Fences have been installed around our springs. Read under the heading of News and Alerts to learn of additional improvements that are in the process of being added. We have four storage tanks with a capacity of almost 1.2 million gallons of water, so our fire storage is more than adequate. While not a part of the "distribution system", within the past year we have conducted a corrosion control study - you can read about that under the "REPORTS" heading. Our last two copper/lead samplings have been under the action level and we are allowed reduced monitoring. We have and have always had enough source capacity for our customers, albeit there have been some years where we have had restrictions on watering for short periods of time in the heat of the summer. We have also reached a settlement on a lawsuit that gives us added capacity from the well, so our source capacity is even better!
Q. Would it be possible to talk to the discoloration of water we sometimes see?
A. According to the USGS.gov website, even pure water is not really colorless, but has a slight blue/green tint to it. "Sediment and organics color natural water shades of brown or green." "Color in drinking water can be caused by dissolved and suspended materials." The depth of the water, the color of the walls or towels in the room can all make a difference. There are many other contributing factors - even your water heater could be one. From a water company stand point, we also look at the chemistry of the water to see what effect that may have. If the water we deliver is slightly corrosive, it can react with your plumbing. This may or may not affect the color of the water, but it can affect the safety of the water if it leaches too much copper or other metals from your plumbing. As a water company, we monitor and control the chemistry of the water. On your part, you may choose to change your plumbing and fixtures to have less copper in your household. We continually test the water to make sure it is safe from a bacteriological stand point. If you have a question about the color of your water, please call the water company.
Q. What is HWC's source capacity
A. The numbers for our source capacity have been reported all over the place in the past few years. So let me give a few facts. The Highlands Well has been certified at 1440 gallons per minute, safe yield We have begun a process of recertifying our springs and they are currently set at 265 gallons per minute. So our current source capacity is 1705 gallons per minute. Our current infrastructure allows us to access 500 gallons per minute. The new pipeline that is about to be added to the system along with a larger pump at the well will increase that number to 765 gpm. If/when additional source is needed, the developer requiring the additional source will put in the infrastructure to make that available.
Q. It seems that in late summer we are low on water and limit outdoor use, yet we are adding users.
A. We have had restrictions in several recent years, but not every year, even though it may seem that way. The only additional customers we have added since 2007 have been lots that were in approved subdivisions and were already calculated into our inventory.
Q. Any hope for a non-culinary/secondary water system?
A. Many years ago, the state declared that because of the type of soil in our area, they would not approve a secondary system. They want to discourage overwatering by not allowing unmetered watering.
Q. What is the new pump on Robinson Lane for?
A. That is a booster pump to pump water from the well up to the storage tanks so that it can be utilized throughout the entire system.
Q. Will adding the well increase the hardness of our water?
A. Yes. The well water is has a different chemistry than the springs. It is much 'harder' water, but we think it still tastes good.
Q. Will our water bills start going up because of the studies currently being done or new construction/homes going in?
A. Water is expensive, but in comparison to many other companies, ours is very reasonable, even compared to many that have secondary water. We try our best to keep our rates as low as possible, but added requirements and regulations do add to the cost of doing business. For example, in the past we spent about $1000 per year to pay for water samples. The last couple of years, with added sampling, it is well over $10,000 per year.
Something that many do not realize is that additional homes can actually help keep rates lower. This is because developers have to pay for the added infrastructure to bring their developments into the system. Often that means a better system and added value to the current customers. It can also help spread the costs of running the company between more people.
The prices for parts and labor have increased dramatically during the past few years, regulations have increased and it has been over 12 years since we had a rate increase. For these reasons, we are starting the process of requesting a rate increase.