As part of the system up-grades the line sizes would be increased. The increased pipe volume would provide additional water flow. It should be noted that the water pressure would not be increased, only the flow, or volume of water.
By increasing the flow to the water system, we would be able to provide additional flow to many of our existing fire hydrants.
As we up-grade our existing water lines we expose the existing pipes and laterals. Often times we find waterlines and laterals which have actually eroded entirely through the pipe with one-inch diameter holes are not uncommon. We have seen in several locations where the pot-rock is actually holding the pipe together. By upgrading our system we will be able to eliminate many of our existing leaks. By installing meters at key locations we will be able to better monitor the system for water leaks and account for the water within our system.
When the water system is under pressure and supplying water, water will leak out of the pipe and into the soil. However, when the system is being shut-down for repairs there is a potential for the existing leaks to draw groundwater back into the system with potential contamination concerns.
In decades past, we didn’t have the technology to excavate into the hard pot-rock, therefore, the old City standards were to install the waterlines with five-feet of soil over the pipelines, or until pot-rock was encountered. The current excavation technology allows the pot-rock to be excavated and the waterlines installed with five-feet of cover. Installing the waterlines with five-feet of cover will greatly reduce the chance of the City water mains from freezing. However, the City water improvements stop at the residential water meter. If the water lateral between the water meter and the home is installed at a shallow depth the lateral will still be prone to freezing.
The waterlines will generally be installed within the existing asphalt. To allow the asphalt to be installed with the use of an asphalt lay-down machine, it is anticipated that the asphalt trench width will be eight-feet wide. As part of the water system up-grades we evaluate the existing roadway condition and determine if the general fund will allow for the entire roadway to be repaved.
The current Utah State Division of Drinking Water minimum pipe diameter is eight-inch. Our current water system has several waterlines with a diameter smaller than eight-inch. Each of the water system up-grades would install a minimum pipe diameter of eight-inch.
A large portion of the public works department is spent repairing leaks within the current water system. By up-grading the water system, the amount of time the public works employees spend repairing the water system would be greatly reduced.
Each time a water leak is repaired a segment of the water system must be shut-down. By up-grading the water system the amount of shut-down would be reduced providing for a more reliable water system.