Our nation’s water pipes and systems that were installed in the mid-1900s have exceeded their useful life and need to be improved or replaced so that you can have a safe, reliable, clean supply of water now, and for generations to come. American Water is protecting our nation’s water infrastructure by providing scheduled, routine maintenance like flushing fire hydrants, improving and replacing water meters, and detecting leaks throughout our water systems. We also make investments in advanced technologies that provides real-time updates on our infrastructure so that all teams across the business are informed and can determine where service maintenance, improvements, upgrades, and replacements are needed.
Although scheduled maintenance in your area has the potential to temporarily interrupt service, we work to minimize the disruption to your home by coordinating with local municipalities to align our upgrades with the timing of street paving programs, and with other utilities to align with replacement and renewal projects whenever possible. We believe that you should always be in the know when it comes to scheduled maintenance, so we’ve detailed three initiatives that help us keep life flowing for you.
FLUSHING FIRE HYDRANTS
It’s important to us that water will flow from your tap when you need it. I It’s also important to us that water will flow from your local fire hydrant in the event of an emergency., The flushing process ensures that the hydrant is operating properly, that adequate water flow will be available in the event of a fire emergency, and that water is flowing through a clean distribution system that’s clear of any sediment and deposits that naturally accumulate. This also helps us detect any weaknesses in water pipes, fittings, and valves so that we can improve or replace them before a potential issue arises.
WATER METER REPLACEMENT/IMPROVEMENT
Another way we identify potential issues or breaks before they happen is through real-time water consumption data provided by newer, smarter water meters. Over time, hard water, debris, and deterioration can reduce the accuracy of analog water meters, which can lead to imprecise measurements. Since these inaccurate readings can impact your bills, we invest in improving and replacing metering systems so that you can be confident that your billing statement is accurate. Smarter meters also increase transparency by giving you insights into your water usage trends, which can help you manage your consumption. Cutting down on our collective consumption of water helps preserve water – a limited resource that we all need.
Because of how critical water is, American Water invests in many different types of advanced technology to monitor and inspect water pipes and systems so that no leaks go undetected. While large leaks that flood streets or spray water dozens of feet into the air seem like the most impactful type of leak, oftentimes, the leaks that do not readily surface and run for extended time have a greater impact on water loss. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense Program estimates that more than 1 trillion gallons of water – which has been pumped, treated and transported at an incredible expense – leak from U.S. homes each year. Another 2.6 trillion gallons of treated water is lost every year through leaky pipes before it even reaches consumers.
To preserve this resource and maintain the integrity of our systems, we have continually pursued innovative leak detection solutions because the gain is so great: meeting customer needs, conserving resources, saving energy, protecting public health, and improving the quality of life. One of American Water’s detection methods is flying drones to safely inspect tanks and other critical water infrastructure; once we determine any weaknesses or leaks in the system, we can work to make repairs and prevent any breaks or issues.
Water leaks can never be completely eliminated. However, experience has shown that combining an effective leakage management strategy with the latest innovative technology can have a major positive impact on helping water operators greatly reduce leakage in their networks. American Water uses its expertise and research capabilities to evaluate new technology and its facilities to pilot test and become early adopters. As a result, the company is benefiting from innovation, and helping to bring a valuable new technology to the rest of the water industry.
We are always working hard to keep life flowing for you, your family and businesses. To always be in the know when it comes to American Water and receive emergency and non-urgent alerts by email, phone and text, update your preferences here.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Check out WaveLengths, American Water’s podcast about all things water! This month, we discuss common things that you may not realize are clogging up your pipes. Listen here: https://amwater.com/corp/about-us/press-room/podcast.