Distribution System

Distribution System

Water distribution systems are large networks of pipes, pumps, valves, storage tanks, reservoirs, meters, fittings, and other hydraulic appurtenances carry source water from wells and intakes to the consumers’ taps, and to fire protection systems. Spanning almost 1 million miles in the United States, distribution systems represent the vast majority of physical infrastructure for water supplies, and thus constitute the primary management challenge from both an operational and public health standpoint. Protecting and maintaining water distributions systems is crucial to ensuring high quality drinking water.

Our Water Distribution Network

  • Approximately 15 miles of ductile iron and plastic pipe
  • 1) 375 GPM Filtration Plant
  • 2) 350,000 Gallon Reservoirs
  • 2) Chlorine Injection Stations
  • 1) Lab/Operations Station
  • 7) Pressure Reducing Stations
  • 2) Transfer Pump Station
  • 8) Wellheads, Pumps, and related buildings
  • 200+) Isolation Valves
  • 1200+) Service Connections
  • 1300+) Shut Off Valves
  • 82) Fire Hydrants
  • 3) Standby Backup Generators

These assets make up the vital components of our distribution system. Our team work rigorously to clean and maintain these water system components to provide uninterrupted quality potable water and fire protection to our community. Should disaster strike, our team stands ready day and night to respond and make the necessary repairs or system adjustments to keep our community safe and with minimal water service interruption. Our distribution system serves the Sugarloaf resort community on average, a modest 142,000 gallons per day in the winter and 56,000 gallons per day in the summer; but because of the rugged vertical and often harsh environment of this mountainside community, our distribution system is arguably one of the most complex and difficult water systems of its size. A common water system of this size may have a single pressure zone with relatively low static system pressures, where Sugarloaf’s mountainside water system requires many pressure zones, all having high pressure areas. The entire water system security and operations is supported by a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system and surveillance cameras running over our private high speed DSL network.

Technology has always been embraced by the Sugarloaf Water Association as an effective approach to ensuring water quality, enhancing security, and facilitate minimal response time to critical water systems, and team members; averting potential disasters that will always be a threat to such a remote and complex water system.

Water Main Flushing Program

Water main flushing is an important part of our distribution system’s maintenance. It is also an effective way to remove impurities to ensure quality potable water. Most water mains are kept fairly clear by the continuous flow of water through them. However, sediment, rust, and other impurities may accumulate in dead-end mains, or low points. If left unattended for long periods of time, these contaminates could negatively impact water flow and quality. Careful observation of system hydraulics and infrastructure during flushing can also indicate the presence of obstructions, closed or partially closed valves, improper operation of pressure reducing valves, pumps, hydrants, and other conditions and system components needing attention. Water main flushing is conducted two times annually at a minimum, in May and October.

Other Operations and Maintenance

As with all critical systems, routine inspections and preventative maintenance is imperative to a dependable system. The maintenance of a water distribution system requires a diverse range of tasks:

  • Cleaning and exercising all system valves
  • Pump maintenance
  • Water quality testing
  • Reading flow and service meters
  • Vehicle and equipment maintenance
  • Building maintenance
  • Property maintenance
  • Cross connection and back flow control
  • Maintain system maps
  • Snow removal
  • Main extensions
  • New services connections
  • Inspections
  • Recordkeeping
  • Maintain and upgrade information systems