A bimonthly column written from SSWD General Manager Dan York on important issues and updates regarding various District matters.
Let me begin by sending warm new year’s wishes that 2019 is a year filled with promise, prosperity and many happy moments. Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD) will be there for you every day and every hour providing high-quality water, a reliable supply of water and superior customer service.
Much has been happening during the past month to prepare the District for the new year. In December, the Board of Directors approved a $49.8 million budget for 2019. Approval came after a six-month analysis by the Finance Department and the Finance and Audit Committee of past costs and revenues, plus reviews by each department on their future financial needs. You can see a complete breakdown of the 2019 budget online.
The budget includes $18.2 million for capital improvement projects. These are projects we undertake to maintain and improve the pipes, pumps and wells that keep water flowing to our customers. Three of the largest capital improvement projects this year are:
One of our most important activities is upgrading our extensive system of water mains. Water mains are the pipes that deliver water from our pumping stations to the service line pipe that connects to your home or business. SSWD has close to 700 miles of water mains, the oldest of which have been in service for more than 60 years. Over the past 15 years, we have made the replacement of water mains a priority and as a result the number of needed repairs has declined year after year.
This year, the following are planned:
- Replacement of 4.3 miles of distribution main lines.
- As part of the Jonas Main Replacement Project we will construct 23, 500 feet of a new distribution main. This consists of installing new water mains in the street and abandoning the water mains located in the backyards. This project area is located north of Hurley Way in the South Service Area.
- Complete the final paving around the Edison Main Replacement Project, which is east of Watt Avenue and north of Whitney Avenue in the South Service Area.
- Begin planning for the Thor Main Replacement Project, which is slated to start construction in 2020.
Another major focus is the installation of water meters to meet the state’s deadline for transitioning all customers to a metered rate by 2025. Water meters allow you to see exactly how much water you are using each month and more easily know if you might have a leak. Studies have shown that metering can reduce overall water use by 15 to 20 percent.
We plan to install almost 1,300 new meters this year, which will raise the percentage of metered accounts to 93 percent by the end of 2019. We anticipate to be finished metering all accounts by the end of 2022, well in advance of the state deadline of 2025.
SSWD depends on groundwater for much of the water we provide, and 50 percent of our wells are now over 50 years old. As a well ages it can become less efficient. In addition, the well casing (the pipe that runs down the inside of a well) is at greater risk of failure as it ages.
By installing new wells, we are able to also install more efficient pumps and motors, lowering our energy use and overall operating cost. This year we plan on renovating two wells to increase their capacity, modifying an additional three wells to increase efficiency.
The Board, staff and I are focused every day on the stewardship of SSWD and our community’s water system. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and to deliver a high-quality, reliable supply of water and superior customer service at the most responsible water rate.
If you have any questions about the budget or capital improvement projects planned for 2019, please contact the District office at 916.972.7171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see past General Manager's Corner articles see below: