What is Water Pressure?

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Have you ever wondered about water pressure? How does SSWD generate and maintain it, and why is it stronger or weaker at certain times of the day?

SSWD strives to maintain pressures between 40 and 60 pounds per square inch throughout the water system, although some customers may experience pressures above or slightly below this range based on their location within the service area.  

When SSWD is delivering groundwater, system pressure is primarily generated and maintained by our many groundwater well pumps, which are responsible for bringing water up from underground aquifers to the surface and distributing it to your home or business. Some of these pumps feature variable frequency drive (VFD) units that allow them to speed up or slow down so that we can maintain a more consistent pressure throughout the system at all times of the day. 

SSWD also has an active conjunctive use program, which means we also utilize surface water sources, when available, to help ensure groundwater is available for future generations. When SSWD receives surface water in the South Service Area, water pressure from the source is boosted and maintained by a series of pumps at a booster pump station. When SSWD receives surface water in the North Service Area, water pressure is created by gravity since the source is at a higher elevation. The pressure is then maintained by a series of valves at pressure reduction stations. 

You might notice slight variations in pressure in the early morning or evening hours as people start or end their days. This can also occur during a heat wave, when outdoor watering increases and customers use more water to cool down. When these demand peaks occur, additional pumps are automatically started to meet the demand, and the VFD pumps modulate their flow to maintain system pressure within the desired pressure range. These fluctuations in pressure are generally fairly minor and will in most cases not be noticeable.

Fall Speaker's Series Pressure 101: The Highs and Lows of Pressure at Your Home or Business PowerPoint Presentation is available to view.

Fall Speaker's Series Pressure 101: Photo Album is available to view on the second page of the Community Event Photo Albums.