Every day, Secondwind Water Systems helps businesses, organizations, associations, and municipalities manage their public water systems (PWS). A critical part of our PWS operator service is our 24/7 remote monitoring system. We know how valuable remote PWS monitoring is to our clients—it can make the difference between a minor service call and a disastrous water emergency. But unfortunately, many PWS owners and managers don’t understand the value of this service until they’ve experienced a water emergency.
“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” —Warren Buffett
As American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist Warren Buffett once said, “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” With this quote in mind, we thought we’d share an example of a public water system that was not remotely monitored by Secondwind. Unfortunately, we didn’t meet this owner until after he needed help with a serious water emergency.
Low Water Pressure & Storage Tank Level
Over the weekend, occupants of a residential community experienced low water pressure at their faucets. One of the residents called Secondwind and was connected with Richard Laughton, one of Secondwind’s on-call NH-certified PWS operators. “I instructed the caller to go to the pump house and read the alarms, which indicated that both the water pressure and storage tank levels were low—indicators of a water emergency,” he explains
Rich immediately called in a well and pump company to help troubleshoot the problem. They determined that the well pump needed to be pulled to be inspected and this was scheduled for the following day so that replacement parts would be available.
“At this point, it was obvious that having enough water for the residents was going to be an issue for the rest of the day,” Rich says. “I had 15,000 gallons of water brought in to fill the storage tanks,” he adds. This water allowed the booster pumps to return to service and gave the second well a little help in keeping up with the demand of the community.
An Unpleasant Surprise: a Damaged Well System
The next day, the pump company returned to thoroughly inspect the well. Unfortunately, it was damaged beyond repair. Its 15-year-old pump needed replacing. The metal piping was pitted and had two holes in it. They were replaced with plastic well lines, which will eliminate pitting in the future.
Within 48 hours of receiving the call, Secondwind scheduled a bulk water delivery to get the PWS system running again, and all required well repairs were made. However, as a water emergency, there was some interruption in the community’s water service.
Remote PWS Monitoring Would Have Made a Big Difference
“Remote PWS monitoring would have been a big benefit to this system as it would have broadcasted an alarm that the tank was getting low—before it was an emergency,” Rich says. “It also would have been specific in the alarms and a resident would not have been needed to go into the pump house,” he adds.
Summer can be Especially Hard on Water Systems
The summer months can be hard on water systems, particularly if irrigation is used. “Be sure to pay close attention to how much water is being used to water plants and lawns, as it can really tax your PWS system,” Rich points out.
Remote PWS Monitoring at Secondwind Water Systems
Do you own or manage a public water system? Secondwind Water Systems can help you ensure the long-term safety and successful operation of your system. We create personalized programs ranging from from a simple, safe operations plan, to a comprehensive 24/7 facilities management plan, including remote PWS monitoring. Contact us today for a FREE initial site evaluation.