By Chris Lewis | Mar. 25, 2021
Water main breaks in CBS will hopefully be less frequent in the future.
The town saw a series of major ruptures last year.
Mayor Terry French said the resulting pressure fluctuations caused some residents to experience high levels of pressure in their water systems at home.
The Town hired engineering consultants CBCL, which has experience in municipal water systems, to examine the problem.
“We wanted them to inspect it from top to bottom, not just the issues like the pressure issues, but get them to tell us if what we were doing from a maintenance perspective was appropriate,” French said.
The Town learned its water pressure is generally going to be higher than other areas because of its linear layout. Higher pressures were needed to ensure water was passing through the entirety of the system, whereas a more circular system would not need as much force. To help remedy the issue, the Town hopes to replace five of its seven operational pressure relief valves (PRV) this spring. French said there was money budgeted to replace one of the valves last year but it could not go ahead due to complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Testing by CBCL found two valves have been causing a fluctuation in pressure, ranging from -15 to 37 PSI.
“There was a fluctuation in pressure because of that, depending on where you live, so we asked this company to determine the cause of the issue,” French said. “Your own pressure reduction valve outside your home should protect against the pressure variation we saw in the system, so now what’s come out of this testing is that they’ve given us recommendations on maintenance and so on.”
French said the recommendations will be included in the Town’s maintenance procedures, leak detection programs and updated water design guidelines. Staff regularly inspect the seven PRVs, as well as a third party that comes in once a year, he added.
The mayor said water main breaks are inevitable, but replacing the five valves should help.