The Underground Utilities division maintain and repair the City’s utility systems. This includes water, sewer and reclaimed water mains throughout the City service area, which encompass over 640 miles of piping in sizes up to 3 feet in diameter. Personnel also maintain and replace the 23,000+ water meters used to monitor consumption for billing purposes. Occasionally, after a water main repair, a precautionary boil water notice is issued by the City. This is usually the result of inadvertent damage done to a buried pipe by excavation.
Underground Utilities personnel also inspect and maintain the gravity sewer system on a regular basis. These wastewater pipes carry water from homes to a wastewater lift station in the area, where it will be pumped to a larger station and ultimately to the City AWT plant for treatment. Some of the gravity mains are installed up to 20 feet deep underground. The wastewater system is not designed or permitted to carry stormwater runoff. Periodically, “smoke testing” of the gravity sewer system will be conducted to check for cracks, broken pipes and illegal connections to the system. Inspecting and maintaining is important to prevent stormwater inflow from overloading the wastewater treatment plant and to keep operational costs down. Those additional costs could impact the payment rates of the City’s utility customers.