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Water Leaks: From Report to Repair
Maintenance of over 1,400 miles of underground water pipes can be quite a challenge, and aging infrastructure for this now 90-year old water district is a big part of that challenge.
When a water leak or break occurs, the sooner we know about it the better. EID encourages our customers, or anyone in the county who may see a water leak, to report it to us as soon as possible. With over 220 square miles of service area to cover it’s good to have the citizens’ help.
So, what happens when you report a leak? What is the process and how long will it take to repair?
When a concerned citizen calls in or makes a leak report on our website, EID staff dispatchers first determine if the leak is in our service area. If it is, then dispatch notifies a water distribution operator who schedules a site visit. Very large breaks that create, or have the potential to create, large outages are treated as emergencies and crews are sent to the site immediately.
Once the operator evaluates the leak and determines that the repair is EID’s responsibility, the excavation area is marked with white paint. EID staff then calls USA North to initiate an underground service alert (USA). The USA is required by law to be completed before excavation so that other underground utilities like cable, gas, or power lines can be marked and safe excavation can begin. The USA process allows utilities two working days to respond and mark their utilities in the marked area of proposed excavation.
The distribution operator also reports their findings to dispatch where work orders are generated then forwarded to the construction supervisor who prioritizes the work. Prioritization is very important, because we have such a vast and complex service area and limited construction staff. Routine leak repairs are normally completed within two weeks.
To report leaks you can call 530-642-4000 or visit our website at www.eid.org/ReportWaterLeak.
The article was featured in the January / February 2016 issue of The Waterfront.