Texas utility installs flushing system so workers can spend more time addressing water loss issues
Thirty minutes north of Beaumont is a small community in south Jasper County, Texas, named Buna. It is home to about 2,200 residents who spend their days working mostly in the logging and farming industries. Numerous oil fields, first discovered in 1948, lie to the west and north of Buna; they further augment the local economy.
Managed by the private, non-profit South Jasper County Water Supply, Buna’s water system contains 91 miles of un-looped distribution pipe with historical water losses of up to 30%. A small operations team is responsible for monitoring two water plants, reading 700 meters, repairing leaks and flushing water to control the water quality. In an effort to spend less time manually flushing hydrants and focus more time on repairing leaks to reduce non-revenue water loss, South Jasper County Water Supply purchased and installed two Hydro-Guard HG-1 Basic/S flushing systems.
The Hydro-Guard HG-1 Basic/S flushing system provides economical programmable, automatic flushing capabilities with either a 1- or 2-in. controlled-flow diaphragm valve, making this device suitable for virtually any line size application in warm climates. (A cold climate model is also available.) The HG-1 Basic/S standard model has a removable multi-event handheld programmer that can be programmed to flush a water line multiple times a day, up to seven days a week, with flush durations from 1 minute to 4 hours. The Hydro-Guard HG-1 Basic/S unit features oversized vents for energy dissipation to minimize erosion during discharge.
Since installation, South Jasper County Water Supply has seen a dramatic improvement in water quality. In addition, the Hydro-Guard HG-1 Basic/S units have reduced water consumption by 5%, lowered energy costs and saved thousands of dollars by allowing the utility to use less chlorine at its water plants. Rather than spending valuable man-hours manually flushing the system during the day, it has programmed the units to flush between 2 A.M. and 3 A.M., while residents are sleeping. While the units did not fix the water loss problem, they freed up time being spent flushing hydrants.
“Mueller builds an excellent product,” said Working Supervisor Steve Harding. “With all that’s on our plate, we have used the HG-1 to knock water quality off our daily checklist so we can focus on finding and fixing leaks. Before installing the Hydro-Guard units, Buna had water losses of 30%; we are now at 3% to 8%. Since the Hydro-Guard units allow us to precisely control the amount of flushed water, we dramatically reduced our chlorine usage. Instead of using three chlorine cylinders every month at $400 per cylinder, we now use three every seven to eight months. This means we are saving around $8,000 a year using two Hydro-Guard HG-1 units.”