Jun 10, 2011

Water Company Receives $6 Million Contract to Renew Aging Infrastructure

Wachs Water Services will overhaul thousands of water main valves in Kansas City, Mo., distribution system

Wachs Water Services executives announced a service contract worth up to $6 million over a renewable multi-year period awarded by the Water Services Department of Kansas City, Mo., to perform asset location, operational condition assessment and GPS location mapping services of more than 35,000 water main valves in the city’s water distribution system.

Valves are installed in water mains to control the flow of water. However with a high percentage of water mains reaching the end of their useful life in many urban areas, the operability of valves has become one of the most critical concerns for utilities dealing with sustainability, main breaks, repair and replacement activities.

Working closely with the Kansas City Water Department (KCMO), Wachs will be primarily focused on improving the reliability of the small and large valves in the water network and creating an accurate information knowledge base for each asset that is accessible to all water utility stakeholders, including engineering, operations and field personnel.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are about 240,000 water main breaks in the United States each year. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that water main breaks waste more than 1.7 trillion gal of water at a cost of about $2.6 billion annually. An additional challenge facing utilities today is the operability of aging water main valves to help control and minimize the consequences of these main breaks.

As water distribution infrastructure continues to age, the fastest route to sustainability is accomplished through addressing the operability of valve control points and renewing information assets. With this restored level of control, utilities can prioritize and address the remainder of the system such as water mains. Pipeline valves and information assets can be improved in the short term and renewed at a fraction of the cost of long-term water main replacement projects.