The Water Division is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the City’s drinking water production and distribution system. The Water Division maintains the water system at all times by having off-duty Water personnel who volunteer to respond to water system emergencies at any time, 24/7/365.
The production system consists of 17 active well sites. Each site can produce over 1,500 gallons per minute. The system regularly pumps 35 million gallons per summer day, and easily produces the 8 billion gallons needed to supply the 83,000 citizens of Merced.
The distribution system is well over 500 miles long, and includes over 25,000 service connections, nearly 3,000 fire hydrants, approximately 25,000 water meters, 7,000 main line valves, and over 2,500 backflow devices.
To ensure water quality and adequate supply, a complete SCADA system is used to monitor system parameters, such as pressure and motor run times. SCADA is in direct contact with Water Operators and lead staff 24 hours a day, sending out data in real-time.
Water Conservation is promoted and carried out through the Water Conservation Specialist (WCS). The WCS is the public outreach arm of the division, educating water customers at special events, in the classroom, in print, and on air to educate the community on how and why we conserve water. The WCS also serves to help the community follow the ordinance as it relates to water use and waste.
Provide the City of Merced with a continuous supply of clean and safe drinking water, while promoting the conservation of water and energy.
Monitor the drinking water system through a comprehensive sampling, testing, and reporting program to meet Federal, State, and Local regulatory requirements for contaminant levels and disinfection byproduct requirements.
Complete full conversion to cloud based meter reading.
Replace approximately 25 low-flow, dry-barrel fire hydrants with high-flow, wet-barrel hydrants.
Improve the City’s cross-connection control program. Utilize a new position called Cross Connection Control Specialist to act as program administrator.
Explore the feasibility of implementing new procedures and technologies to enhance the efficiency and productivity of the division, while providing the highest level of customer service and water system security.
Promote and enforce State mandated water conservation measures through projects, public education, notifications, and water metering advantages.
Collaborate with members of the Merced Area Groundwater Pool Interests (MAGPI) and Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP) to prepare and facilitate compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
2016/2017 Budget Highlights
CLOUD based reading and customer interface: Transition the water meter reading system from drive-by reading to a CLOUD based system. This allows customers to view and monitor their usage for leaks and over-consumption. Meter reading and reports are browser based. Finance will access reads on their own schedule.
Well Sites: Develop Well 20 at Gerard & Mission and Well 21 at Bellevue and G. Designate locations for Well Sites 22 and 23. Bring Well 3 on-line as the city’s first filtered source.
Water Supply Assurance: Monitor and plan for extreme drought conditions by actively participating in all basin programs. Participate in Integrated Regional Water Management and Sustainable Groundwater Management Work planning. Work with MID to move some parks over from groundwater to surface water irrigation.
Conservation: Continue with the proven success of the 24/7 conservation phone line @ 388-SAVE, various public outreach activities, and supporting recycled/reuse programs. Prepare to adjust rates to reflect a focus on conservation.