During the summer of 2014, the Mammoth Community Water District (District) upgraded to new meters that wirelessly transmit data using remote collectors. This advanced technology allows the District to see hourly usage of all water meters on the distribution system. Utilizing software developed by WaterSmart, a data analytics company, the District is able to run a report that details leaks and alert customers accordingly.
“We are thrilled to have the ability to help our customers protect their property and save an exorbitant amount of water,” said Irene Yamashita, Principal Analyst. “It has been a learning experience to determine what size leaks should be flagged, what patterns are associated with various sources of leaks and how to best introduce the information to the customers.”
Typically, the District calls two to five customers or property managers a day with leaks ranging from 15 to 1,500 gallons per hour. “About 80 percent of leaks we call on are caused by toilets. Customers are usually surprised to learn that leaking toilets can waste 600+ gallons per hour (over 14,000 gallons per day), ” described Betty Hylton, Administrative Analyst. “In winter, we find a number of leaks caused by shedding snow that turns on or breaks hose bibs and frozen pipes that break. Despite the cause of the leak, customers are generally very grateful that we have this capability and take the time to notify them.”
The District recommends that customers (or property managers) look and listen for the leak first. If unable to identify where the water is leaking, then call a plumber. The District has offered two Leak Detection courses for plumbers and property managers to learn the most efficient process for leak detection and maintains a supply of coloring dye tabs to check for toilet leaks.
The Mammoth Lakes community is limited to local surface and groundwater resources in our basin. The leak detection program conserves water that would otherwise be wasted and develops positive relationships with our customers. The District is proud to have this advanced capability, however customers remain responsible for identifying water leaks at their property. An online customer portal is available to provide customers the ability to look at their hourly water use from their computer, and receive high usage alerts by signing up for WaterSmart here: https://mcwd.watersmart.com/index.php/welcome
District employees and CCC dig The Lake Mary Water Treatment plant from the snow.
Posted by Seth Conners
According to Betty Hylton at MCWD, last week, after continuous monitoring of the snow load on the water treatment plant, all available District personnel were requested to assist in removing snow from the Lake Mary Treatment Plant roof. The effort continued an additional three days with help from the California Conservation Corps (CCC) and an industrial-sized snow blower from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA).
“The building survived the winter of 1983, and was not showing major signs of stress; however, the District likes to be proactive rather than reactive. The Lake Mary Treatment Plant is nearly 40 years old and has a flat roof. There was 8 feet of visible snow on the edges and even more in the center,” said Nick Holt, District Assistant Engineer. Any interruptions in surface water treatment because of snow damage would be unfortunate while ample surface water is available for use and while our aquifer could still benefit from the opportunity to recharge.
The effort and resources required to lighten the snow load were significant. Twenty-four people helped in the removal effort, 12 from the District and 12 from the CCC. “We utilized two of our snow blowers, plus a larger blower borrowed from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area to help remove snow,” said Rob Motley, District Plant Maintenance and Electrical Supervisor, who was on the roof all four days and initiated the shoveling efforts. “To transport people to shovel, it took three snowmobiles and a snow cat which made over 26 trips,” Motley added.
The District relies on surface and groundwater resources to meet Mammoth Lakes’ potable water demand. Although surface water is expected to be abundant, use can be limited by infrastructure capacities and legal restrictions. The District Board of Directors will be evaluating whether the groundwater aquifer recharge is sufficient to decrease current water restrictions during the April 20th Board meeting.
Mammoth Community Water District Board of Directors Appoint New Member
Local architect and 14-year community member, Robert Creasy fills vacant Board of Director seat
submitted by the Mammoth Community Water District
At a special board meeting on October 15, the Mammoth Community Water District’s Board of Directors appointed Robert Creasy to fill the vacant board position following the passing of Director Gordon Alper. Mr. Creasy is an architect and has in lived in Mammoth the past 14 years.
Mr. Creasy is a graduate of Stanford University with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy after which he received a Master of Architecture degree from Yale University. His education focused on the principles of water and energy sustainability, their economic influences, their engineering solutions, and their architectural applications. Mr. Creasy is excited to serve the community by applying his knowledge and experiences as an MCWD board member.
The MCWD welcomes Mr. Creasy to the board and is confident his skills will help to represent the community of Mammoth Lakes and to benefit the Mammoth Community Water District.
About Mammoth Community Water District
MCWD provides water and wastewater utility service to the Town of Mammoth Lakes and surrounding areas. MCWD strives to provide reliable, affordable utility service to our customers and to conduct our operations in a manner reflecting our stewardship role. We encourage our customers to practice responsible use of our limited water resources, and to take advantage of the information and services available to support this goal.
mammoth community water district, robert creasy, mammoth lakes news, mcwd