The City of Yuma and the American Water Works Association join a weeklong celebration of the work done by water professionals and the excellent product they produce – tap water.
With the theme “Your water – to know it is to love it,” Drinking Water Week runs through May 13. The water community invites residents to recognize the vital role water plays in each of our everyday lives. They will focus on ways in which water consumers can take personal responsibility in caring for their tap water and water infrastructure at home and in the community.
To commemorate the week, water utilities, government entities, environmental advocates and other stakeholders will celebrate drinking water through public presentations and community festivals. They will also provide their communities with vital information on how water consumers can understand and appreciate their H?O.
As part of the festivities the City of Yuma will host an open house of the Main Street Water Treatment Facility and a Touch-a-Truck event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13 at the plant entrance on the north end of Main Street.
The Main Street Water Treatment Facility is the City of Yuma’s largest water treatment facility, capable of producing 40 million gallons of water a day. The exhibit will offer visitors a chance to touch and interact with the equipment the City’s Utilities department uses every day: Backhoes, Vactor trucks, utility line trucks, and crane trucks. Staff will also be providing tours of the drinking water plant and exhibiting the treatment process used to make our drinking water.
Throughout the week the City will post water tips and facts on our official Twitter feed and Facebook page. There will be displays at City Hall such as water conservation suggestions, drinking water quality data, and a visualization of how much city of Yuma water you can buy with a dollar – 498 gallons this year. That City Hall display also includes entry forms for a raffle for a “water conservation product” for which a drawing will be held May 15. You must be a City of Yuma water service customer to enter.
“This year’s Drinking Water Week will motivate water consumers to be actively aware of how they personally connect with water,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “We should all know how to find and fix leaks, care for our home’s pipes and support our utility’s investment in water infrastructure.”
Here are the topics the City will cover in those posts this week.
‘Get the lead out’ of plumbing
The City, AWWA and water professionals encourage households to identify and replace lead-based water pipes and plumbing. Though the Colorado River, Yuma’s primary water source, is known for having “hard water” that is less susceptible to the corrosion that caused the lead contamination issues in Flint, Mich., consumers with lead in their home service lines could be at risk of exposure.
Lead presents health concerns for people of all ages, particularly pregnant women, infants and young children. In children, low exposure levels have been linked to learning disabilities, behavioral problems and other issues.
Water leaving treatment plants and traveling through water mains is almost always lead-free. However, lead is sometimes present in pipes connecting older homes to the water system or in fixtures and home plumbing. A licensed plumber can help to identify lead service lines and other materials such as lead fittings and solder.
Check and fix leaks
The City encourages homeowners to check and fix leaks in and around their homes to prevent water waste and higher bills. To test for leaks inside, customers should shut off everything connected to water and inspect the home’s flow indicator on the water meter. If the indicator continues to move, even with everything off, there’s a leak somewhere in the home.
To check for a leaky toilet, customers can place a few drops of food coloring in the holding tank and wait five minutes without flushing. There’s a leak if coloring appears in the bowl. Also, customers should check all faucets and under the sinks for dripping. To check for leaks outside, customers should inspect the lawn for wet spots or pools of water around spray heads. Brown or muddy spots would also indicate there is a leak in the irrigation system.
Care for your pipes
Many things can unnecessarily clog a home’s plumbing system, including “flushable” wipes, and fats, oils and grease. Each year, these clog pipes, back up systems and harm the environment when they aren’t disposed of properly.
Specifically, flushable wipes, facial tissue, paper towels and medications should be thrown away in the trash and should not be flushed down the toilet. Also, fats, oil and grease should not be dumped down the drain. Instead, they should also be thrown away in the trash.
Infrastructure must be maintained
Drinking Water Week is an opportunity to encourage advocacy for investment in the repair and replacement of local water infrastructure.
It’s critical that water infrastructure is maintained properly given that public health, economic vitality, fire protection and quality of life rely on it. However, much of the water infrastructure in North America needs to be repaired and replaced because of the length of time water pipes have been underground. Some have been buried for 75 to 100 years.
Per an AWWA report, repairing and replacing drinking water infrastructure will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years nationwide. The potential costs of infrastructure replacement surpass what many water utilities can pay, which means utilities must work together with rate-payers, government officials and other stakeholders to invest in water systems.
Among the projects the City of Yuma is undertaking to maintain infrastructure is fixing and recoating the water tanks near 16th Street and Interstate 8.
About Drinking Water Week
For more than 35 years, AWWA and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week, a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. Additional information about Drinking Water Week, including free materials for download and celebration ideas, is available on the Drinking Water Week web page.