Volume 15, No. 3 jccEgov.com/jcsa January-March 2011
From the General Manager
REFLECTIONS – This is what my year end Waterline article should be called. For some reason I always look in the rear view mirror and reflect at the end of the year.
Before I start let me reaffirm the JCSA’s three top priorities:
- Customer Service: We know that we exist because of you, our customers;
- Safety: Many of our team members work in hazardous situations. The JCSA must make safety a priority if we want a committed and dedicated team; and
- Teamwork: We are ninety team members strong. Each member of the team brings individual strengths and abilities. We have to value each team member and work as a team to accomplish our mission.
So let’s look back at 2010. By most standards it’s been quite a year. The economy has slowed growth for our community giving the JCSA Team time to address those things that we’ve deferred because our energies were being used to address our community’s evolution. We’ll see some 350 new customers this year which is about half of the new customers added annually from 2000-2007.
The hot topic for the JCSA during 2010 was the sewer side of our business. It’s not a sexy topic so it hasn’t received a lot of attention outside of the JCSA. In 2007 the JCSA entered into a Consent Order with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to address wastewater spills. The Consent Order establishes benchmarks for addressing deficiencies in the JCSA sewer system. In 2010 the JCSA used substantial resources addressing the requirements of the Consent Order. This challenge will be with us for years. While most of our sewer system is less than twenty five years old, some of it is much older. In addition we are finding that just because the infrastructure is relatively new it can have deficiencies. Our challenge is to address the deficiencies in a timely manner and still maintain affordable rates.
The challenge of water supply has been addressed. With our current supply the JCSA has adequate water to meet projected needs through 2040. Peak water demands will continue to be a challenge. As an example this summer the JCSA had daily peak demands of 8.5 million gallons compared to 3.5 million gallons in December. High water demands over extended periods stress the mechanical components of our water system increasing the possibility of failure.
Let’s also “reflect” on the major highlights over the past twenty years for the JCSA. The attempt to build the Ware Creek Reservoir and reduce our dependence on groundwater failed. Subsequent to the failure of this project we joined the regional effort to build the King William Reservoir that also failed. To meet future water demand the JCSA purchased water from Newport News. To use this water we have to make major changes to our water piping and disinfection system. These changes are in progress but slowed due to the economy. The water tank at the intersection of Monticello Avenue and Ironbound Road was placed into service in 2004. In 2005 the JCSA opened a 5.0 million gallon per day water treatment plant using reverse osmosis technology to treat groundwater that has high salt content. 2007 saw the construction of two additional water tanks in the Warhill Recreation Complex and Stonehouse Industrial Park and the removal of two antiquated tanks. We’ve made substantial and continue to make piping improvements to improve our water distribution system. From the sewer side we added some thirty sewer pumping stations and rehabilitated at least another thirty over the past twenty years. Our customer base has more than tripled since 1990.
No matter what our infrastructure accomplishments over the past twenty years the most important thing to the JCSA has been and will continue to be our customers and the most important asset is the members of our team. Please know that we are thankful to serve.
Larry M. Foster
Every Drop CountsDid you know that an American home can waste, on average, more than 10,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks?
Nationwide, more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year. That's why WaterSense reminds Americans to check their plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems each year during Fix a Leak Week. Read more.