The Normal Water Department pumped about 1.6 billion gallons of water in 2008. A lot of work goes into providing a reliable supply of safe water to Normal. The department is divided into three divisions: Treatment, Distribution, and Administration/Billing. Treatment includes sampling and testing of water, maintaining the water sources and storage facilities, and continuous operation of the treatment plant.
Distribution operates and maintains the water mains and meters. With the growth of Normal, it isn’t surprising that 332 new meters were installed in 2008. Other work performed last year included: 1,959 hydrants flushed; 231 hydrants painted; 32 water mains repaired; 1,490 replacement meters installed; and 3,235 final reads of meters. This division handled a total of 14,348 work orders and service requests in 2008.
Administration/billing prepared and mailed over 105,393 bills in 2008. The biggest consumers of Normal water were residents (39.2% by owner occupied residences and 26.9% by rental residences). We are fortunate that not very much water was used for irrigation (just 2.9%). The charts show that in 2008, the highest demand for water was in August through October (for the town as a whole and for the Illinois State University campus).
We take access to safe water for granted but even the limited information provided here shows that this service requires an impressive network of people doing a variety of jobs. Let’s raise our glasses (of water) in a toast to everyone in the Water Department! (Well, at least I didn’t use a “flush” or “drip” reference…)