MARCO ISLAND — In the Weekly Update sent Thursday, Oct. 15, City Manager Steve Thompson shares progress in the efforts to increase water pressure Island-wide. The following is an excerpt from the prepared release, with the full document, including the proposed code enforcement lien amnesty program and other issues, in the related documents.
The city has increased the water pressure entering the city’s water system. Historically, the water pressure was 72-75 pounds per square inch (psi), and this has been increased to 82-85 psi over the past three months.
Water pressure to properties farthest from the water treatment plant has been an ongoing issue for the city and water customers. The State requires that the city maintain a minimum of 20 psi of pressure in the system at all times, and if the pressure in one area drops due to an increase in demand, the pressure being sent from the drinking water plant has to be increased at the plant to maintain the minimum 20 psi throughout the system.
Increasing the pressure is necessary to maintain this minimum of 20 psi throughout the system.
This higher system pressure can have an impact on homeowners through higher pressure and water flow at their homes, and you may notice the impact with sprinkler distances and flows. Over the next thirty days the city will be raising and lowering the pressure of the water as it leaves the plant to help establish the minimum required pressure to meet regulatory requirements. The pressure has been reduced to 80 psi this week and pressure gages have been installed in historically low pressure areas to measure the impact of this change.
The city has also constantly experienced significant water loss in the system due to leaking pipes, and ultimately elimination of leaks will improve the efficiency and savings in the system. Increasing the pressure in the system also helps the staff to locate and repair these leaks.
The city is working to develop a long-term solution to the problem of low and fluctuating pressure, and that solution is being reviewed by the Ad Hoc Utility Advisory Committee for recommendation to City Council in the coming months.