Public Services Secretary
Superintendent of Utility Operations
The Water Distribution Division is responsible for the installation, maintenance, inspection, and repair of approximately 196 miles of pipes, 10,690 meters, 1,673 valves and 1,003 fire hydrants. The division is committed to protecting the Water Distribution system that supplies the City’s drinking water.
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
|To report a suspected water main break or interruption of service not indicated on the Water Service Outage Map, customers should call 803-441-4240 during normal business hours or 803-599-3118 after business hours.
Water System Service AreaThe City's water service area is bounded by the north of interstate 1-20 near Pinewood Plantation, to the west at West Martintown Road near Plantation Road, to the east along US 1 and to the Savannah River.
The water distribution system distributes water to residential, commercial and industrial customers within the city’s 192 square mile service area. The distribution system pipe network is separated into three separate pressure zones due to the City’s hilly terrain. Water system pressures range from 25 psi to 150 psi.
The system consists of approximately 196 miles of pipeline that range in size from 2 inches to 30 inches in diameter. Additional system components include 10,630 service connections and meters, 1,003 fire hydrants and 1,673 valves.
The water pipe system is hydraulically tested to ensure that the water system is providing adequate water flow and pressure to meet consumer and fire flow demands. Test results are used to identify deficiencies and assists in planning for system improvements. Routine testing is also an integral part in maintaining the pipe system network.
Utility staff conducts routine fire hydrant inspections to verify proper operation, perform maintenance, record pressure readings, record water flows and flush sediment from the pipe system. Routine maintenance helps identify hydrants that need repairs. Identifying these issues early will help to ensure the hydrant is ready for use during an emergency and save critical time during a fire incident. Routine maintenance also helps improve our familiarization with hydrants in the area and allows us to verify they are unobstructed and easily accessible.
North Augusta residents may have noticed that fire hydrants are painted various colors in different areas around town. Firefighters can make better decisions affecting a fire attack if they at least know the relative available water flow of different hydrants in the city. Another important factor with hydrants painted are the improved visibility when decided to make a hydrant to pumper connection. To aid them the City use the NFPA system of hydrant class and color coding.
- Red Hydrant Flow 500 gpm or less
- Organge Nozzle Flow 500 - 999 gpm
- Gree Nozzle Flow 1,000 - 1,499 gpm
- Blue Nozzle Flow 1,500 gpm or greater
Metering allows the City to measure water use. Metering is important to assure water rates are assessed fairly, but also to identify water loss within the system. Residential meters usually consist of ¾, 1, or 2-inch meters. Residential meters are on a perpetual life cycle change out program. City staff replaces meters these when they reach their life cycle expectancy of 20 years of age.
Valves are used to control direction and amount of flow in a water distribution system. Exercising and maintaining valves is critical to assuring control both in normal operation and during emergencies. City staff exercises the valves on routine basis by opening and closing the valve to assure it is functioning and making repairs when necessary.
Boil Water Notices
A boil water notice is a public notification advising customers to boil tap water before consuming it. Boil water notices are issued when an event has occurred with the potential to adversely affect water quality, or a situation has occurred where there is known degradation of the water quality. There are two types of notices: the boil water advisory and the boil water order.
This is a localized public notification informing the public of a need to boil water and providing other information that the public needs. A boil water advisory is a precautionary measure and is issued even when contamination is unlikely. This is the most common type of boil water notice and is issued when the water system experiences a loss in positive water pressure, typically due to a serious main break. Loss of water pressure creates the possibility of harmful bacteria entering the pipelines. Until laboratory tests confirm the water has not been contaminated, the boil water advisory remains in effect.
What should you do?
During a boil water advisory, customers should do the following:
- DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST.
- The safest and most effective method of water disinfection is to vigorously boil water for at least three full minutes. Fill a pot with cold water and start timing when bubbles pop at the surface. Cool the water before using it for drinking, washing or tooth brushing.
- Store the disinfected water in clean, covered containers.
- Until the boil water advisory is lifted, use either boiled water that has been cooled, or bottled water, for drinking, brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables, cleaning food contact surfaces, preparing food and baby formula, and for making ice.
- Once the notice has been lifted: Resume normal water use without taking additional measures. If your water is cloudy or discolored, run your faucets for a few minutes until the water runs clear.
What is City Utilities doing?
During a boil water advisory, City Utilities will:
- Dispatch water crews to investigate the loss of pressure event.
- Inform customers of the boil water advisory, typically by calling the contact number of record.
- Take corrective action.
- Collect water samples and send them to a lab for analysis.
- Await lab results. This typically takes about 24 hours.
- Lift the boil water advisory once final results are satisfactory.
- Notify customers that the boil water advisory is lifted.
When under a boil water order, City Utilities will instruct affected customers to boil their water in order to kill bacteria and other organisms in the water. Customers should continue to boil water until City Utilities provides notification that the boil water order has been lifted. The order will be lifted only after the situation is fully resolved and laboratory tests confirm the water is no longer contaminated.
What should you do?
Run all cold water faucets in your home at the same time for five full minutes with the highest water flow possible. Avoid splashing or flooding of the drains. If you have a single-lever faucet, set it to run the cold water first.
To clear hot-water pipes and your water heater, turn on all hot water faucets (or turn your single-lever faucets to the hot position) and run for a minimum of 15 minutes for a typical household 40-gallon hot-water tank. For an 80-gallon hot water tank or larger, run water for at least 30 minutes. Hot water is then safe to use for washing hands, and for hand-washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc.
After flushing hot water pipes and your water heater, run your empty dishwasher one time.
Change all filters located at the tap or within an appliance.
Refrigerator Water Dispensers
Water dispensers from refrigerators should be flushed using at least one quart of water. If unsure of your dispenser’s capacity, refer to manufacturer specifications.
To flush the automatic ice dispensers, make three batches of ice and discard.
Discard any water used in humidifiers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices, and oral, medical or health care devices. Rinse devices with clean water before using.
Food and Baby Formula
Discard baby formula and other foods prepared with water on the day(s) of the boil water notice.
Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility. Notifying SC 811 of your planned excavation can help prevent damages that can result in fines, utility service interruption and physical injury.