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Rick
Tafoya

67 Darrell F. Benjamin Drive
Angel Fire, NM 87710
Phone: 575-377-1677
Fax: 575-377-8028
EMAIL RICK

NEWS ARTICLE: 08-09-17

What Happened with our Water Service?

Recently, Angel Fire experienced a water outtage for some of the residential area. Below is an explanation of events that occurred.

 

Chain of events

  • Leak – Leaks are normal utility failures as a system ages and undergoes continued stressors.  Prevention is essentially impossible, making repair a normal part of routine maintenance in any water system.  This leak was on a transmission line; which is a line delivering water from the well to the tanks. When repairing the damaged portion of line, the leak must be isolated, meaning water is shut off to that area during the time of repair.  So, in this circumstance, the line was shut off on Friday to stop the leaking with the plan to fix the line during non-peak demand on Monday, using the secondary well as the temporary back up through the weekend.
  • Well failure - The complicating factor was a large golf tournament happening during the weekend.  Without shutting off supply to the transmission line, the golf course would have been flooded.  The plan was to supply the temporarily shut down area from another well. That well experienced a failure.  Even though, the Superintendent got the well back on line Sunday morning, the well could not supply the demand during this high peak weekend; therefore, the transmission line had to be re-energized even with the leak still present. 
  • Re-energize system – The re-energizing needed to happen slowly to minimize sediment agitation and excessive air in the lines.
  • Leak repair – Once demand on the system lessened, crews could go back and fix the leak.
  • Sediment – Sediment is a natural occurrence in well water.  It is primarily comprised of sand and minerals.  Typically, it settles out in the tanks which are periodically cleaned.  Once agitation has occurred it takes time plus demand on a system for sediment to settle and/or flush out.

 

Water system challenges: 

  • All utilities have challenges, outages will happen.  We have a 24 hour/7 day a week staff schedule that uses an on-call dispatch system to assist with response to problems.
  • small use base for size of system
  • Over 100 miles of water lines
  • 20+ pressure zones
  • Aging system

 

 Outside of Business Hour Communication

  • Challenges:
    • Land lines – Not many customers still have land lines. 
    • Only one social media administrator within the Village
    • After-hours customer notification
    • Dispatch provider
    • Response:
      • One Call system – this situation pointed up the need to investigate and establish a One Call system that can send out voice/text/email notifications for users within the database.
      • Social Media – Allow more than one administrator.
      • During an “outside of normal business hours” event, the crews responding to the emergency are only able to focus on fixing the problem at hand and cannot take the time to do notification themselves.  Therefore, the Village is implementing a chain of command to execute the one call and social media notifications.
      • As of August first, the Village re-established dispatch services through Red River, hopefully providing better response due to having a smaller service area.