Why Our Efforts Are Still Not Enough

It is the City's job to be conservative for the long haul by planning ahead for the next 75 years - not run up to the brink of our capacity. Although average water demand is stable and our water conservation efforts have been beneficial, on a day of peak usage, our system is more stressed than it should be. Good engineering design practice tells us that the City's well pumping capacity should always be above peak demand.

Peak Demand

Peak demand is the maximum daily amount of water pumped from our wells and treated at the treatment plant, typically occurring during hot dry periods of the summer. Peak daily demand over the last 15 years has averaged 2.8 million gallons per day (MGD) and has been as high as 3.06 MGD.

Well Pumping Capacity

Well pumping capacity as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the amount of water that can be pumped from all the wells with the largest well out of service. Wadsworth's current well pumping capacity is 2.85 MGD, per this EPA definition. Peak demand met or exceeded that level in seven of the last 15 years. Because we were able to turn on all pumps, the City could pump more than 2.85 MGD, but this cannot be sustained more than 2 to 3 days.

A major fire or waterline break during a peak period, such as a drought, would limit our ability to provide adequate service. Reserve well pumping capacity should be available to provide protection in case of mechanical or electrical failure as well as unexpected demand. When pumps fail, it can take days or weeks to make the necessary repairs. 

Wells can also plug and lose capacity relatively rapidly. It is also important to be able to rest wells, meaning no pumping for a period of weeks or months. Reserve pumping capacity is needed so the City can maintain both our wells and pumps properly and pumping capacity above projected peaks.

Well Field Continuous Capacity

Well field continuous capacity is the maximum amount of water that can be pumped from the wells on a continuous basis. The City of Wadsworth currently has 12 wells in 4 well fields. Wadsworth's current total well field continuous capacity is approximately 2.65 MGD. Total well field continuous capacity is an estimate because the aquifer depths vary continuously due to recharge and impacts of pumping.