Water. It’s the one thing we simply cannot live without, but we often fail to recognize that it takes a lot of work to make sure we have access to the water that we need, especially given the fact that 2016 was the warmest California summer on record, and about 60% of the state remains in severe-to-exceptional drought.
The years of exceptionally dry conditions have certainly had an impact at Bella Vista Water District, where a small but dedicated group of IBEW 1245 members works day in and day out to ensure that clean, safe water flows freely through all of the faucets and taps in the greater Redding area.
“We make sure the water is palatable, good to drink,” Water Treatment Operator Joe Pedersen explained as he worked to rebuild a switchover unit for a 110 chlorine cylinder.
- The members who work for BVWD are tasked with managing the day-to-day operations in the field as well as in the office. That includes pumping, treating and filtering water, checking and maintaining equipment, keeping the reservoirs filled and operating the pump stations that transport water out to various points across the district. And of course, they regularly test and monitor the water supply to make sure it adheres to both state and federal clean-water regulations.
After three years of near-perpetual drought, conditions seem to be slightly improved in Shasta county, and BVWD’s efforts to encourage customers to conserve water have paid off.
“Through July 2016, the District’s cumulative conservation was 50.2 percent as compared to 2013! The District is on track to achieve its 33% overall, cumulative conservation target by continuing reasonable conservation and with voluntary rather than mandatory conservation measures,” according to the District’s August, 2016 report.