Ever wonder why the average tank levels go down in Inverness what its raining? Wade Holland, the customer service manager at IPUD (Inverness Public Utility District), explains why. "To the extent it is possible, we avoid operating the treatment plants while it is raining and the creeks are roiled up, because the turbidity in the incoming water overloads and clogs up the membrane filters. Cleaning the filters is laborious and time-consuming (and reduces their life, and they are quite expensive to replace). So, we typically shut the plants down during rainy periods and while the source streams are stirred up. During these times we have to live off tank storage.

Sometimes while it is raining continuously we will go two or three days without putting any new water into the system. This means the tanks are being drawn down at exactly the time when there is abundant water falling from the sky. Fortunately, these events occur during the time of the year when demand is lowest, so we can go much longer in the winter living off the tanks than would be the case during the summer (of course, the turbidity problem does not occur during the summer dry season).

Recently, we've also been juggling operational complexities related to the work on replacing the Tenney tanks, a consequence of which was that we had to let the overall tank levels fall. The first of the two new tanks is now operational and the other tank has been taken offline and is being dismantled. Because we are now anticipating rain on a daily basis for perhaps as long as a week, we expect to continue to see the tank levels' percentage dropping. We would, of course, start processing turbid water if that should become necessary to keep up with customer demand."

We have an amazing (and fragile) water system in Inverness run by an extremely dedicated staff. You can learn more about it and get the latest data at the IPUD web site:
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