City Water has worked with many communities across Wisconsin. Some of those include:
Check out some of our individual project results below:
The village of Bayside is a north shore community located along Lake Michigan and borders the city of Mequon. Bayside has historically been a ground water community comprised of subdivision wells, and individual home owner wells. A public water system was never installed in the village until the late 1990s when Wisconsin Gas Water Services installed a small voluntary system in the south east corner of the village. Since then, the public water system has slowly expanded. The City of Mequon purchased the water utility in 2009 and entered into an inter-municipal agreement with Bayside allowing the City to own and operate a public water utility in the Village.
Grassroots Campaign for Water Leads to Project Success
The southwest corner of Bayside had a mixed bag of water systems, and serious water quality issues. A small portion of the area was served by the public water system (Mequon Water Utility), while the rest of the area was a mix between subdivision well systems and individual wells. The subdivision systems were showing signs of failing, maintenance and treatment costs were skyrocketing, and similar to the individual wells, the water quality was undesirable. Several citizens wanted to connect to the public water system; however, the expense for extending the the public system was too costly. Something needed to be done.
A citizen group led a grassroots effort to build support for the water main extension project throughout their neighborhood. Working together with village leaders, City Water, and Mequon, a creative solution was developed that would make the project affordable if enough residents agreed to connect to the public water supply. Starting with only a small neighborhood interested in the project, one citizen distributed educational materials, internet surveys, conducted neighbor meetings, and door to door visits to help expand the connection area, and increase neighborhood participation. The increase in project participation along with a creative financing package provided an affordable solution to their water problems.
City Water continued to support the citizen group by providing water main design, and construction management/inspection services for the project. Our creative design and strategic bidding procedures resulted in a significant savings to the project participants. It was a huge success for all involved. Here are a few excerpts on the project from Bayside:
Based on the initial cost estimates, the Village adopted a maximum assessment amount of $12,000 per benefiting residential equivalent unit. With the actual project costs finalized, the dollar amount per benefiting property has come in substantially less, as much as 48 percent less depending on the project area and financing option selected by the property owner… The key factor to the reduction of the cost per benefitting property was the economies of scale achieved through the growth of the (association). For example, had only 111 properties participated, the cost per home would have been $9,304.23 versus the $6,202.82 with 148.
City Water continues to work closely with Bayside, and community leaders, to identify future neighborhoods willing to participate in this grassroots effort to bring safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water to their community.
In 2009, Brown Deer established a relationship with City Water to operate as the contract manager for the Water Utility. City Water’s understanding of customer expectations, combined with our knowledge of the water industry and experience managing and operating water utilities, results in providing the best service to Brown Deer’s customers.
City Water’s partnership with the village has continued to flourish as the village has added City Water personnel to the field operations staff, resulting in significant savings to its customers.
City Water has successfully provided excellent services to the Village in a number of key areas including:
- Infrastructure replacement – City Water has increased the amount of annual water main replaced in the Village by combining Village resources with minimal impact to the water rate fee resulting in lowered maintenance costs, improved water quality standards, and increased system reliability.
- Improved water quality – by managing the design and operation of an in-line chlorine booster station, and uni-directional flushing program. Both projects have proven to help increase the disinfection residual throughout the distribution system and greatly reduce service lateral leaks.
- Improved customer service – supervising the implementation of new utility reporting systems for monitoring key quality parameters, electronic work order system, improved meter reading and customer billing operations including notifying customers of a potential leak inside their property within a week of discovery.
- Cost savings – City Water helped organize a water wholesaler group that has successfully helped to reduce the projected water rate increase from the past two water rate increases from Milwaukee Water Works. Brown Deer water rates remain one of the lowest rates in the greater Milwaukee area.
Faced with the loss of the water utility foreman in 2014, the Village contacted City Water to help manage and operate the water system on an interim basis. The Village and City Water signed a month-to-month agreement providing them with transitional services which afforded the Village the time they needed to analyze their water operations and determine the best option for the future.
City Water was able to successfully step in and provide excellent service to the Village without a disruption to staff or Village residents. City Water assimilated Village staff into the day-to-day operations of the Utility, successfully enhancing the internal services to various departments within village hall.
City Water helped manage two major capital improvement projects in 2015.
- Updating and painting of the interior and exterior coatings of the Village’s 1.5-million-gallon water storage facility. City Water helped the Village manage the completion of that project, including coordinating the critical main shut down to isolate the facility, and modify distribution system operations while the facility was offline.
- Improvements to the water booster pumping equipment and SCADA controls system which were original to the Village Hall building (circa 1950). Timing was perfect to replace this equipment while the tower was down for service. City Water worked with Village Staff and the Village Consultant to facilitate the replacement of this equipment during the tower painting project.
Improved Customer Service
- City Water staff assisted the Village in a GIS utility locating project. Over the course of two years, utility infrastructure was field located using GPS equipment that has helped improve the accuracy of the Village Maps and decrease staff time in completing Hotline locates.
- After providing transitional services for almost 2 years, in May of 2016 the Village completed their analysis of the Water Utility Operations, and awarded City Water with a long term contract to manage and operate the Village of Fox Point water utility.
Madison’s Water Utility’s (MWU) meter reading system was outdated and soon to be obsolete. City Water partnered with Clark Dietz to develop a new meter reading system resulting in a change in Utility operation.
AMI Project Team
The AMI Project Team consisted of City Water and Clark Dietz staff, and key Utility personnel from various departments within MWU to develop, analyze, select, and implement an AMI system that will last for 20 years. Key aspects of the project included:
- Business case development
- Unique Request for Proposals (RFP) document
- Critical analysis of proposals and vendor selection
- Project implementation
City Water’s creative approach to the project resulted in an improved business strategy for the utility. The new AMI system will allow MWU to improve their management and operation of their water system by improving customer service, Utility cash flow, and commitment to water conservation.
City Water worked closely with MWU in implementing the new technology and instilling the positive change in Utility operations including:
- Reorganization of customer service department
- Improved emphasis on customer service
- Renewed commitment to water conservation
- Improved cash flow focused on infrastructure replacement
In 2009, Mequon established a partnership with City Water to manage and operate the newly acquired water utility. City Water worked with the City of Mequon to establish the first municipally owned volunteer water utility in Wisconsin. Together we developed unique franchise rules that were approved by the Public Service Commission to govern the operation of the water utility.
- Voluntary water connection – There is no mandatory requirement to connect to the public water utility in the Mequon Water Utility Service territory.
- Inter-municipal agreements – Mequon negotiated water service agreements with the Villages of Thiensville and Bayside for public water service. Inter-municipal agreements allow the Mequon water utility to own and operate the public water system in each community.
- Potential local delivery main refund – Customers who pay the cost of extending water main service may be eligible for a partial refund of their investment should additional customers connect to the new main.
Multiple Water Suppliers
City Water was a key influence in the decision to interconnect the Mequon Water Utility with both Milwaukee Water Works and North Shore Water Commission. This allow the utility to maintain complete adequacy of supply, even if we would lose one of the two water supplies. The addition of this system loop, and the associated water booster station, also improved water quality standards, and increased system reliability.
Located inside the city of Mequon, the water supply in Thiensville became an issue of concern among the residents and politicians in early 2000. Two subdivisions had recently received compliance orders from the Department of Natural Resources due to high arsenic levels in the supply wells. City Water collaborated with key stakeholders from the Mequon, Thiensville, and the individual water trusts to develop a creative solution to providing public water supply to the residents. An inter-municipal agreement between all parties was formed and utilized local municipal funding sources to help residents finance the design and installation of the water main.
Village financing was the key in allowing the diverse group of homeowners to move forward with solving their water supply problems. The solutions is a win-win-win for all parties involved. Mequon water utility increased their customer base; Thiensville solved a water quality and quantity problem while increasing the property value of their homes; and the residents benefitted from the supply of safe, reliable drinking water.
City Water staff also worked together with key stakeholders to help optimize the design of the project which reduced the construction costs resulting in a lower connection for the residents.
Key Subdivisions with Municipal Water
- Century Estates II
- Laurel Acres
- Mainstreet in downtown Thiensville
- Village Hall and Village Park
Water supply for these projects along with others in Thiensville is now provided via retail service from the Mequon Water Utility. As such, the residents benefit from treated Lake Michigan water through the city of Milwaukee and the North Shore Water Commission.