Marana Water News: It's Electrifying! Upgrading Production Sites

Here at Marana Water our goal is to operate the public water system in a safe and reliable manner. This can cover many aspects as we have seen over the stories in the past few months. This week we are highlighting the maintenance of our electrical panels at the production sites. Production facilities are the sites where our wells, reservoirs, pumps, and booster stations are located. These facilities keep water flowing through the system at required pressures and to meet peak demands. 

Electric components before upgrade is completed

Electric components before upgrade is completed

The electrical panels are used to operate this production equipment. Not only providing power, but also timing and scheduling need to be as efficient as possible. Over time the condition of these panels can degrade due to weather conditions and general use. This wear can cause electrical shorts, corrosion of panel components, and unsafe working conditions, all of which can lead to water service interruptions. Corroded components cause higher resistance and create "hot" spots that can be a fire hazard. They can also cause breakers to lose their ability to trip properly when a short occurs. Even rodents can get in the panels and cause damage to wires due to sealing erosion. Any of these types of issues can prevent our operators from accessing the panel to perform routine maintenance.

Over the past 20 years, technology advancements and changes to the electrical building code have increased the lifespan and safety of this type of infrastructure. Marana Water is working on upgrading all our electrical panels to meet these new guidelines, and we have made substantial progress. When reviewing the panels for upgrade, an initial assessment is made to determine priority, a new panel is designed to meet safety requirements, the project goes through the public procurement process, and, finally, it's built. The status of each of our sites in this schedule is in the graphic to the right. Once completed, all the well sites will look similar to the contained, neat, and orderly electrical panels seen below.

Completed updated electrical panel

Our team at Marana Water is working to complete the projects to provide a safe working environment for our operators as well as ensuring reliable water service to our customers.

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