The City of Mason has provided municipal water to its residents for over 100 years. Throughout its history Mason has focused on maintaining and upgrading the water system. The original water distribution system for the City of Mason consists of cast iron pipe, of which approximately 50% remains in service today. Since the early 1970's, system upgrades have been made with ductile iron pipe.
Water System and Components
The system has approximately 380 hydrants and approximately 438 valves. The combined storage volume available including the north and south elevated storage tanks and the above ground storage tank at the treatment plant in the City have a combined useable volume of 2,000,000 gallons.
The north Water Tower was constructed in 2003 and was last inspected in April of 2015. The south Water Tower was constructed in 1995 and was last inspected in May of 2017. The treatment plant well was constructed in 2008 and was last inspected in September of 2012.
Water Main and Fire Hydrant Flushing
Water main/Fire Hydrant flushing is part of the City's annual maintenance and done to remove minerals and sediment that accumulate in the water lines over the course of a year. This preventative maintenance also allows us to check and record water pressure to ensure the water system is functioning properly.
Monthly reports containing daily usage are submitted to the MDEQ for their records. With the population remaining stable, it is logical to assume the water consumption of the city will maintain its current trend. However, for system evaluation purposes and to ensure sufficient supply, a minimal growth rate of 1.0% is projected for the next twenty years. With this growth rate, the City’s average day demand is projected to be 745 gpm (611 gpm x (1.01)20) with a projected maximum day demand of 1270 gpm (1041 gpm x (1. 01)20). Conversely, if we assume a more robust growth rate of 3% and that the City’s firm capacity remains fixed we would anticipate the City being able to meet the average day demand for the next 32 years. The current average annual day of 0.88 MGD which equates to a flow 611 gallons per minute represents approximately 38% of the actual firm capacity.
The firm capacity of the water supply to the City is 1,591 gallons per minute (gpm) or 2.29 million gallons per day (MGD). This value is determined by taking the largest well out of service and then adding all the remaining (active and standby) wells production capacity. The City continues to be diligent in rehabilitating wells, including servicing the pumps and motors; cleaning the wells; and actively searching out locations for new wells.
The plant was built in 2008 and can process 2.5 million gallons of water per day (MGD). The plant is upgraded continually to keep up with regulations, increase reliability and to improve water quality.
Mason’s water source is groundwater from seven local wells. From these wells water is pumped to the plant and undergoes what is considered “Partial” treatment. The term partial treatment means that the process does not change the basic characteristics of the water, for example PH and Hardness.
Radium and Iron are present as primary and secondary contaminants. (Radium a radionuclide or a radioactive substance which emits ionizing radiation, alpha particles and gamma rays is known to mutate tissue cells of the human body which could be the beginnings of cancer. Iron is a secondary contaminant witch causes aesthetic problems, such as staining of plumbing fixtures.) Hydrous manganese oxide is fed into the system and is used to adsorb the radium. The pre-oxidant (chlorine) is also fed into the process which oxidizes the iron from the ferrous state to the ferric state. The manganese oxide with the adsorbed radium and oxidized iron are then adsorbed onto the LayneOx filter media thereby being removed from the water.
After the water is filtered and disinfected. Fluoride is added for dental protection (as recommended by the American Dental Association) and phosphate is added to stabilize the water for lead and copper corrosion control.
Our Treatment Plant utilizes sodium hypochlorite as the primary disinfectant. Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to drinking water to disinfect it and kill germs. Different processes can be used to achieve safe levels of chlorine in drinking water. Chlorine is available as compressed elemental gas, sodium hypochlorite solution (NaOCl) or solid calcium hypochlorite (Ca(OCl). While the chemicals could be harmful in high doses, when they are added to water, they all mix in and spread out, resulting in low levels that kill germs but are still safe to drink.
Perfluorinated compounds (PFOA/PFOS)
Perfluorinated compounds are typically associated with the manufacture of carpeting, personal care products, cookware (e.g., Teflon), and other products. The City water utility is continuing to monitor for these compounds as well as other emerging contaminants, and remains steadfast in its effort to provide safe drinking water for its customers.
Changes to water and sewer rates
On June 18, 2018, the Mason City Council enacted changes to water rates effective July 1, 2018. For more information on rates, click here.
Water Quality Reports
We are pleased to share our annual drinking water quality reports below. This report explains where your drinking water comes from, what is in it and how we keep it safe.
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Photo Credit: Elise Flores
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