From the filtration gallery of the Water Purification Plant, cleaned water flows to two on-site clearwells,
from which the process of transmitting and distributing drinking water to our customers begins.
Approximately 85% of the water distributed to the city each day is used directly out of the distribution system.
The remaining 15% is stored in one of three above-ground storage tanks located throughout the city.
Most water storage takes place during the night when customer demand is lowest, ensuring plenty of water
will be available to our customers during the high-demand daylight hours.
To keep stored water fresh, the tanks are cycled at least partially every day.
By providing storage for water that is not immediately needed, these tanks help to create an equalizing effect on the
water system by allowing some pumpage to be shifted from peak-demand to low-demand hours. They also contribute to public safety,
by helping to ensure adequate flows will be available for fire fighting purposes.
The oldest of the above-ground storage tanks is located on Old Jacksonville Road.
Built in 1966, this elevated model has a capacity of one million gallons. The second tank, on Factory Street,
is a ground-level model built in 1976. It has a capacity of four million gallons. The newest tank, built in 1998,
is a five million gallon "standpipe" located off Cockrell Lane south of Wabash Avenue. (View photos of the three storage tanks.)
CWLP's three storage tanks fill and discharge their water in different ways.
The elevated Old Jacksonville Road tank "floats on the system," meaning it discharges or refills
based on reductions or increases in the system's water pressure. As pressure lowers, the tank discharges water;
as pressure rises, the tank fills. No pumps are required by this tank. The Factory Street ground-level
tank relies on system pressure for refilling, but requires pumps for discharging. Water can be discharged
from this tank at a rate of about 6 million gallons per day. The Cockrell Lane standpipe can either float on
the system or use pumpage, as desired, for both refilling and discharge.
Treated water is carried from the Water Purification Plant to the ultimate users through a network of water mains.
The current CWLP water transmission and distribution system consists of approximately
761 miles of water mains, which measure from 4 inches to 36 inches in diameter.
The history of the expansion of the water system closely parallels the growth of the city.
There were just under 100 miles of water mains in the system at the beginning of 1930.
About 25 miles were added during that decade. Although very little main expansion took place during World War II,
rapid development following the war resulted in the addition of over 45 miles during the late 1940s.
In response to the continued growth of both Springfield's population and the needs of our state government over the next five decades,
60 miles of new main were added in the 1950s; 65 in the 1960s; just under 100 miles in the 1970s;
60 miles in the 1980s; and 130 miles in the 1990s. From 2000 through 2012, approximately 98 miles of new main were added to the system.
Most of Springfield's water main system is composed of durable cast iron pipe,
which has a very long useful life cycle under most conditions.
Newer mains are constructed of ductile iron, an even more durable product.
Customers have interactions most with the service line portion of the CWLP water system that brings water to their homes or businesses.
Currently, there are about 52,000 metered water service connections to the system. These connections range from
5/8 inch to 10 inches in diameter, with 96% being one inch or smaller. A service is generally composed of:
a connection to the main, a control valve and connective piping, a water meter, and (for 75%-80% of services)
a meter pit. In 2014, a total of 165 new domestic service connections were installed on the CWLP water system.
A variety of materials have been used for water services and are still present in the CWLP system.
Galvanized iron, lead and copper have been used for connective piping.
As far as maintenance of service lines is concerned, CWLP maintains the portion of line that extends
from the water main to the shut-off valve located near the street or in the customer's
water meter pit. The property owner is responsible for any repairs or replacements required
to the section of line after the shut-off/meter pit.
There are approximately 6,850 fire hydrants on the CWLP system. Hydrants are used for fire suppression,
pressure tests, and main flushing. Hydrant function can have a direct and immediate impact on the safety of human
life and property. CWLP tests and maintains all fire hydrants in the city at least once each year and has an
excellent record of keeping hydrants in service. Rarely is there more than a handful of hydrants inoperable at any time.
Significant resources are expended in order to maintain that high level of service. In 2014, CWLP added 54 new hydrants
to the water transmission and distribution system and a number of others were replaced.