What We Do
For many years, Liberty Utilities staff personally visited each of its 28,000 meters and manually entered water usage for the billing cycle. In 2004, with the advent of new technology, Liberty Utilities began the conversion of all of its water meters to an Automatic Meter Reading system (AMR). AMR meters internally store usage data and through the use of radio waves transfers that data to Liberty Utilities billing system. AMR has not only eliminated the need for each meter to be visually read, but also ensures that water usage is billed correctly. Due to the cost of conversion, Liberty Utilities has spread this conversion over several years and expects to complete it in 2018.
Water System Improvements
To protect public health, Liberty Utilities recognizes that it must replace and enhance its pipelines, pumps, treatment facilities, and other infrastructure. Liberty Utilities remains committed to this task and yearly evaluates and prioritizes improvements to its water systems.
For the investor owned water utilities, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is also involved in the budget process. The CPUC reviews the estimated cost of the improvements and if they determine that the costs are prudent and reasonable, they allow them to be included in the rates charged to the utilities’ customers.
Liberty Utilities continually evaluates its project priorities to utilize any available cost savings. Typical methods include: competitive bids on construction projects; utilize new technology or construction methods; and grouping smaller projects together into a larger scale project.
Water System Maintenance
To protect public health, Liberty Utilities must maintain its existing pipelines, pumps, treatment facilities, and other infrastructure. These activities are done on an as-needed basis until the cost becomes excessive or the item reaches the end of its useful life. Liberty Utilities will attempt to contact customers in advance for any activity that may impact them. However, in the event of an emergency repair, there will not be an opportunity to provide prior notice.
Activities that could affect Liberty Utilities customers include: water main leak repairs, water meter change out, water main flushing, and valve and fire hydrant exercising.
Water Main Leak Repairs: Besides wasting a precious resource, Liberty Utilities acts quickly to prevent any impact to local residents and to protect the safety of its water supply.
Water Meter Change-out: As regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission, Liberty Utilities replaces its customers’ water meters. This activity insures that water usage is billed accurately.
Flushing Program: Flushing is a common practice for improving water quality in a local area. This activity involves opening fire hydrants to flush-out the pipeline.
Valve Exercising: Valves are used to isolate sections of water main to make repairs. Thus, ensuring that these valves operate as designed is critical. About every two years, each of Liberty Utilities valves is exercised. Exercise data is recorded and compared to previous records and if necessary replacement or repairs are scheduled.
Fire Hydrant Exercising: Fire hydrants are a critical tool in controlling property damage to our customers. At least every year, our fire hydrants are exercised and tested to insure that they meet their design standard. This exercise/test data is also recorded and compared to previous records. If necessary, replacement or repairs are scheduled.
Cross Connection Control Program
To protect public health, Liberty Utilities is required to operate a cross connection program. This program protects the integrity of Liberty Utilities water systems from other water supply sources with unknown water quality. The goal of this program is to either eliminate the cross-connection or to control it through the installation and maintenance of an approved backflow prevention assembly. Typical examples of potential cross connections include: landscape irrigation; fire sprinkler services, health care facilities, manufacturing facilities and recycled water users.
The customer has the responsibility of preventing pollutants and contaminants from entering the Liberty Utilities water systems. This responsibility starts at the point where water exits the water meter. At the customer’s own expense, they shall install, operate, test, and maintain any required backflow prevention assembly as directed by Liberty Utilities.
As required by regulation, all backflow prevention assemblies are required to be tested annually. This test must be completed by a certified tester who should complete the Field Test and Maintenance Report and return it to Liberty Utilities for their records.
For list of certified backflow testers or their employers, please use the link below for County of Los Angeles Health Department Environmental Health webpage.