Understanding Water Utility Operations

Water Distribution

The City of Irving's water distribution provides potable drinking water and fire protection to a population of over 200,000.  It makes up 700 miles of water main. The distribution system consist of four pump stations; Hackberry, Northgate, Carbon and the newly constructed MacArthur.  The distribution system meets and exceed all Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requirements and maintains a superior water quality rating.

Wastewater Collection

Wash Truck the main purpose of a wash truck is to keep the main sewer line clean. Solids are put into the sewer system from residential, industry, and construction. The wash truck can clear and keep solids moving, so a sanitary sewer overflow does not occur. By the use of pressurized water flowing through a hose and nozzles of special and different designs the sewer lines can be clean and well maintained.

Wash Truck

TV Truck the main purpose of this truck is to televise and inspect sanitary sewer mains and services. It gives us visual data for determination of future needs to the wastewater collection system. Tree roots found inside a sewer line.

TV Truck   Roots in sewer line

Employee in full safety gear making repairs to a sewer manhole.

manhole Manhole scuba gear

Rod Truck a description of a rod truck is to say it is a large roto-rooter. This machine is designed to use cutting bits and rods that rotate in the main sewer line. The bits will cut out roots, grease deposits, calcium buildup along with other harden material that is found in the sewer mains.

Rod Truck

Vactor Truck is actually a combination of a wash truck and a vacuum unit. This truck does the same thing as a wash truck, but with the vacuum it will extract large debris from the sewer main, so it can be transported to a dumping site at the treatment plant. The Vactor truck also assists in excavations and clean ups as needed.

Vac Truck 

 vac truck  vac truck cleaning manhole

We inspect the inside of manholes for problems and remove unwanted debris.

debris catcher 

The Wash Trucks, Vactor Trucks and Rod Trucks work hard to help prevent sewer overflow and keep the sewer flowing to the Treatment Plant.

Pumps and Motors are use in both water and wastewater systems. Pumps and motors come in a variety of design and styles. The knowledge to work and maintain these units takes time, specialized training and hands-on experience. There are various sizes of pumps and motors in the utility system. We have pumps and motors sized to meet customer demand and maintain throughout the distribution system.

Wastewater system pumps are used to move wastewater from a lower point to a higher point. Sewer flows down hill and when it gets to a deep point it is time to move it to a higher point so it can keep flowing as designed. Sometimes it can be a close as across the street and sometimes up to several city blocks away.

Water system pumps and motors are designed to maintain certain flows and pressures throughout the system. Throughout the day water usage will change due to the demand needed by the customers. With these changes pumps and motors will turn on and off so that pressures and flows will stay the same and the quality will remain at the highest level.

 Pump 1
 Pump 2
 Pump 3  Pump 4

Water and Wastwater Repairs 

This is an orange fiber optic conduit installed through the bottom of our wastewater line and the soap suds you see should be inside the pipe.  We repair water and wastewater mains and services, that other utilities damage.

Fiber optic conduit soap

This is an 18" RCCP (Reinforced Concrete Cylinder Pipe) water pipe that runs under State Hwy 114 at Longhorn. This pipe started leaking so we repaired it.  It was deep and close to the high way and required a trench box for safety. 


Raw Water Pumping

SCADA is an acronym for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition.  It is a system used by our pumping group to monitor and control the city's water system and monitor the wastewater system from on location.

Water Conservation as a city program is intended to encourage Irving residents to use water wisely and efficiently so that supplies remain available over the long-term and to ensure that this important, life-sustaining resource is not wasted. The Texas Water Code defines water conservation as "those practices, techniques and technologies that will reduce the consumption of water, reduce loss or waste of water, improve the efficiency of the use of water or increase the recycling and reuse of water so that a water supply is made available for future or alternative uses."  So, in the interest conservation, city officials will promote programs, technologies, events and a variety of public information that will prevent water loss and encourage an informed and reasonable use of water by the public.

Water Conservation - Elem

Water Reuse or reclaimed water as it is often referred to, utilizes treated wastewater for non-potable uses such as the irrigation of public places which may include roadway medians, parks, golf courses, athletic fields and other green spaces.

Leak Detection is a component of water conservation that relies on highly technical expertise and specialized equipment to identify the location of leaks throughout the city's water distribution system and pinpoint the location of those leaks at which visible water may or may not have surfaced.

 Leak detection 1  Leak detection 2
 Leak detection 3  Leak detection 4

Environmental Compliance

Cross Connection The federal government has established many required actions to protect our drinking water. One such action is the installation and maintenance of a backflow prevention assembly where a potential contamination hazard is determined to exist. The Cross Connection/Backflow Section of Environmental Compliance works to assure that these devices are correctly installed and properly functioning with periodic inspections and testing.

FOG fats, oils and grease from our kitchens are the primary cause for sewer blockages and "back-ups". The FOG Section of Environmental Compliance works to educate the public to this problem. Through presentations and distribution of literature, the program provides alternative disposal methods and spreads the message to "cease the grease."  Watch the video

Industrial Pretreatment Some industries, due to their manufacturing process, or to the nature of their final product, represent potential threats to our city sewer system. The industrial waste can damage infrastructure, expose personnel to hazardous chemicals, or interfere with treatment plant operation. As a result, these industries must "pre-treat" their waste stream prior to releasing it to the city sewer system in order to prevent such negative effects. The Industrial Pretreatment Section of Environmental Compliance works to assure that these "pre-treatment" actions are taken and are effective.

 Industrial Pretreatment Workshop

Pretreatment Workshop



Lead and Copper Program The City of Irving has a lead and copper testing program performed every three years. Fifty homes in Irving are tested and monitored for lead and copper. The State of Texas runs the test and sends Irving the results. The results are reported in the Water Qualtiy Report every year.

Stormwater The major source of pollutants to our water supply is stormwater runoff. The state has established a series of required actions designed to minimize or eliminate the contaminating effects of stormwater. The Stormwater Section of Environmental Compliance works to meet or exceed all these state mandates.

Wastehaulers One of the most common causes of failure in our city sewer system is blockage by grease. To prevent this problem, Irving businesses are required to install grease traps on their sewer. These traps must be periodically serviced in order to maintain proper function. Our Wastehauler Section monitors the servicing of these traps to assure appropriate frequency of service and the proper disposal of the collected waste.

Water Quality To assure our water is safe, Water Utilities test the water thousands of times each month, including tests for many more contaminates that government standards require. We take our primary responsibility very seriously.  Water is life, and life in Irving is very good. 

Engineering Services is responsible for identifying and completing water infrastructure projects needed to maintain water and sewer service to the city's customers now and in the future. These projects are identified through master planning efforts and end up as part of an overall capital improvements plan. Once the projects are part of the plan, the design is completed and the project is bid out and constructed.

Capital Projects are projects that involve work at the city's pump station, lift station and tank sites. These projects are completed to improve the reliability and redundancy of these facilities as well as extend their useful life.

Technical Training is required for personnel working in the water industry in order to obtain and update specialized water licenses. City staff are not allowed to work on various portions of the city's water and wastewater system without having exhibited the required specialized knowledge that is confirmed through the State mandated testing process overseen by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

 Training2  Training3
 Training1  Training4

Water Resources/Planning includes management of the existing Lake Chapman raw water system that brings raw water from Lake Chapman to Lake Lewisville as well as on-going efforts to secure and develop future raw water sources needed to meet the city's ultimate raw water needs.

Utility Locates are completed by Water Utilities staff in order to identify the location of underground water and wastewater lines. Marking these lines with paint and flags is required prior to excavation for construction, so that the lines are not broken, which could disrupt service to city customers.  Please contact Texas Excavation Safety System to locate all other utilities if digging deeper than 16 inches.

GIS the City of Irving Water Utility Geographic Information System (GIS) digitally maps our Water distribution system and our Sanitary Sewer collection system in a digital format that provides information to field crews and administrative staff for the purposes of locating our infrastructure, providing customer care, planning, and facilitating administrative processes. These maps of underground lines are critical to field operations and staff to help prevent service interruptions and to expedite service by identifying the location and types of infrastructure prior to dispatching work crews. Also, work orders are linked to the GIS locations to assess where and how much resources are being expended.

Utility Services is front line personnel that meet Irving's customers face to face to discuss and resolve water issues. These issues range from leaks, meter accuracy, water quality and pressure issues. This section is also responsible for the meter replacement, repair and accuracy testing. The technicians also shut off water in an emergency situation when requested.

Hydrants and Valves Isolation valves are important because they allow sections of the water main to be shut down for repairs without affecting large areas and many customers. When an isolation valve does not operate properly it becomes necessary to replace that valve. These isolation valves are especially important at fire hydrants. Fire hydrants are used not only for fire protection but also are used to flush and circulate water to ensure a high quality of water is delivered to our customers. Isolation valves at fire hydrants allow the fire hydrant to be maintained without disrupting water service to our customers.

 TX Stadium Line  Skyway Cir