Situated westerly of the intersection of routes I-84 and 72 in central Connecticut, Valley Water Systems, Inc (VWS) provides metered service primarily to the Town of Plainville and portions of Farmington and Southington. The Company provides approximately 1.8 million gallons per day to over 6700 customers in a region having a relatively large commercial and industrial base.
VWS has seven employees and a six-member Board of Directors reporting to approximately 250 stockholders. The size of this organization is typical of a cluster of investor-owned water utilities in the Farmington River Valley.
As what might be called a medium-sized Company, the challenges VWS faces today probably would seem no more imposing than those viewed by Superintendent Joseph McKiernan back in 1912. Take for instance his comments in regard to certain water mains known locally as CLCC pipe: Said Mr. McKiernan, "The old cement-lined pipe has about reached its age of usefulness, and I should advise the gradual replacing of it by cast-iron pipe, using nothing less than 6" pipe, except for short extensions. I should advise further the cutting in of several gate valves to make possible a good control of the system. Your superintendent would like to have taken up soon the matter of grading and otherwise beautifying the pumping station grounds."
During the intervening period between then and now, other competing priorities have delayed the replacement of the "old cement-lined pipe" so that particular project shares just a spot with other challenges for the Company's attention in this capital intensive industry.
Today VWS has replaced all of that old CLCC pipe and is addressing new infrastructure challenges. As a consequence of replacing significantly long stretches of nearly century old pipe, hydraulic capacity of the system has so improved as to place VWS at the top of the Insurance Service Office's #ISO# rating scale. ISO is a major consultant to the insurance industry's underwriters.
Of course, all the Company's accomplishments could not have been possible without its talented work force. There was a time when a water utility of our size could get by just with hard work. No more. Today's drinking water industry demands individual expertise and job commitment. If you are one of VWS' employees, you have a college degree or you have a specialized license to work as an operator of drinking water facilities.
Each veteran employee brings experience to the job site that enables efficiency and productivity. Each new employee brings state of the art skills to the Company that facilitate new ways of working that are transferred to other employees. With this depth of expertise, the Company has leveraged technology resulting in increased productivity while maximizing customer to employee ratios. Examples of these technologies include system control and data acquisition #SCADA# systems, radio frequency based meters, and state of the art computer networks. You will see many of these employees on other pages of our website.
Behind the scenes of this Company dynamic are the mentors, namely our very knowledgeable Directors who individually bring their skills to the Board table. They are:
- Pauline Ahern
- William Galske
- Nicholas LaChance
- Richard A. McGrath
- Donald J.E. Vaughan
- Stephen Densberger
They are very accessible; do not hesitate to give them a call. In the meantime, VWS will be looking forward to an expected new round of challenges, meeting them, and recording them in the minutes as Mr. McKiernan did so aptly in 1912.