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Vera's water runs from semi- hard to hard with 12 to 18 grains of hardness per gallon
Vera Water & Power is one of the Inland Northwest's (Spokane area) largest water producers. In 2012, Vera pumped approximately 2.9 billion gallons of water from the Spokane Valley Aquifer. Vera has 10 wells that can pump over 41 million gallons of water a day with 5 reservoirs that have a total capacity of over 8.5 million gallons. Vera has about 200 miles of water mains in its system carrying pressures from 40 pounds to over 300 pounds of water pressure. Vera has a very good fire rating due to its ability to supply very good capacity and pressure to its system.
To handle the operations of Vera's Water Division, Vera has an Operation's staff of six combining over 79 years of experience with Vera. In the field, Vera has a crew of four Washington State Certified Operators with more than 60 years of service. Vera's experienced personnel enables the District to operate and maintain our water system and provide excellent customer service.
By the end of 2012 Vera Water & Power had over 7,834 water customers. Growth has come both in commercial and residential areas. Sullivan Road and Sprague Avenue have seen most of the new commercial development. The south end of Vera's District is where most of the new residential development has occurred.
The Spokane Valley Aquifer is a sole source aquifer. Vera pumps it's water from this aquifer, a source of drinking water that is pure and plentiful. We are able to pump this water out of the ground and serve it to our customers without treatment. This enables Vera's Water rates to be some of lowest in the nation. Vera's annual water base rates start from $14.00 for 14,960 gallons (2,000 cubic feet) per month with a residential 3/4" meter. Contact the office for a complete water rate schedule Any amount over the monthly allotment is billed once each year in the fall.
Since the Spokane Valley Aquifer is a sole source aquifer, Vera has become very active in the protection of this source. A Wellhead Protection Program Spokane Aquifer Joint Board SAJB, has been established in the Spokane area to promote the protection of our Aquifer. Every year Vera spends thousands of dollars testing the water to ensure its purity and maintain involvement in programs that educate and promote awareness for the protection of the aquifer.
Welcome to Vera's
WHERE VERA GETS ITS POWER
We currently purchase 98% of our Tier One power from Bonneville Power Administration, also known as BPA. Most of BPA's power is generated by the dams that are in place on the Columbia, Snake and other Northwest rivers. The output of the nuclear power plant owned by the Washington Public Power Supply System, located at Hanford, Washington is also purchased by BPA. For other sources of power, some is purchased from British Columbia, some from as far south as Los Angeles, and much from smaller generators in between.
We take delivery of power from BPA at three local substations, the newest of which is located at the intersection of Valleyway and Sullivan. You may see a sign at 16th and Sullivan announcing that we plan to build another substation there. This substation is planned to look just like the one on Valleyway and Sullivan and will probably be built sometime in the future. When we bill you for your electrical usage, about 70% of that money is being used to pay our power bill from BPA. As you can see by that percentage, a rate increase from BPA has dramatic effects on the rates that we charge to the customer. Right now, we are experiencing a temporary "surcharge" from Bonneville which Vera passes on to customers as a surcharge also. This is in addition to Vera's electric rates.
For Tier Two power requirements, those requirements above our shore of the BPA system, Vera has joined NIES, Northwest Intergovermental Energy Supply. This organization is comprised of a group of publically owned utilities who have banded together to purchase power and facilities that generate power.
WHAT CAUSES A POWER OUTAGE Print this
page out for reference during an outage!
Why We Have Power Outages - At Vera, as at all utilities, our customers sometimes experience electrical outages. These outages have many different causes, will last different lengths of time, and will affect different customers uniquely. At Vera, our goal is to limit the number and length of all outages. As a customer, you can do several things to help us make the outage as short as possible.
Most outages are caused by two problems. If you are in an area served by overhead power lines a like cause is the thousands of squirrels living in our District. They like to use the power lines for overhead freeways. When they make contact with an energized line, it causes the protective device to shut off the power. If the line is protected by a fuse, we then need to come out and replace the fuse. If the line is protected by a breaker, it may reset itself after blinking once or twice.
If you live in an area served by underground lines, the most common cause of an outage will be a faulted cable. During the mid' and late seventies, we received many miles of cable that have not performed up to initial claims. This cable is failing, and when it does, it causes the protective fuse to blow. There is a loud explosion that normally precedes the outage. When this cable does fault, our crews must isolate the faulted section and bypass it to restore power. This can take anywhere from one to four hours under normal circumstances, longer if there are complications. There are several other potential causes for outages; cars hitting poles, equipment failure, wind, trees, ice, lightning, etc. However, these other causes account for only about 10% of our total outages.
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A POWER OUTAGE
FIRST CHECK - If the power is out, the first thing that you should do is look to see if there is a problem with your equipment or with our supply. The easiest thing to do is look outside and see if the neighbor's lights are off also. If so, call us. If it appears that the problem may only be at your home, you should reset your breakers. If you have fuses, the easiest way to check is to have the few new ones available, and install them. If you try these things and still don't have power, call us. If you're ever in doubt, or worried about your electrical service call us, that's why we're here.
CALL US - It is important that we hear from you during an outage. Outages range in size from one or two homes to 1,000 or more. If there are just a few, you may be the only one to call and without a call, we can't start trying to solve the problem. When you call, be sure to give your name, address and phone number. In many cases, we will need to contact customers to insure that power has been restored and the phone is the quickest way to do so.
We have the same phone number night and day, (509) 924-3800. When the office is closed, this number is answered by a service. They may ask you to stay on the line while they contact the individual "on call" so that you can talk directly to them, or they may simply take a message and pass it on to the "on call" person. Please make sure that you leave a return phone number in this case. If you have any special circumstances that you feel that we should know, please tell us when you call.
LIFE SUPPORT - If you have life support equipment with limited battery backup time, it is imperative that we know. If the outage is going to be lengthy and the battery life is in jeopardy, call us, we may be able to suggest alternatives and/or sources for the rental of small generators.
HELP US OUT
- If you hear or see anything
that will help us to identify the cause of the outage, please pass that
information on to us. If you hear a loud explosion or see a flash in a
certain direction, that can be very useful information. If you know the
cause specifically, please let us know. We have to try to find the cause
of the outage before restoring power. So if you see a car hit a pole and
drive off, or a bird fly into the lines, or a squirrel climb onto a transformer
and the power goes off at that time, this information can cut the outage time
If you are unable to get through on the phone, wait a few minutes and try again. We only have 5 incoming lines, and they can get jammed easily when there is a large outage. Our operators will try to give an estimate of when the power will be restored, but these are only estimates. Please bear with them as they are only giving you what is relayed from the field, and it is the best available information at that time. The operators are constantly being updated.
WAITING - While you are waiting for the power to be restored, there are several things that you can do to protect your equipment and to facilitate the restoration of power to your home. One of the first things that you should do is to unplug sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, tv's, vcr's and stereos. This type of equipment is very sensitive to surges that may be created by testing, switching and repair procedures. After lengthy outages occurring during cold weather, it is very difficult for us to pick up all of the load that is without power at one time.
Sometimes, it is necessary for us to spend several hours breaking lines into small sections and re-connecting them one at a time. If customers would turn off the thermostat to electric heat when the power goes out and then wait until the power has been back on for about a half hour before turning the heat back on again, it would allow us to restore power to everyone much faster. If you have waited longer than what you were told to expect when the power went off, feel free to call us again. It is possible that a large problem caused one or more smaller problems. While correcting the large one, we may not know about the others and may need this information from you to restore power as quickly as possible.
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