Cool Stuff

Photo Gallery:

Pictures of past and present utility related projects.

Built in 1999 this new elevated storage tank brought the storage capacity of the utility up to 2.8 million gallons.

Power Town:

Electrical safety education for children.

WW&LC is committed to safety education for the kids of our service territory.  Through the Power Town program WW&LC demonstrates the dangers of the electrical system and the importance of safety near utilities.  The Power Town demonstrations are conducted by utility experts and are happy to answer any questions the children may have.

How Stuff Works:

Explanations of how the water and electric are supplied to WW&LC customers.

Wisconsin Rapids water comes from an area known as the Buena Vista Aquifer.  This is a large underground lake known as the Buena Vista Marsh located south east of Wisconsin Rapids.  The water is supplied by rain over this large area.  The rain then soaks into the soil and the city of Wisconsin Rapids collects it in 4 large collector wells and one smaller drilled well.  At the wells chlorine is added to the water as it is pumped to the filter plant for filtration.  The water enters the filter plant mixing chamber where Lime and Polymer (Flocculent) are added to help coagulate the iron particles.  The water then flows into the Accelator where Alum is added to aid in the coagulation process.  In the Accelator the iron oxidizes and forms a flock that settles to the bottom.  The clean water then flows out of the top of the Accelator in troughs called Launders and is channeled to the filters where any remaining particles are removed.  Fluoride is then added before the water is stored in the clear well (large storage tank) at the plant.   From there the water is pumped into the distribution system and water towers.  The purpose of the water towers is to provide a constant water pressure.  By storing the water 140 feet above the ground WW&LC is able to provide the city with a consistent 60 psi water pressure.  As the water in the distribution system is used by customers the levels in the towers lowers.  When it reaches a certain level we pump more water into the distribution system to raise the level in the tower and maintain system pressure.

WW&LC does not generate any of the electrical power that it provides for its customers.  Instead it purchases the power from other Utilities.  This power enters the city at two different locations.  One on the West side of the city and the other on the East side of the city.  The Wisconsin River is the dividing line between the East and West system and although there are cables which run under the Riverview Expressway Bridge which can connect the two pieces of the electrical system.  This connection point is only closed during times of emergency.  The voltage levels at these two connection points are 115,000 volts on the East side of the city and 69,000 volts on the West side of the city.  These voltage levels are then transformed down to a distribution level of 13,200 volts at five different substations.  The overhead and underground lines that run throughout the city pass by our commercial and residential customers.  Individual transformers at these locations feed power to our customers at 480 volts for larger commercial loads and 240/120 volts for residential or smaller commercial loads.  WW&LC recently installed an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) System.

AMI – What is is?

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), what it means for the customer and the utility.

The Water Works & Lighting Commission is currently in the process of updating its meter reading capability by installing new electronic AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) meters.   AMI is the technology of automatically collecting consumption, diagnostic, and status data from water meter or energy metering devices and transferring that data to a central database for billing, troubleshooting, and analyzing.  This advance mainly saves utility providers the expense of periodic trips to each physical location to read a meter. Another advantage is billing can be based on near real time consumption rather than on estimates based on previous or predicted consumption. This timely information along with analysis can help both utility providers and customer’s better control the use and production of electric energy, or water consumption.  For more information see: AMI Presentation (pdf)