Has it ever crossed your mind that organizing functional water supply in a fell area is no easy feat? Hannu Teppo, General Manager of Levin Vesihuolto, describes how the water supply company makes the holidays of tourists as comfortable as possible.
“Levi is home to about 900 permanent residents, but has an accommodation capacity of about 25 000 bed-places. The variation in the number of people over the course of the year adds its own challenges to the water supply system.
Off-season flow rates are extremely low. This is the time when we pump water through the water supply network to flush it in different areas to guarantee water quality. During peak consumption times, water intake plants produce water non-stop at full capacity. Every week of the tourist season is different in practice. This also requires a certain amount of skill from the manager of the sewage plant, in addition to constant monitoring and adjustment of the process.
Few people ever think of water supply and sewerage in any way in their everyday life. Normally, people only notice it when there are problems with the water supply or water quality, such as a water supply outage due to maintenance.
We try to make sure that there are as few supply disruptions as possible and that the quality of the drinking water is high. We have several water intake plants in the area around the Levi fell, and all our water is groundwater.”
What if there’s a problem?
“We work 24/7 and there’s always someone on call. If there’s a problem with the water supply, the person on duty will come and check out the situation and take action, if necessary.
The most common issues have to do with water pipes freezing during bouts of extreme cold. Sewers can also become clogged. Luckily, these situations are rare. If a pipe has frozen, we sometimes even need an excavator to dig the pipe up, but in easier cases, the problem can be solved by switching on the heating cable of the water pipe, which the property owner has forgotten to do.
Another reason why water supply disruptions are rare is that the water supply network in the Levi region is mostly quite new. A large part of the network has been built in the 2000s. New areas covered by a town plan are built about every year, and we naturally build all the water supply engineering in these areas.
I really like my job, because we always have interesting projects going on in terms of plant development and construction. When I’m not working, I enjoy various forms of outdoor exercise, and Levi provides a wide range of opportunities for this.”