Baxter Mutual Water Company

Water System Description

by Larry Gorden, June 2009, updated July 2011, November 2011

1.  Overview

The Baxter Mutual Water Company System consists of

Water is pumped out of the well (in North end of pump house) into the 20,000 gal holding tank.   Water is pumped from the holding tank by a pressure pump into the large pressure tank inside the pump house.  The pressure tank is open to the distribution lines which distribute pressurized water to the 14 residential connections (See  Baxter Distribution System Map)

2.  Well

The well uses a “turbine” pump meaning the motor sits above ground with a shaft running down the well to turn the pump.  The well motor is 20 hp, 440 Volt 3-phase.

Well Pump Motor Well Pump Motor Pump Motor 3

Pump Motor (click image for expanded view)

The well is 500 feet deep with 8 5/8 inch casing, drilled by Rottman Drilling in 1968, see Driller's Report.  An Edison report in 1991 listed the water level at 312’.

According to Baxter records, a check was written to Rottman drilling 2/23/1967 for $3359, we can assume that was for drilling the well; however Rottman records show that it was drilled between 2/6/1968 and 2/13/1968.    A check was written to AV Aggerate in 1968 which was likely for pouring the add-on concrete slab for the new well.  Checks were also written a fence company and a lumber company (repair fence and extend pump house???).  I don’t know what, if anything, was moved from the old well to the new well.  I couldn’t find anything in the checkbook register other than payments to DRC that would might cover new equipment.  Checks were written to DRC pumping in 5/6/1967 and 6/5/1967 for a total of $787.  DRC has no records of it.  I suspect that the pump/motor was moved from the old well to the new well, making the motor/pump of 1953 vintage!

An additional 10 feet of property was acquired when the new well was drilled and added to the existing property, making the Baxter Water Company property 60’ x 60’, a cutout in the Gorden property.  The deed for the property addition was recorded July 30, 1968.   That was probably done by Bill Burwell who previously owned what is now the Gorden property which surrounds the Baxter Water Company property.

3.  Well to Holding Tank Pipe, Flowmeter, Check Valve.

A 4-inch pipe runs from the well pump to the holding tank.  The pipe runs up the side of the holding tank and dumps into the top of the tank.  Installed in the pipe within the pump house are a check valve and a flowmeter.  These were installed Nov. 15-16, 2011, to satisfy write-up by LA County.  See flowmeter manual and flowmeter certification

I take a flowmeter reading at the first of each month and enter it into the Baxter logbook.  I coordingate flushing the system every 6 months and enter it into the Baxter logbook.

4.  Holding Tank.

Water is pumped out of the well and into the holding tank via a 6” pipe.  Water is pumped into the top of the tank and exits at the bottom of the tank via two pipes to each of two pressure pumps.  The holding tank was installed around 1977 with a $10K loan that was paid off in subsequent years.

From North  From South

Pump House and Holding Tank (click image for expanded view)

Water level is controlled by two sensors that hang down in the tank.  The lower sensor causes the pump to turn on when water level falls below it.  The upper sensor causes the pump to shut off when the water level reaches it.  The tank level is kept between ¾ full and full so that we have water in an emergency such as fire or power out.

The tank is 24’ high with 12’ diameter giving it 20,305 gal capacity.  Water exits the holding tank at the bottom via two pipes to the pressure pumps.

5.  Pressure Pumps.

There are two pressure pumps, one is a backup to the other.  The pressure pump gets water from the holding tank and pumps it through the snorkel into the holding tank.   The snorkel is the pipe loop that extends above the pump house.  The snorkel allows some air to enter the pressure tank each time the pump turns on.  This keeps the air head in the pressure tank at the proper level.  Before the snorkel was installed the pressure tank had to be periodically re-pressurized with an air compressor.

A pressure switch on the pressure tank controls the pressure pump and keeps pressure in the tank between 40 and 60 psi.  The backup pressure pump is configured to turn on at a lower pressure than the main pressure pump.  So if the main pressure pump fails, then the backup pressure pump will continue to keep the tank pressurized.

New pressure pumps were installed in 1992.  The pressure pumps are 220 Volt 3-phase. 

Pressure Pumps  Pressure Pumps 

Pressure Pumps and Pressure Tank (click image for expanded view)

6.  Pressure Tank.

The pressure tank consumes most of the pump house.  The tank is a horizontal cylindrical tank with 6 ft diameter and 23 ft length giving it a 5,711  gallon capacity.  Water level is maintained in the pressure tank at approximately half tank at low level and 3/4 tank at high level.  Pressure is maintained in the tank between 40 and 60 psi.  The pressure tank has a 1953 date on it.

7.  Distribution

Water is distributed from the pressure tank in the pump house.  Water exits the tank to a "T" under the concrete slab.  One side of the T goes to west to the property surrounding the pump house (Gorden, previously Baca, previously Burwell).  The other side of the T goes into the main distribution line which distributes water to the residences along 125th Street.  This part of the system  was upgraded (By Bob Clutter, 946-1372) to 6 inch PVC in 1989 and runs down the center of the road.  There is a main shutoff valve for this part of the system next to the pump house.  One inch lines go from the 6 inch main distribution line to each of the residences.

7.  Old Well

There are two drilled wells; the one at the south end of the pump house is “dead” and not used.  Rumor has it that there was a problem with the well, a shift in the strata, so a new well was drilled and the old well capped off.  The original well was 350 feet deep and used an 8” casing.  It was apparently drilled around 1953.  If dates are correct then the original well lasted only about 15 years.