Good water pressure is something most homeowners take for granted. There's nothing worse than coming home from a hard day at work, looking forward to a nice shower, only to be met by trickling water due to low pressure. On the other hand, excessively high pressure can be a source of great stress and frustration. From joints to supply lines to faucets, damage can occur throughout the plumbing system.
Customers receive their water from the City of Green River. The water is pumped to the Joint Powers Water Treatment Facility, and then to storage tanks located at high points throughout the distribution area. The height of these tanks relative to the distribution area - along with the weight of the water - is what generates pressure. The higher the tank, the greater the pressure.
The pressurized water moves from multiple tanks to the water mains that feed the community. In areas where pressure becomes too high, pressure reducing stations transfer high-pressure water to low-pressure areas, maintaining manageable levels throughout the system. Pressure in the water supply mains can exceed 120 psi.
Many factors influence the final water pressure you get in your home. The elevation of the building relative to both the height of the tank and the location of the water main can make a significant difference, as can the size of the main and the number of homes connected to it. A service line (the pipe connecting the home to the main) not properly sized for the home's needs can also affect the final pressure at the tap.
Residential water pressure tends to range between 45 and 80 psi (pounds per square inch). Anything below 40 psi is considered low and anything below 30 psi is considered too low; the minimum pressure required by code is 20 psi. Pressures above 80 psi are too high. Whereas low water pressure is more of a nuisance than a serious problem (some fixtures, like washing machines, have minimum pressure requirements), high water pressure carries with it a significantly increased risk of damage to pipes, joints, fixtures and seals.
Water pressure can be easily measured and monitored with a simple, inexpensive water pressure gauge that threads onto any hose bib.
To reduce high pressure in a home, you'll need a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV). In fact, these are often required by code for pressures beyond 80 psi. These devices do exactly what they say, reducing pressures of up to 400 psi down to a reasonable level of your choosing (most are factory set at 45 psi). Maintaining water pressure of 80 psi or less will reduce the risk of damage to water related equipment such as water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and hoses.
To protect your home/business from high pressure, the City of Green River recommends that water users install a pressure reducing valve in their service lines.