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West Fork Water Losses Dip

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June 27, 2011 by wcobserver

By Susan McCarthy

WEST FORK – Amid battling a financial crisis, West Fork’s Water and Wastewater Utility did get some good news last week. Unaccounted water losses have dipped to their lowest levels since July, 2009.

The city’s water loss report for May, 2011 shows the utility lost 25 percent of the water it purchased from the City of Fayetteville. Unaccounted water is the difference between what the city purchases and what it sells to its roughly 1,000 customers.

The loss is a significant decrease from the 42.5 percent loss reported in March of this year and is the second month in a row that water losses have decreased. The May decrease translates to a savings over 1.6 million gallons of water and about a $3,800 reduction in what the utility paid for water.

Bartholomew said his staff made six water line repairs in April, one of which he suspects has been leaking a long time.

“Our guys worked diligently and got lucky and found some things almost impossible to find…,” Bartholomew told water commission members at a meeting on Monday.

He said a large leak was located under a limestone bluff near the city’s water treatment plant. Leaks along porous rocky areas are difficult to find because they never surface, said Bartholomew.

Records show that four water leaks were also repaired in March and unaccounted water losses in April were reported to be 34 percent.

Bartholomew told water commission members that he hopes to get water losses closer to 15 percent and keep them there. He said the city is continuing its leak detection survey.

Last year, records show that water losses started the year near 40 percent and then dipped to 26 percent in June, 2010 before climbing again.

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