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Water Losses Hit Lowest Level in Three Years

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August 21, 2011 by wcobserver

By Susan McCarthy

WEST FORK – Unaccounted water losses continued to decline for the fourth month in a row, falling to their lowest levels in three years. The City’s Water and Wastewater Utilities Supervisor, Michael “Butch” Bartholomew told water commission members in an Aug. 3 meeting that while water losses are down over 50 percent from March, 2011, there was more work to be done.

Bartholomew reported unaccounted water losses in July were 19.20 percent; in March, 2011, water losses accounted for 42.55 percent of the water the City of West Fork purchased from Fayetteville.

Unaccounted water losses represent the difference between water purchased and what the City of West Fork sells to its roughly 1,000 water customers. While all municipal water systems will experience some water loss, cities typically target to keep losses between 10 and 15 percent.

According to Bartholomew, the city’s utility has made 22 repairs in 2011. The city saw a 12 percent decrease in water loss between March and April after a leak near the city’s water treatment plant was found and repaired. Bartholomew previously stated he estimated that leak represented a million gallons of water a month. He said in recent weeks, city water employees discovered two leaking water hydrants while weed-eating and cleaning all of the city’s hydrants.

Bartholomew told water commission members that the new water rate increase had cycled through a full billing cycle and there had been few complaints. He said the rate increase went into effect when water usage was at its highest point, making the increase even more evident. He said a few complaints had been resolved when people realized their water usage was also much higher.

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