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PAWSD water loss update

Staff Writer

Water loss is up “about twenty gallons a minute,” reported PAWSD Manager Ed Winton to the district’s board May 14.

Winton informed the board that Wachs Water Services (WWS) entered into a contract with PAWSD to survey 96 miles of the district’s pipes for water leaks. WWS began their survey using aquatic sounding techniques on Monday, May 5.

As of Wednesday, May 14, the company had completed surveying 56 of those miles and should have the remaining 40 miles of pipe surveyed by the end of this week.

By the close of business day May 14, WWS had found four fixable water leaks, which have been excavated and repaired. Three to four additional leaks were found that, according to Winton, were still in the process of being correlated.

The board asked what types of leaks WWS was finding, to which Winton replied, “It’s just junk pipe. There’s no better way to describe it.”

PAWSD intends to contract with WWS for another 96-mile survey in the near future. The dates are uncertain as WWS is currently surveying 5,000 miles in Puerto Rico (which has a 60-percent water loss rate). The company is working to fit PAWSD in around their Puerto Rico schedule.

In the meantime, “we’re pretty happy with their progress,” Winton commented.

After Winton’s report, PAWSD board member and newly elected vice chairman Glenn Walsh suggested forming a water loss subcommittee. The board supported Walsh’s proposal and community member John Ramberg, also in attendance at the meeting, voiced his interest in serving on the subcommittee, as well.

Newly elected board chairman Mike Church appointed all five PAWSD directors and Ramberg to the subcommittee. The newly formed committee is hoping to meet the first week in June; an exact date has yet to be decided.

During the public comment portion of the board meeting, Ramberg presented a graph showing the district’s non-revenue water loss numbers over the past year. Ramberg called the picture of PAWSD’s current water loss status “a good one” during his presentation.

According to the report, water loss has dropped roughly 3 million gallons this year from the numbers reported in May 2013.

“That’s a direct result of the work of PAWSD … correcting geysers that finally came to the surface,” Ramberg stated.

Currently, the report pegs PAWSD’s water loss level at 16 million gallons per month, which equates to about 35 percent (192 million gallons) of water lost per year.

shanti.johnson@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on May 22, 2014.