By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Water and Sewer Authority received its annual 2021 Water Audit Report, and went over the results at the brief, 10-minute meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Chair Eddie Cantrell was absent from the meeting. Vice Chair Travis Daniel presided over the meeting.
“It actually turned out not too bad. It looks worse than what it is,” General Manager Sherri Walker said about the audit results. “We pumped out into the system 736 million gallons of water for 2021. 465 million gallons was authorized consumption. The rest of that was either loss or unauthorized consumption.”
Unbilled and unmetered water equaled out to be 8.61 million gallons. Walker said that leaks, flushing, and usage from the fire departments contributed to this number.
“We are losing a lot of water there. It’s not really loss water, it is being used, but I only have one fire department in the whole county that reports to me. I’m not getting that information. That is something that I need to work on this year,” Walker said.
Unavoidable losses for the year were 122.9 million gallons. Walker noted that most of this was due to customer metering inaccuracies.
Walker explained to newer members Daniel Glecier and Allen Townsend how the water meter replacement program will help with the authority’s water losses. Most of the meters in the system are over 20 years old, and the life of a meter is 20 years.
“As that meter ages, as calcium deposits build up, the wheel turns slower. It is counting less water going through there,” Walker said. “We are putting in more accurate electronic read meters. That is going to help improve some of this water audit information.”
Walker gave an update on the ongoing USDA projects. For the water main upgrade project, all Hinkle area water mains have been installed. 13,331 feet of 6-inch water mains have been installed. All piping has been pressure tested and has negative Bac-T reports from the lab. All service reconnects have been made. All cutting and capping of existing water mains will be abandoned. All that will remain is surface restoration work.
“This is a good thing for the people of Hinkle,” Walker said.
The meter replacement program is in process. 1,120 residential meters have been replaced of the 1,152 received. Some re-programing had to be done for some previously installed meters. The contractor is planning to start a large meter replacement this week.
Demolition at the Sand Mountain Pump Station began Monday, Jan. 24. Minor work has started at the raw water pump station.
A work crew is expected this week at the Hooker water storage tank and the Lookout water storage tank, to complete the remaining rehabilitation work at both sites.
“The project list is getting shorter and shorter. Thank you all,” Daniel said.
Elizabeth Zeller presented the financial report. Total income for the month of January was $304,613.45. Total expenses for the month were $275,664.82. There were 119 line locates, seven water main leaks repaired, and six taps installed. 6,411 payments were processed and 260 work orders were processed.
The next Water and Sewer Authority meeting is March 22.