Town taking aggressive steps to reduce non-revenue water

Jason Malloy
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

TRURO - Truro wants to drastically reduce the amount of water that goes unpaid for from its water utility.
The utility currently has about 35 per cent "non-revenue water," according to a Nova Scotia Utility and Review board report released in late December.
Director of public works Andrew MacKinnon said that is due to a variety of things, including flushing and use of hydrants as well as water breaks. The town is undergoing an "aggressive" replacement program for its meters, some that date back more than 30 years, to help reduce the amount of non-revenue water.
"As meters age, they under register, and people end up not paying as much as they should for their water," MacKinnon said. "There are a lot of old meters out there we need to replace too that will bring our
number down."
Replacing meters is a cost to the utility and not the homeowner, but it was used as part of the reasoning for water rate increases the board approved in late December.
MacKinnon said the 35 per cent figure is higher than the norm for municipal water utilities with most in the 20 to 30 per cent range. He would like to see the figure decrease to 10 per cent by the end of 2013 - the last year the board approved increases for.
The town is also undergoing an extensive leak detection program. It has bought the required equipment and staff has been trained.
Slow leaks could occur for days before reaching the surface and becoming evident without the new monitoring system.
Consultants in past years have done a survey and found the system, despite some of the infrastructure dating back more than a century, was in relatively good shape.
The town has somewhat a different variable in its utility with much of the downtown, from the tracks to the river, being built on a gravel bed.
"If we get a leak, it could be perking through the soil and we would never know it," MacKinnon said.
The town is also looking at reducing the number of unmetered sites from 51 to 31 by 2012-13.

jmalloy@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Review board

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Smc
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    I wish they would make a concerted effort to give us clean water for people living on the marsh side of Robie Street. We pay high rates for dirty water that is unfit to use for laundry or for drinking. The town officials simply don't give a darn about the people down here.

  • Sam
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Replacing meters is a cost to the utility and not the homeowner, but it was used as part of the reasoning for water rate increases the board approved in late December.

    So what this is saying is that replacing the meters really IS a cost to homeowners as rates were raised to cover these costs - right?