The Town of Orchard City is adding improvements to its water utility, upgrading service to customers and increasing the efficiency of its delivery system.
Also, town officials are still working with engineers and contractors on determining the cause of last December’s West Main transmission line failure and have not announced whether further corrective action will be needed.
The rupture in the newly installed line spilled some 1.5 million gallons of treated water, it has been estimated.
Elsewhere, the staff of the town’s water utility has saved local rate payers “absolutely at least $10,000 to $15,000” on the current Tank Hill automation project, estimates Mayor Don Suppes.
The water utility staff has used its own knowledge and experience to engineer the project and to design, source, acquire and build two high-tech pressure relief valve works that are part of the work.
Water department supervisor Randy Haynes and Jamie Hladic designed the assemblies in house and sourced the needed components. The valve works are now assembled and installed in below-ground concrete-lined pits.
Once in operation, the Tank Hill automation project will allow the tank water levels to be monitored and adjusted remotely.
The design will keep the tanks from spilling valuable treated water when they reach an overfill condition, something that occurred when adjustments had to be made manually.
The new work will also improve water service pressure for customers in the tank hill area and to the south, Suppes explained.
Also, water utility work in Orchard City that has concentrated on cutting leakage from the distribution system is paying off. The monthly water audit report showed another decrease in line losses.
The May figure was 12 percent. It represents a declining trend this year beginning with January’s 26 percent, followed by February, 28 percent; March 22, percent; and April, 16 percent.
Town officials have stated that treated water loss in the range of 10 percent is considered “normal” for a system as large as Orchard City’s. That indicates an optimal efficiency figure may be within reach.