Both the Orchard City water committee and the board of trustees met for brief meetings on Wednesday, June 12. At 10 a.m., the water committee reviewed the monthly treatment plant report, discussed some projects and looked at solutions to improve the water audit loss report.
For the plant, staff said everything is running good and flow was turned up to 720 gallons per minute. In December the plant needs to upgrade to a new computer since support for Windows 7 will stop. They're also looking at improving the Internet speed up there. Internet isn't mandatory but it makes it easier to log things like effluent turbidity without having a staff member present every four hours.
The pipeline project on Kaiser Road is underway and Knights Road bids are now open. When they did the walkthrough for the contractors, three were present.
Regarding the water audit, discussion leaned toward the need to improve the water loss percentage. Trustee Doug Keller brought up how previously staff mentioned they've seen some of the meters not record accurate output. Since the meters are mechanical, when they start to fail readings may be less than what's being used.
For example, gallon may be pushed through but it only reads as .9. Spread out over the 2,185 or so meters and this may be contributing to the high water loss.
The last time the meters were replaced was 15 years ago, in 2004. Currently the policy is to replace them when they fail, or reading as no output. This can happen over time, or suddenly. Town Administrator Melissa Oelke suggested the project be a 2020 budget consideration.
Replacing a meter costs $200. When the previous system-wide replacement happened, one staff member was responsible for the project all summer and it was a $50,000 budget item.
Keller brought up the desire to discuss lower water rates since there is currently "an abundance of water," but since Trustee Dick Kirkpatrick was absent from the meeting the discussion had to be postponed.
At the board of trustees meeting later that evening at 7 p.m., trustees held the first reading of an ordinance adopting road specifications. This would create an intermediate category for roads, relaxing regulation on paving depending on the number of lots. Next month will be a public hearing and vote.