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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Town committee keeping eye on water usage

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To start off the Orchard City water committee meeting on Aug. 8, Steve Kehmeier approached the board with a proposal regarding his water line. In short, he plans to pay for the relocation of his water meter and line near Nowhere Road.

Per his concern, the board agreed that if he desires extra pressure than what the town guarantees up to his meter then he will need to put in a water pump booster.

Additionally, he will donate and sign over his existing pipeline to the city for future use. The committee agreed to put this on the agenda for the next work session so it can write out clearly what is to be agreed upon.

Next, Paul Kehmeier from the planning commission spoke with the committee.

He mainly advised that private water lines put into houses or subdivisions be built to town specifications. He expressed concern over guarding the town's financial liability should lines not be up to specifications and they become responsible for repairs/maintenance.

This recommendation is based on the reality that "in the future the town may need to take over these lines." While the committee expressed desire to not take responsibility for private lines it agreed the town may need to take action in the future.

Paul Crockett, visitor, recommended "reviewing current town standards for future growth," should the town put this policy into place. The committee agreed to look at it further along with road specifications, particularly regarding water code in subdivisions.

Melissa Oelke, Orchard City town administrator, then presented answered questions from the town attorney.

The attorney said should the town need to cut off excessive water users, after taking precautionary and communicative measures, they have the right to due so. This is due to excessive water use in a drought jeopardizing the wellbeing of others and the town.

"If we have to deal with this situation then we know the law backs us up," said Oelke.

The attorney said the town can restrict the vending machine use just to town residents if needed. Currently this machine is responsible for one percent of water consumption. There are two major construction projects using more water than usual for this machine.

Mike England said he thinks the town is okay to continue the use of the vending machine. "The water plant usage is down," he said. Usage went down from 660 gpm to 575 gpm overnight due to the water bills.

Next, the monthly treatment plant brought good news. "The flow is down about 250 gpm from last year," said trustee Dick Kirkpatrick.

To finish the meeting the committee reviewed the water audit. This report indicated that water conservation efforts are working.

Per the report, 616 users had under 10,000 gallons of consumption, 210 users had 10,000 to 15,000 gallons and 362 had over 15,000 of consumption.

Trustee Doug Keller urged the committee to focus on targeting the 362 to decrease their consumption. "Let's just see if they do that two months in a row," commented Kirkpatrick.

Similar to last year, the report indicated 7 percent of consumption could not be accounted for, due to leaks and other causes. This represents about 1.8 million gallons.

Oelke did note there were two reported leaks last month that are now fixed. Overall, consumption is down thanks to citizens conserving water.

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Surface Creek
Orchard City, water
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