Although all Hill water districts have been plagued by leaks from this year’s unseasonably cold winter, Pine Cove suffered the fewest water losses of the three. General Manager Jerry Holldber credited district customers’ cold weather preparations.

In the first two months of 2013, PCWD water production was up 17 percent, Fern Valley had a 24-percent increase, and Idyllwild’s water production grew nearly 40 percent. All three districts saw burst and leaking pipes from the freezing winter.

“I believe the people of Pine Cove are listening,” Holldber told his board of directors at its Wednesday, March 13, meeting. “I’m happy with customer efforts,” he said, commenting on customer winterizing preparations and their response to the district’s water education programs.

“We’ve had few water issues,” said Holldber, citing few district leaks on the customers’ side since January, with only one of those leaks being major. “As cold as it was for as long as it was, we only had 12 leaks. I really think we’re making headway on customer education.” Holldber also credited the district’s $25 restaurant gift certificate for reporting leaks as helping raise customer awareness about leak awareness and detection.

A district website advisory reminds customers, “Please remember that all water that passes though the meter is the homeowner’s responsibility, even water lost due to frozen/broken pipes.”

Holldber said customers could benefit from more district education about their shutoff valves. “This spring, we’re going to do a [shutoff] valve campaign,” to help guide customers who may not know what their valves look like and how best to maintain them. The district would supply customers with free wood shavings, which would help insulate water related equipment, according to Holldber.

In other matters, Holldber reported that appraisal of the district office compared to what it would cost to comparably replace it make sale of the district office to the county not financially advisable. The district had considered interest expressed by the county in buying the office to expand CAL FIRE Station 23. He said he would consider permitting a CAL FIRE trailer on district property to help house crew for the new engine expected this spring.

Holldber reported February’s water production of 2.5 million gallons was greater than 2 million gallons in 2012 and 1.8 million gallons in 2011.

The district will host its annual customer appreciation lunch at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8, at the district’s Dutch Flat Plant, off Franklin Drive.