Water consumption has continued to grow this year in Pine Cove. Pine Cove Water District General Manager Jerry Holldber reported at last week’s board meeting that the August production was 3.7 million gallons, 50,000 gallons more than July, but 460,000, or 14 percent, more than a year ago.

“Last August’s consumption was low because of the thunderstorms in the area from the Mountain Fire until Labor Day,” he said.

“Production in August was up quite a bit,” Holldber said. “There are a couple of reasons. Use of water for construction was more than usual. And second, the [storage] tank level rose this month.”

Unaccounted-for losses this summer have been about 10 percent, which are slightly higher than average and another reason production is up, Holldber stated.

However, Pine Cove water consumption for the first eight months of the year is 6.5 percent less than the same period in 2009 and 15.4 percent less than a decade ago.

While consumption has grown slightly this year, Holldber noted that the level of the district’s static well (no. 10) rose 2 feet since July. (During the past year, the level has fallen 12 feet.)

Several other wells’ water levels rose also, causing Holldber to comment, “We’re OK. We’ve been spreading the usage out overall so as not to impact one area extensively.”

The pipeline replacement work is nearing its completion for this year, Holldber said. Through August, about 3,000 feet of pipe were installed at an average cost of about $60 per foot. Last summer, the district laid about 900 feet of pipeline along Highway 243 at an average cost of about $70 per foot.

The asphalt still has to be poured, but most of the work is done, he told the board.

“I think we’re very wise with our pipeline replacement, especially when I read about the massive pipe breaks in Los Angeles,” President Mike Esnard said.