Water losses continue to plague district

The Pine Cove Water directors approved a new resolution reauthorizing its rebate policy and program last week.

Before the unanimous vote, General Manager Jerry Holldber described the differences between the new policy and the previous policy. For example, low-flow shower heads were deleted this year since the district includes them in the free water kits. Also, outside smart watering systems were deleted, too.

In financial business, Holldber reported that for fiscal year 2016-17, which ended June 30, the district had about $290,000 available, of which about 20 percent was the result of earnings during the fiscal year.

The unexpected revenue came primarily from two sources: The signing bonus from renegotiating the contract with American Tower and the sale of six water meters last year.

When the fiscal year ended, total revenue was about $70,000 greater than costs.

This fall, Holldber plans to apply for several grants to help extend the pipeline, and water, to areas vulnerable to fire.

Holldber is working with the district’s engineer, John Egan, to develop some formulas for calculating the cost of water production. These will be used for possible future rate changes, he said.

In water business, Holldber reported that water use had exceeded 4 million gallons for the second-consecutive month and the water loss was 25 percent.

In both June and July, water production was 20 percent greater than the same months in 2016.

While staff has scoured the district for potential leaks and discovered and repaired some, these are insufficient to explain the loss, he added.

“It’s probably the largest loss in any two-month period. We’ve spent many days looking for leaks,” Holldber said. Then added, “I think I have figured out where the loss has gone and why it happened. But more investigation needs to be done.”