Joe P. Asher
The Evarts City Council held a special called meeting on Monday to discuss solutions to water issues that resulted in homes being without water over Memorial Day weekend.
Chief Water Plant Operator Woody Fields advised the council concerning what can been done to insure such problems do not occur again.
“We were discussing about getting a new well, and…doing some leak detection and water loss prevention,” stated Fields.
Mayor Eddie Manning pointed out there are some issues that need to be dealt with as soon as possible.
“We do need a back up well, there’s no doubt about that, but right now we’ve got a more immediate problem we need to address. Woody’s calculations are that we’re getting about a 60 percent water loss,” stated Manning.
Manning explained there may be a margin for error, but the leaks still need to be fixed before any grant money can be applied for.
“If we go to anybody right now and ask for money, the first thing they’re going to ask is what’s your water loss, and if we tell them 40 percent, they’re basically going to tell us fix your leaks first,” stated Manning.
Fields clarified that fixing leaks is the immediate problem.
“The well would be something that even if approved and the money appropriated could take upwards to two or three weeks to finish if you started today,” explained Fields. “The water loss once they find the leak that’s something that can be fixed now.”
The council discussed hiring Kenvirons Inc., an engineering company to find and repair leaks. Manning said Kenvirons’ fee of $3,000 a month would be worth it to get the leaks fixed.
“By Kristi’s (Lamb, city clerk) calculations we sell an average of 340,000 gallons of water per day. Our plant is pumping between 580,000 and here the last little bit we’ve been pumping better than 700,000 gallons a day. So if you start looking at what we’re averaging selling to what we’re averaging pumping we’re losing a lot of water,” explained Manning. “If these guys come in and save us 100,000 gallons of water a day, $3,000 a month is a drop in the bucket.”
According to Manning, once the council is satisfied that enough leaks have been fixed, the contract can be terminated.
“The average six-month period for them to do this — we’re not set on that,” explained Manning. “If he comes in and we find enough leaks after a month and we feel confident that we can stop it — we can stop it right then.”
Fields assured the council that he would know right away when a satisfactory job had been done.
“Anything that’s fixed, I would know in two days time. It’s not like it would take a month for me to find out. I would know immediately just by how the plant pumps,” said Fields.
A motion was made and passed to hire Kenvirons Inc. to find and repair the leaks.
Manning addressed some possible security issues with the water system.
“Something that’s troubling all of us, is that we seem to be losing a lot of water at night,” stated Manning. “The one thing I do want to ask is that if anybody in the public sees any valves being turned at night, if they see any hydrants being opened at night without proper authorization, I would like them to contact Evarts Police Department.”
Manning pointed out the problem is under investigation.
“I’m not saying this is going on, but there are some circumstances there that are bothering us and we can’t figure it out. But, we’re going to stay on top of it until we do,” stated Manning.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com