Much needed repairs to the city’s water system is causing concern for members of the Lynch City Council. Tim Blanton with Kentucky Rural Water, addressed the council telling them the city is losing 90 percent of its water through leaks at a meeting on Tuesday.
“Today we found a total of four fire hydrants that are leaking water,” said Blanton. “You’re leaking water — a lot of it. Don’t know where it’s going except for those four spots yet. Two of them were major leaks and the boys have got some work to do to get them valved off and put a stop to losing that water. We’re going to reschedule to come back with portable flow meters and flow meter the whole town. The boys have quite a bit of stuff to do before we can even get to that part.”
Blanton said as far as the water shortages, he felt the city needs to run the water plant more hours, even if that meant bringing in more extra shifts.
“It’s the only thing you can do,” said Blanton. “The pump station can be made to work good. It worked good for a while when it was new, and then it had a problem and it got put back as good as it could. But now, it’s hurting and it needs some attention. We believe if you can fix your static line, and I’ve given your guys an option on how to do that cheaper, I think the pump station will come back 90 to 95 percent of it efficiency. We can fine tune the rest of it out and get it back to 100 percent. It’s going to take some time, effort and maybe a little bit of money.”
Blanton told council members the check valves at Gap Branch were also “tired and needed some attention.” He said part of the reason it only feeds 35 houses off the 269 gallon tank is because of a hand operation valve, which is due to check valves not holding back water and dividing their system into two big sections. He said he didn’t believe those valves have been adjusted since they were new. He added the weights on the weight arms need adjusted and the valve facings need to be cleaned. He said if that doesn’t cure the valve, then they will need a new valve.
Blanton said the reason the pump station can’t operate correctly and deliver water all the way back to the old school is because the check valves “down there” don’t hold tight and when they don’t hold tight that allows water to also feed all the way to the other tank, overflow it and then you’ve emptied one and overflowed the other causing a compounding effect.
“One of the best things you can do for the future is to have installed a couple of variable frequency drives so that everything is not running on pressure sensitive devices,” said Blanton. “Those will actually pay for themselves in about 10 years through electrical consumption savings and they will also reduce the wear and tear on your pump station. They really are a life saver for a pump station. Right now you have a two-stage soft start system and it’s perfectly functional. When you get that static line and check valves fixed I think everything else will fall right back into place.”
Mayor Johnny Adams said the city had a $5,000 estimate from Boggs Municipal to make repairs on their water system. Blanton said he had worked with Boggs Municipal before and would recommend their work if city employees weren’t able to complete the work themselves.
“You may need to use that money for a good leak detection device,” said Blanton. “The leak detection device you now have was built in 1974 and there is better stuff now. My leak detector is 100 times better than the one you have. It’s a $3,000 expenditure that the four leaks we found today have already paid for. You guys really need this. They are useful for other stuff, but finding water leaks alone will be reason enough to buy one.”
Blanton ended by saying the city’s biggest problem is excessive leaks and they have gone from a 70 percent water loss to a 90 percent water loss now.
“Nobody makes money and pays bills at a 70 percent water loss,” said Blanton. “We really don’t know what you’re losing, but you are losing. Our estimates this morning were 171 gallons a minute over and above your demand factor should be — 171 gallons is a killer.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, email@example.com