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See water; report it–City water and money going down drain

By Kayleigh Rahn
The City of Tuscola Street Department crew has found and, hopefully, repaired a major water leak that was causing a significant increase in the city’s water loss ratio.

During the Monday, Feb. 12 meeting, the city council learned that in recent months City Hall has seen an increase in the water loss ratio–or the amount of water sold to customers versus the amount the city purchases from Illinois American, City Administrator Drew Hoel reported to the City Council.

“There is a ‘built-in’ loss due to billing lag, fire hydrant use, meter inaccuracies, etc.,” Hoel said. “Of course, periodic leaks affect that number also. When that loss ratio is higher than expected for an extended period, it is an indication of leaks in the system that are not visually apparent, normally because the leak is near a storm sewer or other conveyance.”

The city hires a contractor every five to perform a system-wide evaluation using leak detection equipment every.

“They use equipment that can detect leaks within the system, which pays for itself over time,” Drew said. “It paid dividends last we did it. They have high-tech listening devices and they can find the 5-gallon-per-minute leaks. It pays for itself in the long run.”

The latest, major leak was repaired by the city crew on Thursday, Feb. 8.

“(City Foreman) Denny (Cruzan) and the gang were able to find–or maybe it found us, I’m not sure–what we think is one of the bigger leaks at Barker and Carico over the last few days,” Mayor Dan Kleiss said.

“It cut down the water coming into town by 100,000 gallons per day when we fixed that leak,” Cruzan said.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Feb. 14 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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