Leak-detection crews perform tests, install metersBy SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
The leak detection crews with the Coweta County Water and Sewerage Authority didn’t find a single leak last month during their meter tests.
Project Manager Rusty Russell made that announcement at Wednesday’s meeting of the authority.
Construction Manager Rick Jones said that his construction crews did find one leak, which involved faulty polybutylene pipe, better known as “blue poly.”
Crews also swapped 98 manual read meters to the new radio reads, and installed 43 new meters, Jones said.
That work included 18 irrigation meters, 14 “digs,” which are completely new services, and 11 “drops,” which are the installation of meters into previously-installed meter boxes — typically on previously-developed subdivision lots. During the past three months authority crews have installed more than 130 new meters.
“I’d like to see a lot more of them,” Jones said of new meter installation.
His crews spend most of their time swapping out the old meters for the radio read meters.
Chairman Neal Smith asked Jones if he has a feel for how many meters taken out of service because of foreclosures were being brought back online.
“Most of the places already have meters, they were just turned off,” Jones said. “I’m sure that is a number we can get, but I don’t know what it is, right off.”
Shepard said it would be interesting information to have “if we could ever figure out some way of capturing that.”
In other meeting business:
• The authority’s revenue from water sales is running about half a million dollars behind projections, through the end of April. “Hopefully these next two months we’ll make that up,” said Jay Boren, interim general manager. “We’re going to have to average about $1.4 million” per month “to make our budget,” Boren said. “Hopefully we’ll attain that.”
“Hopefully in the warm summer months, where demand picks up,” the authority will be able to catch up, said Authority Member Eric Smith. He asked Boren how this year’s revenues compare to last year.
Conditions like drought and heavy rainfall can make a big difference in the authority’s water sales.
“March was a little down from last year,” said Boren. “We had all that rain.”
The April revenue numbers do not reflect the new hospital coming online, said Shepard.
On the expenditure side, the authority’s single largest expenditure is bonded indebtedness — which makes up 33 percent of the authority’s expenses. Water distribution is the second largest expense, at 28 percent.
The authority is on a July to June fiscal year.
• No one spoke at a public hearing on the fiscal year 2013 budget.
• Russell and Jones gave a brief update on the Hwy. 16 sewer expansion project.
“Rain has held us up this week,” Russell said.
Crews were also busy doing a relocation for the town of Moreland.
“They do pay us to do that,” he said.
Jones said his crews have been doing some work on the sewer line but were also busy putting in meters.
“That is what we’re here for, first and foremost, putting in these meters,” Jones said. And, “as things come up like Moreland, it does tend to pull that construction crew off.”
Some clearing work has been done, he said.