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Big increase in water losses reported

City officials continue to be puzzled by the amount of water the city is losing each month after the losses more than doubled between September and October.
Last month, officials were hopeful a corner had been turned when losses dipped to 5,116,000 gallons, but the October report shows that losses jumped back up to 11,528,000 gallons.
The city pumped 43,176,000 gallons in October, but only sold 31,648,000 gallons. In September, the city pumped 42,409,000 gallons and sold 37,293,000 gallons.
“If you remember last month I said one data point doesn’t indicate a trend.  As you can see, our water losses are back up to about 26 percent. The three month moving average is the 22.5 percent range,” Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton said Monday.
City officials have said that the industry average is about 12 to 15 percent water losses, which is the level they have targeted. The city was able to lower losses to the 15 percent range in 2011 but over the last two years the losses have inched upward.
“We are continuing to monitor it and are working to identify and repair any leaks we have in the system,” Addleton said Monday night.
In other related news this week, the city manager reported that he had received the executed loan documents from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority for a $3,586,710 low interest loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
GEFA has agreed to forgive $500,000 of the loan so the city will be paying 0.66 percent interest on $3,086,710 over the next 10 years.
The money will be used to finance the construction of a new water treatment plant and ground storage facility at the Cairo Municipal Airport. The new plant will also have the additional capability to treat for naturally occurring arsenic of which traces have been found in the city’s drinking water supply.

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