Editorials

Water Loss: It's still a mystery in Fayette 2015.08.26

Not a council meeting goes by in Fayette without a discussion about an apparent loss of water from the village water supply.

If the information collected from the well house and village office are correct, there were 15.9 million gallons of water pumped in the second quarter of the year, but only 6.2 million gallons were billed to customers. In other words, more than 60 percent of the water pumped is unaccounted for.

It’s true that water used in the village offices, fire department and cemetery aren’t metered, but if quarterly usage at those three locations comes anywhere close to unknown 9.2 million gallons, there’s a serious problem.

There’s speculation that the school’s water meter has not been operating correctly, but again, the loss equates to more than 100,000 gallons a day over each three-month period. That hardly seems possible, particularly when school is in session five days a week. The third quarter reading should show much less use by the school during the summer months.

The answer to the mystery seems to narrow down to three possibilities: the pump house water meter is malfunctioning, the meter isn’t getting read correctly, or there’s a big water leak somewhere in the village.

It may not be considered immense—about 70 gallons every minute, 100,000 every day—it all adds up to more than 9 million every quarter, that is, if the figures supplied are correct.

The questions about the alleged loss have been swirling around long enough now that it seems as though an answer would have been obtained. Instead, another 100 gallons just disappeared.