More than half of Fayette's water usage unaccounted for 2015.07.01


A closer look at Fayette's water issue shows that the problem is a little less severe than previously thought, but more than half of the water pumped is not accounted for.

Village administrator Steve Blue told village council members last week that 14.9 million gallons of water were pumped during the first quarter of the year and 6.2 million were billed to customers. A portion of the unbilled water is used by the village office, the fire department and cemetery, and the water plant for cleaning.

Councilor Rodney Kessler said he received a call from Jeff Martin, owner of the trailer park on the east side of the village, who commented on the speculation that the trailer park is being blamed for the water loss. 

That doesn't appear to be the case, Kessler said, "So I think we need to put in the paper that they aren't responsible for that. Before we blame anybody we should know where it's coming from for sure."

At the June 10 council meeting, village worker Cole Landon stated that water pouring out of an outlet into Spring Creek, across from the tennis courts, showed signs of chlorination. This would indicate that it's treated water from the village supply. Blue said at the time that the source was unknown but could be from the trailer park.

Village foreman Jeff Merillat said water from the outlet was tested for substances including "free chlorine" and he doesn't know which chemical caused the water to "turn red" in the test. A spring is reported to be in the area and the flow could be coming from there, he said.

"There's total chlorine and free chlorine, which is a subset of total," Blue said.

"It's undetermined where the water is coming from," Merillat said, "and it's a fair statement that they shouldn't be getting blamed."

Blue responded by saying that he isn't trying to blame anyone.

Merillat added that Aqualine, the company hired to look for leaks, determined there was no leakage from the old swimming pool area and west to Eagle Street.

OVERDUE—Blue told council that he will present a list of overdue utility bills that should be added to tax bills. The county office needs the list by Aug. 1.

PUMP—Council approved the purchase of a new water pump, drive and shaft at a cost of $7,201.

GENERATOR—Council approved spending $4,270 to complete repairs on the backup generator at the water pumping house. Additional rodent damage was discovered and moth balls are being used as a deterrent. Blue is exploring other measures to prevent future damage.

GRAPH—Rather than repair the circular graph at the water house, council voted to spend $3,722 to upgrade to a contemporary model that has greater capabilities than the existing equipment.

PARKWAY—Arcadis presented a draft engineering proposal costing $9,000 needed to apply for a grant to help in the cost of rebuilding Industrial Parkway. Blue said some of the work could probably be done by the village office staff and he will report later on a final proposal.

 INSURANCE—Village fiscal officer Karin Sauerlender said the proposed health care insurance cost increase is set at 3.34 percent, but Fayette's cost might be less than that since it's a "less rich" plan compared to some communities.

However, if some of the larger members of the insurance group choose to leave and use a different carrier, costs are likely to increase a greater amount for everyone.

IRS—Police chief Jason Simon said he heard reports from people receiving phone calls about being investigated by the IRS. The calls are not from the IRS and could lead to identity theft, he said. Correspondence from the IRS will come through the mail rather than by phone.

NUISANCE—The village ordinance governing nuisance issues such as grass mowing, weeds and trash should be re-written, said village solicitor Tom Thompson. The village should not need to obtain a court order to address the problems.