Leak detection company submits new proposal to Holiday Island

Friday, March 21, 2014

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- As a followup to two leak detection studies done last year, Matchpoint, Inc., has submitted a proposal to conduct data collection at various waterline "zones" on Holiday Island proper and the mainland.

Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Schrader reported on the proposal at Monday's HISID board meeting as part of his department report.

"They are projecting 15 miles to do this study," he said, "a small section so that they can prove this system works."

Matchpoint is proposing to develop a sampling of approximately 50 water meters, both residential and commercial, to analyze for inaccurate readings. The sample would be based on old, malfunctioning and slow meters. The will also collect data from two water tanks.

Schrader said the technology is more advanced than that used to pinpoint leaks last year, which consisted of using microphones to listen to waterlines.

In his proposal, Matchpoint Vice-president Simon Wick wrote that "I understand that your Non-Revenue Water has risen back up to approximately 70 percent. It's not unusual for systems with poor/old infrastructure to require more of a constant pro-active leak detection process in order to reduce even maintain lower levels of NRW."

He is proposing to conduct two separate Minimum Night Flow tests on the island at the Rocky Top and Nine Hole water tanks. A 1-inch tap will be inserted with a data probe at each tank outlet.

He said the data from that will be compared with the district's own SCADA system data and added, "Note: The current SCADA data cannot be trusted as correct as there is no evidence of calibration/testing of the sensors."

There will also be tests at two zones on the island.

Schrader said the tests will show how many gallons per minute are being lost in any given section, although they do not show exactly where the leaks are. Listening acoustically later on will accomplish that.

"We may have to dig down to the pipe and listen," he said.

He said all but five of the leaks found in previous tests have been repaired, and there was a reduction in water loss at first, but "now we're back up where we were."

He said water loss reduction is a process of steps, adding that another city using this same company for some time has only started to see an 8- to 9-percent reduction.

"It may take two to three years to see some results," said District Manager Dennis Kelly. "You fix one leak, and it may force more water through another one."

Schrader also discussed changing over to magnetic flow water meters, which have no moving parts and give more accurate readings than the older ones with flywheels. They are more expensive than the older models, he said. He speculated loss due to defective meters is 10 to 15 percent, but meters are not tested nor does the district have the equipment to test them.

The cost to do this new test is $14,750, all inclusive, Schrader said. Asked about $20,000 to $30,000 earmarked for engineering fees in his budget, he said that money was set aside in case the department needs to consult engineers on leak repair.

The board approved the proposal, with the provision the money come from the water/wastewater budget rather than reserves.

In other business, the board:

* Approved Regulation 33, Amendment 3 on second reading, to give more flexibility in hiring professional services.

* Approved awarding a bid of $60,000 to Heavy Constructors on the hot mix patching portion of the 2014 road program, which came in at $20,000 over budget. Road Superintendent Kenny DeHart recommended dropping 4,289 linear feet of chip and seal paving from a section of Thunderbird Drive that has no houses on it. The bid would then exceed the budget by only $1,173. This was approved.

Dan Lombard of Vacation Rentals speaks to the HISID board, requesting a new way of handling amenity usage and billing by Table Rock Landing Timeshare owners. Kathryn Lucariello / Carroll County News

* Approved a request by Dan Lombard of Vacation Rentals, representing the Table Rock Landing Timeshares Association, for the district to collect coupons for timeshare owners' amenity usage and bill Table Rock Landing for reimbursement.

* Approved extending a one-year contract at the same price, retroactive to Jan. 1 this year, with BankcorpSouth Insurance Services to provide brokerage and placement services for the district's insurance and risk coverages. Kelly said the contract, which expired in December 2013, "slipped past us," and the district ran out of time to get a new contract together and has been operating on a month-to-month basis with the consultant. He said it is the district's goal to go out to market on all consulting contracts this year.

* Tabled until the April meeting a request by Joe Lawrence to consolidate several lots into one (see separate story).

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