Water leak detection report shows need for continuing work

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Carroll County Deputy Jerry Williams, with District Manager Dennis Kelly behind, gives his activity report for August to the Holiday Island Board of Commissioners. He logged 176 hours and attended 42 calls for service, dealing with everything from car accidents to welfare checks to a missing person. Commissioners Ken Mills and Greg Davis noted the reports are important for property owners to see why contracting with the sheriff for a deputy is justified in the non-incorporated community. Kathryn Lucariello / Carroll County News

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- Holiday Island commissioners discussed the results of the latest water leak detection project by Matchpoint, Inc., at Monday's board meeting. The project, done over 20 miles on the island proper, found eight leaks, totaling 45 gallons per minute, five of which Matchpoint identified as of moderate urgency.

The testing was done over a two-week period between Aug. 5 and 14 and focused on three zones: the West 9 Hole Zone, the East 9 Hole Zone and the Rocky Top Zone.

Each of the leaks in and of themselves were small, said Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Schrader, from 2 to 5 gpm (gallons per minute), and this adds up over time, even though overall community water loss, once at a high of 85 percent, has been dropping since the leak detection and repair program started last year.

Loss is calculated by measuring amount of water pumped vs. amount billed, said Schrader.

The Water/Wastewater report through August showed a drop in water loss overall on both the island and the mainland in June, July and August, dropping on the island from more than 70 percent in May to 60 percent in June, and on the mainland from 75 to 63 percent. Loss continued to fall in August.

The five distribution leaks identified as moderate occurred at 50 Sailboat Drive, 98 Beaver Drive, 1 Narrows Drive, 40 Lakeside Drive and 51 Lakeside Drive, all of them an estimated 5 gpm. Two "minimal" leaks were located at 3 Shields Drive, at 2 gpm; and 67 Lakeside Drive, at 3 gpm.

The report was careful to note that these are estimated gpm figures.

"For more accurate results, the type of leak would need to be determined, the size of split/hole, and pressure at the leak site once exposed for repair."

"Since [the test], we've found four or five more leaks," said Schrader, "so it's ongoing."

Commissioner Ken Mills pointed out that fixing these leaks so far will only save the district about $4,000 a year. The district has spent so far about $36,000 for two leak detection contracts.

"What else did we get besides finding leaks?" asked Commissioner Ken Brown.

"These graphs are valuable to us," Schrader said. "It shows flow when we shut off valves in different zones."

He said Matchpoint has provided some training for equipment the district already has so some of the work can be done in-house. And Matchpoint has made recommendations for equipment the district can purchase.

He said it will take several weeks to fix the leaks because his staff is down by two people and two are currently working on meter reading and rereading.

Property owner David Bischoff, who has a background in water distribution systems, said, "Studies are great and helpful, but a lot of our systems are dealing with pressures that no one can control. As soon as you fix one leak, it causes pressure and cracks and leaks elsewhere. The only long-term solution is to replace the piping and do it correctly and use the new composition piping."

He added it's "not rocket science but it is expensive."

Schrader agreed with that assessment.

Property owner Bob Hillmer, also with a background in distribution systems, said the only real cost to the district is the electricity to turn the pump on, "and that's not a lot of money we'll save.... Why are we chasing it?"

Brown asked, "Are we concerned about natural resources?" to which Hillmer replied, "No. Water is free."

Asked whether, with recent stories about severe drought in California and elsewhere, Schrader had heard any rumors of impending regulatory restrictions on entities such as the district that draw large quantities of water from aquifers, he said,

"I haven't heard anything about restrictions coming this way, but I do know that on the east side of the country, like in North Carolina, states are imposing restrictions."

He also noted that water lost through leaks doesn't necessarily go back into the aquifer and that it takes water a long time to trickle down to the deep well level.

The board took no action on the report. Matchpoint staff will attend a future meeting to answer questions.

In other business, the board:

* Approved a proclamation recognizing Recreation Center Director Paul Epperly, who was a football coach in Iowa for 40 years, for having his hometown football fields named after him recently.

* Approved the financial reports for July and approved a change in the way capital expenditures are shown on the report.

* Approved 3-1, Greg Davis voting nay and David Makidon absent, to appoint the members of the Ad Hoc Golf Operations Screening Committee to review bids received and make a recommendation. The nine members appointed are men's golf association president Ray Johnson, women's golf association president Phylliss Saratt, Old Coots representative Clint Miller, Homeowners Association vice-president Harold Craig, Association of the Arts president Jim Sexton, Theater Guild coordinator Mary Kolbe (who owns a home on the 9-hole golf course) and ex-officio staff members District Manager Dennis Kelly (chairman), Golf Course Superintendent Mark Mowrey, Golf Pro Barry Storie and Epperly. Kelly noted two of the non-golf organization representatives, Sexton and Kolbe, play some golf.

* Approved a fee waiver for students from the Academy of Excellence to be instructed and supervised on the golf course in accordance with the course's available scheduling.

* Heard Carroll County Deputy Jerry Williams give his activity report for the month of August. He worked a total of 176 hours and had 42 calls for service. His calls, among others, included four vehicle accidents, six welfare checks, a protection order violation, recovery of illegal drugs, criminal trespasses, a missing person and animal complaints.

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  • "OUT HERE IN THE WEEDS"

    There is a means of relining the lines without complete excavation out there you know. (One of our past District Managers suggested this to the BOC) Yes, it is expensive but not as much so as total replacement. But, I'm quite sure the BOC will find it in their hearts to overlook that avenue. Why investigate that possibility when we can spend a million or two on their friends.

    Just say'n..!

    J. Paul Brown

    Smokhous

    -- Posted by smokhous on Tue, Sep 23, 2014, at 6:41 PM
  • Hillmer actually said "water is free?" Good. I'll be up there in an hour or so to pump some of that free water into my 55 gallon barrels.

    -- Posted by rockpilefarmer on Wed, Sep 24, 2014, at 10:12 AM
  • Property owner Bob Hillmer, also with a background in distribution systems, said the only real cost to the district is the electricity to turn the pump on, "and that's not a lot of money we'll save.... Why are we chasing it?"

    Brown asked, "Are we concerned about natural resources?" to which Hillmer replied, "No. Water is free."

    U-m-m-m-m, where can I start? After Bischoff making sense and Schroeder agreeing, up comes this clown. We honor a Carol Hillmer each year who was a golfer. Are they related? The golf courses are watered with millions of gallons of the same type deep well with NO COST ever showing up in the budget to Holiday Island but the environmental cost taking from it from the aquifer makes it FREE??? We ALL pay when the mechanics go down(I believe abut $100,000.00 last year on the well at the entrance for the golf course). We ALL paid for the drilling of that well and its repairs and maintenance. It is, of course, not calculated into "any golf course expense" because as Mr. Hillmer has stated "water is free".

    I am so taken back by his remarks. Is this 50's mentality still alive here at Holiday Island? WATER IS FREE and we are NOT CONCERNED about our natural resources BECAUSE WATER IS FREE?.

    What about all the others that depend on this aquifer? Well studies show it is NOT being replenished. The water we are using and the 70/80% loss is NOT finding its "way back home to the aquifer".

    O.K who cares about our children or grandchildren? Me thinks Mr. Hillimer may not have any or cares nothing about their or our community's future. Who here cares that we preserve and protect our God given resources? Who cares that the aquifer we draw from is furnishing valued water to communities beyond Holiday Island? How many more owners are here that so do NOT give a "rats a--about anyone but themselves and their selfish games?

    MANY MANY PEOPLE depend on the very aquifer we draw our water from. Wasting billions of gallons (yes billions) because it seems Holiday Island is so about itself is acceptable is O.K?

    Mr. Himillar believes it is ALL about him by his statements. And we, the residents of Holiday Island care NOTHING about the outside communities but US!!!!!! OR US! We do not care that tables show the aquifer is in fact NOT able to replenish itself. WE TAKE because Holiday Island is sucking it dry.

    Mr. Hillimer, I pray that you are not talking for or on behalf of our community! If this in fact is your belief, I think you are a self centered, uneducated, idiot. God help the us and you!

    -- Posted by Play it again sam on Wed, Sep 24, 2014, at 5:41 PM
  • Hi there Play it again Sam,

    Everyone out there might be interested in the FACT that Chairwoman GRAVES has said basically the same thing numerous times over the years at meetings when the leaks have been discussed. I.e. " ... good thing water here doesn't cost use anything ...", and had a good chuckle over her self perceived wittiness.

    Ex-Commissioner Larson was also in on one of these intellectual discourses with then just plain old commissioner /graves. They both seemed to think it was nothing but an annoyance.

    Bishoff, and NUMEROUS OTHERS, have repeated pointed out - time and time again - over the years that water is NOT free, NOR unlimited.

    Check it out ------ its all on the meeting tapes.

    The BOC just wants to "study the leaks" (and play golf).

    I agree with your assessment of Hillmer's remarks. The really SAD thing is that you/we could put in Grave's name and it would be equally accurate based on her on the record comments . (Now of course she'll now say that isn't what she meant to try and cover her butt, but go listen to the past meeting tapes and you'll see she has a LOT of butt to cover.)

    "Mr/Ms. __________ believes it is ALL about him/her by his/her statements. And we, the residents of Holiday Island care NOTHING about the outside communities but US!!!!!! OR US! We do not care that tables show the aquifer is in fact NOT able to replenish itself. WE TAKE because Holiday Island is sucking it dry.

    Mr./Miss _______, I pray that you are not talking for or on behalf of our community! If this in fact is your belief, I think you are a self centered, uneducated, idiot. God help the us and you!"

    I heard from someone who attended the meeting that Davis apparently didn't think it was much of a big deal either in that he figures that the HI water leaks just go into the lake and the lake water "just goes down into the aquifer".

    Guess he doesn't think that the studies show it can/does take up to hundreds of YEARS for that water to filter through the 600 to 800 feet of bedrock.

    What the hell ................... GOLF is the obviously the ONLY thing that is of any importance here anyway.

    Just ask the commissioners.

    -- Posted by Truth or Consequences on Thu, Sep 25, 2014, at 8:22 AM
  • the aquifers we draw from are not in Arkansas, or so I have been informed. It doesn't matter where they are, or how many communities tap into them, when they go dry, what are you self professed experts going to do. I cannot believe anyone would justify NOT fixing leaks because the water is free! With this article, one can see why this community can't fix any issues, except continually picking the citizens pocket for more money to operate and buy new toys for the 2 dinosaurs. WATER IS FREE ?????? Did I hear someone say stupid?

    -- Posted by Concerned Person on Thu, Sep 25, 2014, at 3:05 PM
  • Larry White states: Can't fix stupid!

    Kudos for Kate: quoting residents again. BOC d/n document public comments in minutes!

    -- Posted by CommonSense22 on Sat, Sep 27, 2014, at 1:22 AM
  • "OUT HERE IN THE WEEDS"

    Yes CommonSense22,"You can't fix stupid" and by the same token, "Stupid can't fix much either". Witness the lack of "fix'n" going on around here at the BOC. (Point of order, I believe it was "Ron" White who spoke that line.)

    Watch your mail boxes Folks...! More to come. (And I do mean US Mail.)

    J. Paul Brown

    33 Thunderbird "ROAD"

    Smokhous

    -- Posted by smokhous on Mon, Sep 29, 2014, at 6:15 PM
  • "OUT HERE IN THE WEEDS"

    Kudos for Paul Epperly..! Was my neighbor once. This guy is a real class act, for the very few who do not know him.

    You go Coach...!

    J. Paul Brown

    33 Thunderbird "ROAD"

    Smokhous

    -- Posted by smokhous on Mon, Sep 29, 2014, at 6:20 PM
  • Waldron AR will have a 5% sales tax on its ballot to generate about 1.4M to replace leaking water pipes. Also has gaps and breaks in sewer pipes. Allowing storm water to penetrate, cause overflows to treatment plant. (Maybe why HI treats more water than it pumps, in spite of all the fresh water leakage, presently 3.5M galleons @yr on the island). Waldron is under AR Dept of Environmental Quality consent order issued last month that will levy daily fines if Waldron doesn't make improvements.

    Is HI next?

    -- Posted by CommonSense22 on Thu, Oct 2, 2014, at 9:57 AM
  • But water is 'free' Mr. Hilmer......

    -- Posted by CommonSense22 on Thu, Oct 2, 2014, at 10:00 AM
  • the BOC's main function is caretaker of the infrastructure, which lack of is almost criminal. I caution citizens, after the last elections, if you notice even the slightest irregularity, notify the State and Federal Election Boards. It is time to put an end to this golf controlled community. Write your representatives in Little Rock with complaints concerning the water system fiasco and lack of road maintenance. Receiving enough complaints will draw they're attention to our plight.

    -- Posted by Concerned Person on Sat, Oct 4, 2014, at 10:19 AM
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