IOWA - Meters may account for 'missing' water : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Water Works notes discrepancies after running test.

By PAT KINNEY Courier Business Editor


Waterloo's nearly 1 billion gallons of missing water may not be missing at all.

Faulty 50-year-old master meters at the city's downtown reservoir are the prime suspects in a case that has had Waterloo Water Works officials scratching their heads for the past couple of months.

The Water Works conducted a test in which it matched its "best metered pumps" in the Burton Avenue well field against master meters in an enclosed reservoir by Water Works offices along Sycamore Street. The master meters showed more water was being pumped out of the reservoir than was being pumped into the reservoir from the well field.

"That can't be," general manager Reed Craft said, because the reservoir, at that rate, would have been dry in 13 days. It appears now that the downtown master meters have been "over-registering" the amount of water being pumped out in to the distribution system to customers.

Honeywell Inc. staff checked the downtown meters and tried to adjust them, but would not certify they all would operate correctly, Craft said.

The Water Works board of trustees on Tuesday directed Craft to look into the cost of replacing some of the recording equipment in the aging meters.

In May, Water Works officials said some 974 million gallons of water, nearly one fifth of all the water pumped in 1999, was unaccounted for.

Craft said officials are checking the total amount of water pumped last year, as recorded by the well field meters, against the estimated margin of error in the downtown reservoir meters.

He emphasized the apparent discrepancy between the pump and reservoir meters has nothing to do with individual customer meter billings and does not mean individual customer billings were inaccurate.

-- Doris (, July 20, 2000

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