Where did all the water go?

February 3rd, 2011 by Ken

It was a unique problem for the City of Lacey.   What was happening to its water?

The normal water usage for the city was about 2.5 million gallons of water a day.  That had been pretty consistent for three years, from 2002 through 2005.

But in 2006, the daily usage of water jumped up to 2.7 million, then 2.9 million and eventually topped out at 3.1 million gallons of water over the period of 2006 to 2008.

City staff scratched their heads.  Who was using the water?   The city had experienced a significant period of growth, but this was something unusual.

Then, one day, one of the city staff took a look at what happened to the water system over that period of time and came up with the idea, that maybe the chlorination of the water system had something to do with it.

That was the answer.   The Department of Ecology had required the city to chlorinate its water supply.    The unintended consequence of that action affected the water lines.

The chlorine caused the patina in the pipes to erode, allowing water to seep out.   The city estimated it lost more than a half million gallons of water.   That’s enough to supply the water needs of 3000 new homes.

The city has started a program of water line replacement and has spent nearly $2 million dollars in replacing the water lines affected by the chlorination.

Posted in Government, Informational, The Real News

(comments are closed).