The typically porous ground underneath Revelstoke is enabling an Olympic-sized swimming pool of treated water to leak from the city’s water network undetected each day.
At their Nov. 12 meeting, images like that crystallized Revelstoke City Council’s support for water metering consultant Veritec’s recommendation to implement district water metering, as outlined in their comprehensive report on the water system.
Engineer Graham Waley presented the findings to council. The report, which was discussed at length in an article in the Nov. 6 Times Review, found that district metering was the best water metering option for Revelstoke.
Basically, district metering means employing several metering and leak-detection techniques and technologies to detect and fix leaks on main water lines. The Veritec report (report is embedded on this page) found this system would be far more effective and much cheaper than alternatives like commercial metering, or placing meters on all homes in Revelstoke.
“The only return on investment comes out in the district metering,” Waley told council.
He said based on their studies and results achieved in similar communities like Cranbrook, he felt district metering could achieve, “a 30 per cent reduction in water loss.”
Pointing to an international index that grades water system leakage, Waley noted Revelstoke’s rate of earns us a ‘D’ grade, saying there was room for improvement.
How did it get this bad? Waley explained in locations with clay soil, leaks are more easily detected because water is forced to the surface. But in Revelstoke many leaks, cracks and holes go unnoticed because the water simply drains away and doesn’t cause visible disturbances.
Our leaky water pipes aside, Waley also said universal metering would likely not be suitable for Revelstoke because the economics only pan out in locations where water is scarce and expensive to treat.
At their Nov. 12 meeting, Revelstoke City Council opted to incorporate bulk water meter replacement and district metering into the 2014 budget, and that federal gas tax funding be considered as a funding source.