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Where are the leaks?
Pearsall councilors have begun talks regarding upgrades of municipal utility meters after learning that the city experiences a 22-percent water loss annually.
A recent presentation to councilors by representatives of HydroPro Solutions included an offer by the company to upgrade and replace the existing meters.
“These meters can capture leaks and misuse within thirty days,” HydroPro representative Daniel Trevino told councilors at their last meeting. He added that the new “robust system” would monitor the city residents’ utility meters and water towers daily, providing the city administration with the ability to identify leaks every day. The current system is read once monthly; city workers and residents can continue using damaged water lines for up to 30 days before a leak is identified.
The proposal includes a feature that allows residents to access an online portal that gives a daily update on water usage, complete with comparisons to previous months and years.
“We have about twenty water meters that need replacement,” City Manager Fred Reyes said. “Most of the meters were replaced during the 2013 water meter project.”
According to Reyes, language in the agreement on the 2013 meter project only called for the registers inside the meters to be replaced.
The city manager said the 22-percent water loss could be the result of incorrect installation of the water meters, or from leaks in the citywide system.
“Our goal is to reduce the water loss,” Reyes said. “When the project was done in 2013, I hate to say, things were not done correctly and there is still a loss.”
Hector Gandara, public works director, told councilors some of the water loss is unmetered water used by the volunteer fire department.
The city of Pearsall uses roughly 300,000,000 gallons of water annually, Gandara said.
Records filed at City Hall show that the city still owes money for its 2013 meter upgrade project.