The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Cops, courts and fires

January 9, 2014

City's million-gallon water leak alarms officials

Anderson's rate hike request put on hold

ANDERSON – The Anderson Water Department was searching for the source of an unexplained increase in water usage of 1 million gallons on Thursday.

As a result of the leak, the administration of Mayor Kevin Smith withdrew from Thursday's City Council agenda two proposed resolutions for a 47 percent hike in water rates and approval to issue $14.3 million in bonds for infrastructure improvements for the water department.

Pete Heuer, chairman of the Anderson Board of Public Works, said the two ordinances were pulled so that Tom Brewer, superintendent of the Water Department, could focus on finding the cause of the increased water usage.

“We’re experiencing a major leak at this time,” Heuer said. “We’re using the manpower that would have made presentations to the council to find where the water is being lost.”

Heuer said there is a small amount of daily leakage from the water system, but the 1 million gallons are unaccounted for and above normal.

“The situation is troublesome because of the snow cover,” he said. “That makes it difficult to find any leaks. Right now we want to isolate and locate the unaccounted for water loss.”

The Anderson Water Pollution Control Department is monitoring the flow in sewer mains in an effort to find the leak.

A year ago the city experienced two water main breaks as a result of freezing and thawing.

“We were anticipating a possible problem,” Heuer said.

City officials said no local businesses have been impacted by the water loss.

Heuer said the administration will probably wait until the council meeting on Feb. 13 for consideration of the rate increase and bond request.

Smith said the leak places an emphasis on the challenge the city has with the water system.

“Many of the main water lines were installed before World War II,” he said. “If you don’t do annual maintenance and repair, you fall behind.

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