Water leak investigations

Public works staff from the District of Houston are trying to find out the cause of a higher-than-normal demand for water.

Public works staff from the District of Houston are trying to find out the cause of a higher-than-normal demand for water.

Starting last Wednesday, staff have been shutting off water supply to certain parts of town where they suspect there might be a water leak in the pipes.

“We’re in the process of doing some searching through town to look for any additional water leaks that may be occurring which are causing this additional water production at our treatment plant.”

A report from manager of engineering and operations Don Hounsell presented at council showed that last month, the town pumped 7.1 million litres of water, compared to 2.9 million litres in December 2014.

Public works staff repaired a leak in front of the medical centre two weeks ago, which Hounsell said has helped lower water output, but he said that there might be several other small leaks.

Staff will go to different parts in town where they think there might be problems or where there have historically been problems.

“We can’t reallypredict where we’re going to be working at any one time,” said Hounsell.

He said residents who have lost water service will have it restored within two hours. Investigations will run between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays only, and can last another two weeks unless they find a leak early.

Hounsell also pointed to other causes for the above-normal demand for water.

“We can’t confirm that there’s a leak,” said Hounsell. “It could be a series of things. Any system has a certain amount of loss to exfiltration through pipes, so it could be exfiltration through pipes, through exfiltration at valves.”

“I can’t speculate what it is until we find what the issue is, and that’s why we are in the process of doing a series of tests.”

He asks for patience from all residents.

“And if anyone in the District finds large amounts of water coming to the surface, please notify the District of Houston,” he added. “We did have one break earlier this winter over by the [Pearson Road] apartments which were reported by citizens.”