Waterloo officials say more than 850 million gallons of water were lost in the northeast Iowa city last year. Water Works general manager Dennis Clark says most of that water is what’s known as “unmetered water.”
“That’s water that is flushed out of hydrants, water when we flush our mains, when we fight fires, when we flush sewer lines, all of those types of things where water is consumed in the city but not metered,” Clark says. “That’s what we’re talking about here. It’s not that we don’t know where the water went, we just know that that amount of water was not metered in our system.”
More than 18-percent of last year’s water output was deemed unaccounted for, though Clark expects that number will be even higher for this year’s report, due to increased water usage over the cold winter to prevent pipes from freezing. “We have a large number of hydrants we were running for the first two-and-a-half months this year because it kept getting colder and colder and colder and the frost level was falling and we needed to run more and more water out of our dead ends to keep them from freezing,” Clark says. “That really is going to bump up our number for 2014.”
Clark assures Waterloo residents they will not see a rate increase because of the “unaccounted for” water.
(Reporting by, Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls)