Oskaloosa Water General Manager Looking To Minimize Water Loss

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Oskaloosa Water Board met in regular session on Monday, August 12, 2019.

The Board considered the pay application to KLC Construction in the amount of $39,630.39 for work installing water line along A Ave and L Street.

The motion passed unanimously.

The Board then considered the pay application to Dave Schmitt in regards to the South D project. The current billing is for $57.19.

The motion passed unanimously.

Next, the Water Board approved the invoices and financial statements from the previous month.

The Water Board then heard a report on a water leak located at 418 North L Street.

New Oskaloosa Water Department Manager Kelly Hefner spoke about service line leaks and addressing those leaks. “Something we’re going to have to work on.”

“A homeowner doesn’t have a lot of motivation to fix those leaks. Everybody else in the community is paying for that water running down the street,” Hefner said to the Board. “We’re going to have to be aggressive in trying to get these leaks fixed.”

A public hearing was held in regards to water system improvements along South H Street and South M Street and 11th Avenue West. No members of the public were in attendance.

The Board then considered awarding the contract for the water system improvement.

Two bids were submitted for the project. There was a significant difference between the two bids.

One bid was from Cornerstone Excavating Inc. in the amount of $522,826.75, while the second bid from TK Concrete was in the amount of $790,920.00.

The engineering estimate from Garden & Associates for the project was $562,000.00.

The Board awarded the bid to Cornerstone Excavating Inc for the project.

The Water Board members then heard from Hefner for both water and wastewater operations updates.

During that portion, Hefner spoke about his early weeks in Oskaloosa, stating “I like Oskaloosa. We have a good staff.”

Hefner also dove deeper into his plans on reducing water loss in the system and being able to account for more of the loss. Those include updating charting of water usage by the city, and the water department itself.

Addressing the service line leaks from earlier in the meeting, Hefner said that he believes that the 8 million gallons of water loss may be taking place in the service lines. “They are a lot more significant than what people think when they run for a long period of time. Forty thousand gallons a day leak on a service line is not a wide-open gusher. That can be a pinhole. We’re talking about 1.2 million gallons a month.”

“We need the public’s help. If you see water running down the street, call here and tell us and we’ll investigate it,” added Hefner.

The Board then adjourned until their next scheduled meeting in September.

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