Olive Hill City Council didn't have enough council members show up to have a quorum during their special meeting last Thursday, so they turned it into an informational meeting instead.
Councilman Justin Dixon was unavailable due to work restrictions, while Allen Stapleton suffered a medical emergency. Councilman Wayne Russell was also absent and unresponsive to texts and phone calls from Mayor Jerry Callihan. Council members Shannon Shutte, Chris Bledsoe and Eric Rayburn were present, but since there was no quorum, the three of them could not participate in the same meeting without potentially violating state sunshine laws.
Because of this Shutte and Callihan left the meeting, while Brandon Marcum, with Harshaw Trane, brought Rayburn, Bledsoe and city employees up to date on the progress with the water efficiency project, including plans for the monthly water usage reports and new metering throughout the city.
Marcum showed how the markers for the mapping of the system could be overlaid on a map, like those from Google Earth, to help locate lines, valves, and taps.
Marcum told the map of the lines was currently “85 percent accurate” with the data the city already had, but that they will bring it up to 100 percent accuracy over the next few years as they make changes to the system and update the mapping.
Marcum also explained how the alarms on the metering will work. When the system sees a deviation of 30 percent or more in water use through one of the new meters, he explained, it will set off an alarm. Water employees can then follow up to determine if that is a valid spike, such as with filling a holding tank, or if it could indicate a broken line. Marcum said that the best in class standard for such non-billable water loss is five to ten percent, a figure he also hopes to bring Olive Hill up to.
“We hope to get to that over the course of implementation,” he said.
The district is currently divided into 12 zones on the map, each with their own meter for measuring any spikes in flow, in addition to the individual home billing meters which they are in the process of replacing.
When they see spikes in a given zone, he explained, crews will be able to verify if valves in the zone are actually sealed or closed as necessary.
“We don't want to be chasing a ghost,” he said of the monitoring, so every new meter will be marked with GPS coordinates as it is installed, to allow crews to be able to locate them precisely.
The advanced meter infrastructure system will also make use of two towers and 21 repeaters to help with digital billing. In the future, he said, the city should be able to note any spikes at a specific residence, as well as in zones, so they can follow up with customers to determine if the spike is the result of a customer's activity, like filling a pool, or indicates a water leak in the lines or the customer's home. This, he explained, will benefit both the individual being billed and the city by helping eliminate charge-offs and saving both money.
After completing the session with Rayburn and Bledsoe, Marcum repeated the presentation for Shutte and Callihan.
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