On March 3, 2018, the City hosted a Water System Open House to share an overview on what goes into providing safe, clean water to the community. Below you’ll find the presentations given by RH2 Engineering, Neptune Technology Group, Washington State Department of Health, and FCS Group.
Overview of Water System
Bonney Lake’s water system is a complex network of pipes that delivered more than 1.3 billion gallons of water last year to a population of over 37,000. RH2 Engineering specializes in utility and infrastructure work and has served as the City’s engineering consultant for roughly 20 years. Geoff Dillard with RH2 will take us through how Bonney Lake’s water system works, what do water rates pay for, and typical household water consumption.
The City is currently completing the fourth year of a 10-year plan to convert touch read and manual read water meters to Neptune Technology Group radio read meters. Neptune provides utility management systems, service, and support to more than 4,000 utilities across North America. Tim Loosier with Neptune shared an overview of how meters operate. For information on how to read your meter or check for leaks, download the “Water Meter Brochure” on the City’s Utilities Consumer Education web page at www.ci.bonney-lake.wa.us/utilities.
The City is required to update its Water System Plan every six years and submit a draft to the State Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water for review. The water system requires qualified staff to operate and maintain it, and an ongoing capital improvement program to replace old components and meet requirements mandated by federal and state laws.
The primary purpose of the City’s Water System Plan is to identify and schedule water system improvements that correct existing deficiencies, and ensure a safe and reliable supply of water for current and future customers. Jennifer Kropack, regional planner with the Office of Drinking Water, presented on the value of water, regulations, and the state’s comment in the review of Bonney Lake’s Water System Plan.
Water utility rates explained
The City hired FCS Group to conduct a water and sewer utility rate study. FCS Group provides utility rate and fee consulting, utility management consulting, financial planning and analysis, and economic services to public section clients. Chris Gonzales with FCS Group presented an overview of the utility rate study process and recommendations presented to City Council in 2017. City Council will discuss utility rates at a future Council meeting. To stay information, sign up to receive City Council meeting agenda notices by emailing a request to the City Clerk’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 253-862-8602.
Follow-up responses to questions received following the open house:
Q. How much potable water is processed each month & how much is billed at the meters? Effectively, what is the billing efficiency or mass balance? How does that compare with similar systems?
A. Following are potable water production and consumption (in gallons) quantities for 2017.
Columns 2 through 6 are the individual production totals by month for each potable water source.
Column 7 is the sum total of all sources production for that month.
Column 8 is the metered consumption.
Column 9 is miscellaneous water use due to, mainly, construction activities and fire suppression.
Column 10 is the difference between Column 7 and Column 8 plus Column 9. This is our “lost” water.
Column 11 is the percentage value of the “lost” water shown in Column 10.
Lost water is the water that does not get measured by a meter. There is a certain amount of lost water every year in every water distribution system. Loss can occur in many different manners but the largest contributor is leaks.
In Washington State, any water loss percentage that is over 10% for the previous three year average is not in compliance with WAC 246-290-820. The water loss percentage in the City distribution system was 9% in 2016 and 8.33% in 2017. While our three year average is just slightly over 10%, we are seeing a downward trend. The percentage water loss in the City system compares quite favorably to other systems our size. There are many systems in the state that regularly record water loss percentages much higher than ours.