Water for the future is a growing concern on Orcas. I get lots of questions about Eastsound Water’s ability to support the planned growth in our service area.

Your Eastsound Water Board and staff are prepared to meet future demand AND continue to promote responsible water resource management. That said, there is a key “practice what you preach” opportunity available to Eastsound Water members.

Today, October 26, there are over 50 services that have water leaks. We’ve had as many as 85 member leaks at one time this summer. These leaks are in members’ homes, or in buried service lines that are property owners’ responsibility. Tracking customer leaks this summer has shown that between 5% and 10% of our total production is being lost to leaks ON THE MEMBER SIDE OF THE WATER METER. Our “automated meter reporting system” provides the capacity to track leaks and alert members to potential problems. This system not only can help conserve water, it can also save you money through reduced water bills.

Over 200 Eastsound Water members have developed a LOGIN, and have the capacity to monitor daily reports of their water use online. However, most Eastsound Water members are not using the system’s LEAK ALERT feature, which is perhaps its most valuable feature.

At the October 24 board meeting, staff were directed to initiate a process of programming the LEAK ALERT feature for all members for whom we have email addresses. Programming the LEAK ALERT feature will trigger the system to automatically send an email alert to a member whose water meter is recording water use for more than 24 consecutive hours. The system is sensitive and can report leaks as low as 1 gal per hour. Below is an actual sample of what the email LEAK ALERT looks like.

From: alerts-noreply@beaconama.net

Subject: Leak Alert for NAME LOCATION # [Start]

Date: October 2, 2017 at 7:06:01 PM PDT

To: MEMBER EMAIL ADDRESS

Reply-To: alerts-noreply@beaconama.net

Location: NAME, STREET ADDRESS, LOCATION # In the past 24 hours, BEACON has detected base flow of XX.X GAL/hr which exceeds the maximum threshold of 1.0 GAL/hr.

Our experience over the past year is that the most common cause of leaks is continuously running toilets, which can be a relatively simple fix, but has cost members hundreds of dollars in surplus water use fees if not promptly addressed.

You may OPT OUT of this LEAK ALERT system if you wish. You can use your EyeOnWater LOGIN and turn the Leak Detection system on and off at your convenience, OR you can contact Eastsound Water and we will DISABLE the alert feature for you. Through an EyeOnWater LOGIN, you can also add additional email contacts (like renters, or property managers) or have the messages sent as cell phone texts.

NOW THE TINY TYPE DISCLAIMER: A property’s WATER METER is the line of demarcation between Eastsound Water’s responsibility and the Members’ responsibilities. It is NOT Eastsound Water’s responsibility to monitor members’ water use to detect infrastructure problems. Eastsound Water is not monitoring your water meter daily for the purposes of identifying and notifying you of a water leak on your property.

The best way to receive early warning of a potential water leak on your property is to develop a LOGIN to EyeOnWater and program a leak detection alert for yourself. Eastsound Water is going to use our existing database of member emails and will program the initial leak detection alert with the emails we have.   This is a one-time effort. Bad email addresses, changes to email addresses will result in the system being unable to contact you with a LEAK ALERT.

Learn More about EyeOnWater, creating a LOGIN, and leak detection suggestions at eastsoundwater.org. 

Email questions to pkamin@rockisland.com