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Costs of Almont water leak less than feared


Total bill is expected to be around $20,000


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Workers from Kennedy Excavating were among a long list of experts called in to assist with the broken water line that is expected to cost the village around $20,000 when all the bills are tabulated.

April 10, 2019
ALMONT — Village officials are breathing a sigh of relief in the aftermath of a water line break that leaked about 100,000 gallons a day for more than two months.

Village Manager Mike Connors reported Thursday, April 4, that the accumulated costs for lost water, labor, detection equipment and repair services currently amounts to $16,251.85.

Connors said the village has yet to receive a bill from Kennedy Excavating, but he expects the full financial impact of the leak could be less than $20,000.

While a substantial expenditure for the village to incur, Connors is thankful the costs were not higher.

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"We're relieved that the costs were not as catastrophic as we feared they might be — and could have been," said Connors.

Though the costs will not be passed along directly to residents, he said they will still have to come out of the village's coffers.

"Probably out of the village's water and sewer account," Connors said. "It's the cost of doing business."

The water leak was discovered in January, when DPW staff noticed a significant spike in water usage.

It was soon discovered that the village was losing about 100,000 gallons of water per day and increasing total daily usage to about 280,000 of gallons per day.

The village's typical daily usage before the leak was measured at around 180,000 gallons.

Though DPW staff worked around the clock for weeks to determine the source of the underground leak, it wasn't until March 11, that representatives from Aqualine Lead Detection Services of Ohio isolated the source near the corner of Bristol and Water streets.

What they found after digging down was a break in a one-inch service line that had been draining into the sanitary sewer for weeks.

After shutting off the water to about 25 homes and businesses in the area, repairs were made to the affected service line and section of sanitary sewer.

To ensure water was safe for public consumption, the village implemented a "boil water" alert, while water samples were sent to Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality for analysis.

About 30 hours later, MDEQ ruled that the water was safe to drink and lifted the alert.

Connors identified the costs tallied up thus far as:

$8,700 to Great Lakes Water Authority for additional water usage;

$1,385 to Aqualine Leak Detection for determining the location of the leak;

$686 to Michigan Pipe Inspection;

$2,380 to Rowe Professional services.

He noted that the village's insurance carrier will not be absorbing any of the costs associated with the water leak.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
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