City Administrator’s Report
April 2nd, 2018
It has been over 4 years since we started a serious quest to replace and fix all non-working water meters in the city. In 2013, during the water system upgrades we added a list of water meters to be replaced. At that time, about 170 meters were on the stop meter (not working) list.
This list is updated every month. The list is generated from meters that show no usage during the month. Not all non-usage reads indicate a stop meter, some can be from vacant homes or customers who are not in residence during winter months. The meter reader goes through the list and determines which non-usage reads are stop meters.
The actual number of meters not working each month can vary from 2 to 10. If the crew do not get all the meters on the list working again, these meters show up again the next month, plus any new one that have quit working.
The total number of stop meters for the month of March was 7. The crew hopes to have this number down to 0 by the end of April. This depends on the number of meters that stop working during the month and if the crews can get those all repaired. By keeping up with the stop meters each month we hope to maintain the stop meter list to a minimal amount.
The loss of revenue to the water department from non-working meters adds up significantly. If 100 meter are not working, with an average of 4500 gallons a month not being bill, the city would be losing $1,332.00 a month or $15,984.00 per year.
On Thursday, March 22nd, Nash Enterprises from Missoula came to Libby to camera sewer mains that have on going issues. The first main was the section near Nevada and Colorado between blocks 4 and 5. The main showed to have a lot of separations where the joints of the main were put together. Also, there were places where the main has settled and formed “bellies” in the pipe. These areas fill with water and can cause material to not flow and result in a backup.
Another section looked at was the main on Montana from Cedar Street to Poplar. This is the section where we had recent backups. The camera found a large, 12 foot long section covered in roots causing backups.
Nash Enterprises returned on Thursday, March 29th to use their cutting tool and removed the roots. Once the roots were removed, Nash foamed the main with a root killer that will remove the remaining roots. Another section of main further down on Montana with ongoing root problems was also taken care of. We are looking at contracting their services each year to help us get caught up on the root problems in system.
This summer the City along with County crews will be chip sealing. Marc McCully from the county road crew and I spent a morning planning out several streets to chip. We measured about 50 blocks of streets around town to chip. I don’t have number on exactly how many blocks we will be able to do until we get a firm quote on what oil is going to cost.
I contacted Ward Crushing and ordered enough 3/8 chips to go over the number of streets we measured in case the oil comes in lower than we anticipate. That way we can do more streets than we originally plan, if oil is high we will have extra chips for next year.
With the snow finally melting the street crews have been picking up the large number of downed branches and trees taken down by the snow. They will be repairing areas damaged by the plows. When it rains the crews will be sweeping the streets, and the ongoing effort to fill potholes.
Other than the issues with mains, the wastewater plant has been running well. There are a few issues with some pumps that we are looking into and replacing some metal doors that have corroded. Ron Miller from Masters’ Touch Electrical contacted me that the parts to retrofit the lights have arrived. He will be working on them soon.
With spring run off about to start the water treatment plant operators are getting ready for the turbidity to increase, this happens every spring. So far, there have not been any real high levels to deal with. But there is still a lot of snow left in the mountains!