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Water woes

 Shannon LeClair  

Times Reporter   
 
For some time now approximately 30 per cent of the water coming in from Calgary has been getting lost somewhere once it reaches Strathmore. 
One way the town is hoping to determine where at least some of the water is going is by installing a water meter at the Strathmore and District Agricultural Society. 
“When we’re paying for a certain amount, but only collecting for 70 per cent of what we have to pay the city for, we want to find out where it’s at,” said Chief Administrative Officer for the town Dwight Stanford. 
“If you take the water that we’re paying for coming out of Calgary through the big meter, we know exactly how much is coming out, and then take the amount of water that we sell … we’re short about 30 per cent, and we’re saying ‘where is that 30 per cent? Is it mainly water leaks?’ Part of it is up at the Ag grounds. We don’t know what per cent, we want to put the meter in there so we can find out how much is really being used up there.” 
Councillor Rocky Blokland brought forward the discussion at the July 16 council meeting, wondering where things stand since the last fall workshop. Councillor Brad Walls, who is the acting president of the Ag Society,  excused himself from the discussion to avoid a conflict of interest.  
Stanford said the hope is to install the meter this September. The new meter will have to be installed below ground and will be surrounded by concrete. Quotes were obtained approximately one year ago, coming in at the $40,000 range. That price could change depending on the bids that come in for the project. 
“According to the engineers you can’t have it above ground where it’s easy to do,” said Stanford.
“We’re hoping it can be done for cheaper than that price.”
The Ag Society does have a well on the grounds but it is not tied into the main water line. The well water is used for watering the horses, and everything else is on the potable water lines. The washroom building that has showers also has a meter attached to it, so the town does know what is being used there specifically, but not by the Ag Society as a whole.
Not all of the missing 30 per cent of water is being used by the Ag Society, said Stanford; there may be minor leaks in the lines somewhere, which is what council is hoping to find out.  
If the Ag Society does happen to be responsible for a large portion of the missing 30 per cent it would be up to council to decide if the society should begin paying for the water used. Council has requested that the Ag Society pay for half of the costs incurred to install the water meter. 
 
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