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Excess rainfall quenches residential water demand

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:11 PM
Last updated Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:03 AM
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Last year, utilities struggled to provide enough water to quench a withering drought.

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Assistant Plant Manager Allen Elliott walks near one of seven sedimentation basins at the Augusta Utilities water treatment plant at Highland Avenue. Water usage is down in both Richmond and Columbia counties.   SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Assistant Plant Manager Allen Elliott walks near one of seven sedimentation basins at the Augusta Utilities water treatment plant at Highland Avenue. Water usage is down in both Richmond and Columbia counties.

This year, demand is declining as rain-soaked subdivisions remain lush and green – without irrigation.

“It looks like our usage is down about 500 million gallons from 2011, and more than 300 million gallons from 2012,” said Bill Clayton, the director of Columbia County’s Water Utility.

The figures are for the first six months of the year and don’t include July, which has been extremely wet so far this year, he said.

The 14 percent decline from last year, he said, illustrates how excess rainfall can affect water use among the county’s 40,000 connections, most of which are single-family homes with yards.

So far this year, the biggest drop in production has been during June. The county’s Clarks Hill Water Treatment Plant, which produced 131 million gallons in June last year, pumped just 79 million gallons this June, according to county records.

For the first half of the year, total water use was 2.548 billion gallons, compared with 2.866 billion gallons during the first half of 2012, Clayton said.

Although the county is selling less water, the reduced demand doesn’t
affect the utility’s financial operations.

“When we set our budgets, it’s according to what we get in fixed revenues,” he said, and extra money is invested back into the system.

Augusta Utilities customers are also using less water, said Allen Saxon, the department’s assistant director for facility operations.

For the first half of 2013, residents used 6.317 billion gallons, or 35.09 million gallons per day.

During the same period in 2012, consumption was 6.778 billion gallons, averaging 37.45 million gallons per day.

The difference, Saxon said, amounts to 2.36 million gallons per day less than last year, with July figures not yet averaged in.

Water revenues declined about $13,800 as a result – from $17,655,087 last year to $17,641,287 for the first half of this year.

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Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 07/23/13 - 11:49 pm
1
2
Duh

Duh

corgimom
36666
Points
corgimom 07/24/13 - 05:37 am
1
2
STOP THE PRESSES!!! BREAKING

STOP THE PRESSES!!!

BREAKING NEWS!!!

When it rains, people don't have to water their grass and plants!

bubbasauce
23036
Points
bubbasauce 07/24/13 - 07:01 am
1
2
Wow, Breaking news. Come on

Wow, Breaking news. Come on Chronicle, give us news, not something we all know already!

soapy_725
43949
Points
soapy_725 07/24/13 - 07:12 am
1
0
Would have been less if businesses could cut of auto sprinklers.
Unpublished

Would have been less if businesses could cut of auto sprinklers.

soapy_725
43949
Points
soapy_725 07/24/13 - 07:13 am
1
0
Soon as the rain ends, we'll hear nothing but drought.
Unpublished

Soon as the rain ends, we'll hear nothing but drought.

soapy_725
43949
Points
soapy_725 07/24/13 - 07:14 am
1
0
What do the sheeple want to hear? Mundane lives need help.
Unpublished

What do the sheeple want to hear? Mundane lives need help.

soapy_725
43949
Points
soapy_725 07/24/13 - 07:15 am
1
0
The cost of treating sewage should have been down as well?
Unpublished

The cost of treating sewage should have been down as well?

soapy_725
43949
Points
soapy_725 07/24/13 - 07:15 am
1
0
AC, tell us how much was saved on passing sewage to the river?
Unpublished

AC, tell us how much was saved on passing sewage to the river?

soapy_725
43949
Points
soapy_725 07/24/13 - 07:16 am
1
0
A spate of water overwhelms the treatment plant. Kills the bugs
Unpublished

A spate of water overwhelms the treatment plant. Kills the bugs

Rob Pavey
552
Points
Rob Pavey 07/24/13 - 12:32 pm
1
0
you guys are brutal - never heard of a slow news day?

but at least everything is spelled properly

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