The Town of Steady Brook is looking for four residents to participate in a water metering project.
Mayor Donna Thistle said they are looking for a diverse group of participants — seniors, households with babies and small children, households with teenagers and single people — to get a clear idea of how the town’s water is used.
Thistle said Steady Brook has had a long saga of water issues, and the new artesian well system completed in August 2016 has given the town nice, clean water and a storage tank.
But there still seems to be a problem.
“We don’t seem to have quite enough to satisfy the town’s needs.”
When the system was put in place the town relied on a theoretical demand for water based on the size of the community.
“After it got installed we discovered the town was using more water than the theoretical demand.”
The town purchased leak detection equipment, found some leaks and fixed them. That, Thistle said, mitigated the problem somewhat, but the community seems to still be just above the theoretical average.
She said the plan is to install 10 water meters, at a cost of about $5,000. The purchase and installation will be covered by the town and six members of council have volunteered to take part.
Data on usage will be collected over a year and that might be able to give the town enough information to clarify why it is above the average. To get a true picture of what’s happening, the town doesn’t want people to change their habits.
Thistle said it is part of a three-step process to address the issue.
Installing the water meters and lowering the pumps in the wells, to keep them pumping longer and improve the flow, is the first and least expensive step.
If the lowering of the pumps doesn’t work the next option is to crack the rock to increase the flow into the wells.
The final step, and the most expensive, would be to drill more wells.
Thistle is hoping they don’t get to that step.
“Because you don’t know when you start drilling if you’re going to find water or not.”