Madisonville looks to reduce water loss, sparking confusion about how it will be done

MADISONVILLE (WATE) – In an effort to cut down the city of Madisonville’s water loss, city commissioners spent time at Monday night’s meeting to talk about potential options to fix the problem.

The city has been having issues with water coming from meters its billed for, but doesn’t show was sold. The city currently operates at a 38 percent water loss; the state wants that number down to 25 percent. Both the mayor and chief of the volunteer fire department in Madisonville say there’s been some confusion and misinformation as to how that will be done.

“I think it was misstated that the city was going to cut out the water use for the volunteer fire department,” said Madisonville Mayor Glenn Moser.

One of the options brought up to track water usage was to have an employee be on call for fire departments to give access to the hydrants. According to a document given to WATE 6 On Your Side Wednesday by Mayor Moser, the city of Madisonville’s request to have outside users, like volunteer fire departments, report water usage has been met with “little or no response.”

Right now Madisonville provides water to fire hydrants outside city lines and according tot he statement, that’s primarily where the water loss is coming from.

“The problem is when people get water out of hydrants that we don’t know about,” said Chief John Tallent with the Madisonville City Volunteer Fire Department. “Or leaks that’re or happening that we or the water department water department can’t find, that’s what is called unaccounted for loss and that’s what the state looks at.”

Madisonville Mayor Glenn Moser says if volunteer fire departments fill out the proper paperwork, the city keeps a tab and ultimately the fire department pays for it. However if no paperwork is turned in, the water usage ends up in that “unaccounted for” category and the city ends up footing the bill.

“My understanding is a lot of misstatements on Facebook… social media,” said Moser. “Like the city water department was accusing any particular fire department of misuse of the water.”

While the city works to resolve the issue of unaccounted for water usage, volunteer fire departments are being assured they will still have access to fire hydrants. WATE 6 On Your Side stopped by and reached out to several volunteer fire departments in Monroe County Wednesday, but hasn’t been able to get any comment.

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