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Milner’s lost water tied to metering?

Milner’s $31.9% water loss in August turned into a 5.7% gain in September after the abnormal use was attributed to a time lapse in reading the master meter that leads in from Barnesville and regular meter readings. They are on separate billing cycles. ’It must have been a matter of timing of when they read the meters,’ said city manager Harold Wilson at the Oct. 10 council meeting. ‘This month we sold 155 gallons more than we bought.’ Wilson stressed that Marcus Richardson, the former city meter reader arrested two weeks ago for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana and blamed by at least one Barnesville resident for misreading her meter, did not read Milner’s master meter. ’A lot of meters weren’t read correctly,’ Wilson said. ‘It threw off our monthly figures.’ Compounding the problem was work along Barnesville lines somewhere on Highway 36 East reached by two master meters, one from Barnesville and one from Milner on Evans Road. ’That meter served the water authority. Barnesville took it over and is now buying water from Milner that we sell to Milner,’ said Barnesville city manager Kenny Roberts. ’It’s called wheeling. We pay them the retail price for that water.’ That meter registered a high consumption while Barnesville sectionalized the lines to fix the leak. All the water to that area flowed through Milner during the repairs. Barnesville bought back 1.4 million gallons of water, Roberts said. The discrepancy came about when Milner received its regular meter readings about 10 days before it received those for the master meters. In between those meter readings Milner council meets. ’Harold didn’t see it at the time he made his calculations because we send all of Milner’s bill out for him, including the one to us,’ said Roberts. ‘He didn’t pick up on that. It really is an anomaly but we allowed that water to flow so we wouldn’t interrupt service.’ Milner’s water loss is 14.6% so far this year, compared to 17.8% for all of 2011. ’We contacted a water loss expert to come in to check for leaks but when we got this information we put him off,’ said city manager Harold Wilson. Barnesville has four meter reading cycles, three for Barnesville and one for Milner.

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