By Maryanne Firth, The Tribun
More than $200,000 is flowing into the lakeside city to help hunt dollars that may be trickling down the drain.
Since applying for funding in June 2011, the city has received $224,000 through the provincial government’s Showcasing Water Innovation program. The funds will be used to implement the next phase of Port Colborne’s SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) flow monitoring project, which was launched in 2009 in an effort to reduce unaccounted-for water loss in the city.
Historically, unaccounted water loss sits at about 30% in Port Colborne.
The hope is to identify the water loss, fix the issues and bring the amount of unaccounted-for usage down below 20%, said Ron Hanson, the city’s director of engineering and operations.
Using the system, staff can respond to flow and pressure changes in a timely manner and can apply historical and anecdotal information when trying to pinpoint where leakages and/or unauthorized water usages are occurring. Losses can occur through a number of means, such as watermain breaks, unauthorized usage and fire lines that are not metered.
Along with funds received from the province, Port Colborne has budgeted $167,120 for the project, which has been developed through Burlington-based Insyght Systems Inc.
In receiving the provincial funding, Port Colborne is required to share its knowledge and information regarding the project with other Ontario municipalities.
Work is expected to be completed by March 31, 2014, although the Ministry of the Environment, which oversees SWI funding, has indicated a deadline extension may be requested if needed.