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IWA upgrading pumps, pipes, meters

By Staff | Apr 11, 2013

Don DuBrasky

Island Water Association (IWA) remains financially sound as it continues to flow into the next 12 months of daily operations, island utility officials reported to members attending its annual meeting on April 8.

“It was a great rookie season for me,” said IWA general manager Don DuBrasky, who stepped into the role when Rusty Isler retired last June. “Everyone has been great to work with and things are moving on.”

Moving on includes continuing the utility’s mission to consistently and constantly maintain and upgrade its facilities in the production plant as well as in the field.

Board president Bill Carr opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the 47th annual meeting.

“Having completed by sixth year on the board, I will graduate after this meeting,” Carr said. “I want to express my sincere thanks to the board and to the entire IWA staff for their great support. They have made my time here very stimulating and worthwhile. It has been a real privilege to work with the team, which has a great spirit of cooperation and commitment.”

Carr reported on the completion of the Dunes capital improvement project that replaced aging water mains throughout the golfing community subdivision. IWA budgeted $2 million for the project.

“Thanks to favorable weather and excellent coordination with our contractor, the first phase went quickly and costs came in well under budget,” Carr said. “We continued with the second half of the project, which was completed in December with the cost of the whole project totaling about $1.6 million.”

DuBrasky detailed the two major capital improvement projects for 2013 – replace the reverse osmosis membranes, and increasing the distribution station’s pump capacity.

“We’ve budgeted $250,000 for engineering and piping for the new pumping station,” said DuBrasky. “Changing out the RO membranes, done about every 10 years, also is budgeted at $250,000 this year.”

IWA’s current 100 HP distribution pumps will be replaced by four 125-150 HP pumps along with new larger diameter PVC pipes from the high service pumps in the plant to the distribution system. When completed next year, the old pumps will be removed freeing up space on the plant floor for future expansion.

The utility’s project to install new automated water meters that can be read remotely by radio signal is the envy of most other water utilities because unaccounted-for losses have been almost eliminated.

Another feature of the meeting is IWA’s new, more user-friendly web site.

“It’s a vast improvement with more information,” said DuBrasky.

The board filled four vacancies on its panel, two of those appointed to serve their second two-year terms – James Griffith and Gary Dutton. Ralph Sloan was nominated to fill the seat of Tim Gardner, who passed away in November, with one year remaining on a two-year term. Sloan will be eligible to serve three two-year terms next year.

Paul Garvey fills the seat opening due to Carr’s retirement.

The board elected Cunningham as its president with Dutton to serve as secretary and Griffith as treasurer.

Dutton presented the treasurer’s report showing revenue steady at $7.1 million with operating costs just over $5.1 million.