Stolen water not suspected by township

BARRY’S BAY – Where did all the water go?
That question has been on the minds of many lately and something the township has remained tight-lipped about for some time. 
But the issue was on the table at the March 18 water, wastewater and waste management meeting. 
Acting CAO/Clerk Brenda Sabatine presented a staff report that outlined in 2011, the township faced a water loss of 14.49 per cent. 
This was an unusual number at the time, consider the township had low water loss rates around 4.5 per cent from 2008 – 2010.
At the time, staff assumed the water loss was related to the wastewater plant upgrades and would return to preconstruction levels once the project had been completed.
But in mid 2012, staff were informed of yet another water loss – this time at 20.84 per cent.
Countless theories began to circulate as to why so much water was going missing, ranging from work being doing at the wastewater plant to people stealing the water by bypassing the system.
Sabatine said staff were immediately instructed to investigate the issue and determine what was going on.
Although she said the township has been under pressure to provide the public with an explanation of what was happening, she said staff refrained from commenting until the issue was thoroughly investigated.
“We didn’t know what had happened,” she admitted. “Initially it was thought there were people with bypasses.”
Staff worked with representatives from the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA,) the company contracted to treat and maintain the township’s water supply.
The township’s water metre installer was instructed to complete door-to-door site inspections of all of the large water consumers in town, along with places that had reduced water usages.

Get your March 26, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.