Find Real Estate Agents and Homes for Sale

Real Estate News --> Oklahoma News

The Oklahoma leak busters

Each day, the United States loses an estimated 6 billion gallons of clean drinking water to leaks – roughly enough to supply all the homes in Chicago ... cover Grady County Rural Water District #6 in Oklahoma. The sweet spot for listening is between ...

Archived Story

That’s according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which gave the US a D+ for drinking water in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card.It sounds unbelievable, especially for one of the world’s most developed countriesBut Paul Jones wouldn’t be surprised in the least.For the better part of the past decade, he’s been bending his ear to the 700 miles of pipes that cover Grady County Rural Water District #6 in OklahomaThe sweet spot for listening is between midnight and 4 a.m., when just about no one is showering or watering their lawn, and you can be relatively sure that the sound of rushing water means only one thing: a leak.When MrJones first started his midnight crusades, the system was losing close to half its water to leaksJones’s team has gotten those losses down to as low as 15 percent, providing a model for rural OklahomaIt’s also a testament to the methodical, persistent work that’s needed to safeguard what is arguably America’s most vital resource. Think you know the odd effects of global climate change? Take our quiz. “They’re probably the premier system in the state as far as being proactive when it comes to water loss,” says Richard Deshazo, a leak detection specialist with the Oklahoma Rural Water Association (ORWA), who credits Jones’s leadership“He’s done tremendous things in trying to keep water loss down.”Cutting down on intolerable lossesOver the past 18 months, a pilot project run by Oklahoma’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has given a boost to managers like JonesAn initial audit of 40 community water systems in 2015 found losses of 1 billion gallons a year, or enough to fill more than 1,500 Olympic swimming pools – that’s $6.4 million worth of water at consumer pricesSome systems showed losses as high as 70 to 90 percent.“There’s no other industry where inefficiencies on this scale would be tolerated,” says Brandon Bowman of DEQ, who says water-loss auditing has become a hot-button issue in the water industry“We’re riding the front of the wave.”Since 2011, the US has seen elevated levels of drought around the country, particularly in the SouthwestThough that eased in 2017, with the lowest levels of drought so far this century, a number of states affected by the prolonged dry spells – including Oklahoma – have moved to address water loss more systematically.Some states have mandated such auditing, including California, Georgia, Hawaii, and TexasBut MrBowman, recently returned from the second annual North American Water Loss Conference, says many states either haven’t tried to take stock of their losses or are just beginning to, making it difficult to gauge the precise scope of the problem on a national level. Like Grady County, most rural water systems were installed in the late 1960s and 1970s by the Farmers Home Administration, the precursor to the US Department of AgricultureOthers were installed well before thatToday, America’s water pipes, which have a life expectancy of 75 to 100 years, are being replaced so slowly that it would take about two centuries to upgrade the country’s water infrastructure, according to the ASCE report. “You’ve got valves that have been in the ground 55 years and they’re frozen shut,” says Mark Matheson, field operations director for ORWA“The big key is deteriorating infrastructure – it’s no different from roads and highways.”During his State of the Union address, President Trump called on Congress to pass an infrastructure plan of at least $1.5 trillionHe hasn't revealed the details, but a leaked document obtained by Axios suggested that as much as a quarter of the appropriation could be devoted to rural infrastructure, including drinking water.But even in rural Oklahoma, where MrTrump won 70 to 80 percent of the vote or more, there’s little faith in Washington politicsInstead, they’ve taken matters into their own hands.$800,000 in savings so farJones’s approach was to embark on a grand project to learn his system and overhaul it – to map each valve, located 18-24 inches underground; to add line meters that enable him to pinpoint leaks; and to implement a $13 million project, funded with federal dollars, to drill their own wells and become independent from the nearby Chickasha systemIn the last few months, some unexpected challenges – some frozen pipes that burst, and a river bank’s erosion that destroyed a water line – pushed his loss rate back up to 23 percent, but he’s confident that by spring his team will have it back down to 15 percent again, or better.Other rural water systems have been more focused on keeping rates low than on making upgradesSome have become so rundown that in one case a water manager resorted to shooting icicles off a rusty water tower that was in danger of tipping over because of the weight of the ice formed through leaks. DEQ, working in tandem with ORWA leak specialists like MrDeshazo, often has a tough sell when it talks with community water systems in need of repairsIn the case of Atoka, Okla., the water manager didn’t even want their help, says Michelle Smith, who was the bookkeeper at the time.“He wasn’t happy about it, but I went ahead and done it anyway,” says MsSmith, who provided the necessary information to DEQ and ORWA leak detection specialists Deshazo and Mike Westmoland“I thought it would help him out to know where our loss was going.” Two weeks in, the district’s board of directors spent half an hour debating whether to purchase a single 4-inch valveBut as the leak-busting team was able to demonstrate how much water – and money – they were saving the district, the board became increasingly supportiveThe board approved all recommended repairs, the manager was fired, and MsSmith was put in charge.The end result? Atoka, which had been losing more than a million gallons a month (39 percent) is now down to 40,000 gallons (7 percent)ORWA estimates yearly savings to Atoka of more than $50,000.Overall, the DEQ pilot program, which costs $220,000 per year and is funded through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has saved Oklahoma water systems $800,000 in its first 18 months. .newsletter-email-signup { padding: 20px; margin: 0 9.5%; margin-bottom: 28px; background-color: #F3F3F3;} #ezve-inbody-newsletter-widget-block .newsletter-email-signup.sfmc_newsletter h2 {color: #000; padding:0; margin-bottom: 18px;text-align: center; padding-top:10px;} .newsletter-email-signup p { display: block; padding-bottom: 20px; margin: 0 auto; max-width: 450px; text-align: center; line-height: 1.3; font-family: "Open Sans",Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;} .newsletter-email-signup form { text-align: center; padding-bottom: 10px;} .newsletter-email-signup label { display: block; padding-bottom: 20px; font-size:24px; font-weight:600; margin:0 auto; width: 340px; text-align: center; line-height: 1.3;} .newsletter-email-signup.sfmc_newsletter input[type='email'] { box-shadow:none; font-family: "Open Sans","Helvetica Neue",Arial,Helvetica,Verdana,sans-serif; color: #888; border: 1px solid #888; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0 0.4em 0 15px; display: inline-block; margin: 0; max-width: 280px; background-color: #fff; vertical-align: top; border-radius: 0px; height: 44px; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 10px; } .newsletter-email-signup .submit_btn { font-family: 'Open Sans',Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; border: none; letter-spacing: .03em; box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 32px; padding: 6px 18px; display: inline-block; margin: 0; border-radius: 0px; font-size: 12px; text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: 600; margin-left: -4.2px; cursor:pointer; background-color: #008d99; color: #fff;} .ezp-r-simple .newsletter-email-signup h2 {font-size: 2em;margin-bottom: 18px;padding-top: 10px;} .ezp-r-simple .newsletter-email-signup form {margin-bottom: 0;} .ezp-r-simple .newsletter-email-signup p {max-width: 330px;} @media screen and (min-width: 64em) { .newsletter-email-signup h2 { margin: 0; } } @media screen and (max-width: 639px) { .newsletter-email-signup { margin-left: 0; margin-right: 0 } .newsletter-email-signup h2 { line-height: 1.1; width: 200px; margin: 0 auto 18px; font-size: 1.9rem } } @media screen and (min-width: 40em) { .newsletter-email-signup.sfmc_newsletter input[type='email'] { max-width: 280px; width: 280px;} } Follow Stories Like This Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox. $(function() { $( '.newsletter-email-signup .submit_btn' ).on("click",function(e) { e.preventDefault(); var newsletter_email = $(this).siblings("input[type='email']").val(), newsletter_section = $(this).siblings("input[type='hidden']").val(), url = ""+newsletter_email+"&nslr="+newsletter_section;,'_blank'); }); }); Despite such results, however, the team still faces resistanceAnd many involved in maintaining water infrastructure – and the safety of drinking water – express frustration that water operators are paid the least of all utility operators and don’t get the respect that other public safety workers receive “You walk into a restaurant and they’ve got a sign – 5 percent discount for fire, police, militaryTo this day, I’ve never seen one that says: water operator or wastewater professional,” says Kelly Matheson, operations director for ORWA“But in reality, these are the people who are keeping these communities goingBecause without them, we don’t need police, we don’t need fire, because people are not going to be able to live there.” Did this story deliver on search for solutions?    Thanks for your feedback. Great, thanks for your feedbackPlease share this story! $(function() { $( '.rating' ).rating(); }); Give us your feedback, please. Give us your feedback We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this storyWe want to hear from you. Your name: Your e-mail address: Your comment: I currently subscribe to the Monitor Daily and/or Monitor Weekly Submit   Thank you for contacting The Christian Science Monitor. $(function() { $( '#what-we-miss-form button' ).click( function() { var nodeId = 1061485; var formData = new FormData( document.getElementById( 'what-we-miss-form' ) ); formData.append( 'subject', document.URL ); if( $( '#what-we-miss-modal' ).find( '[name="name"]' ).val() && $( '#what-we-miss-modal' ).find( '[name="message"]' ).val() && $( '#what-we-miss-modal' ).find( '[name="email"]' ).val() ) { if( /[^\s@]+@[^\s@]+\.[^\s@]+/.test( $( '#what-we-miss-modal' ).find( '[name="email"]' ).val() ) ) { if( typeof s === 'object' ) { if( window.location.pathname.match( /^\/Daily/ ) !== null && $('').length ) { var linkedItemMetaData = JSON.parse( $('').html() ); s.linkTrackVars = "pageName,prop3,prop4,prop15,prop26,prop30,prop40"; s.prop15 = linkedItemMetaData.authors.join( ':' ).toLowerCase(); s.prop26 = "www"; } true, 'o', 'EmailFeedback' ); } $.ajax( { type : 'POST', url : csmJs.eZBaseUrl + '/services/contact_staff/859877/' + nodeId, data : formData, processData: false, contentType: false, dataType : 'html', }) .done( function( result ) { $( '#what-we-miss-modal form' ).hide(); $( '#what-we-miss-modal .feedback' ).show(); }); } else { alert( 'Please enter valid email address.' ); } } else { alert( 'Please fill out all 3 fields.' ); } }); $( '.what-we-miss-trigger' ).click( function() { var item = $( this ).closest( 'section.package-item' ); var metaData = item.find( '.linked-content-meta-data' ); metaData.addClass( 'feedback' ); }); $( '#what-we-miss-modal button.close' ).click( function() { $( '' ).removeClass( 'feedback' ); }); }); Monitor's Best: Top 5 Focus Iceland has largely kicked teen drinkingWhat can it teach other countries? US policy doc hints at 'limited' nuclear arms use, alarming Russians Monitor Breakfast In Democrats' strategic strike against gerrymandering, Holder leads the charge Can foreign policy be feminist? Sweden says yes. Memo wars: When secrets get out, what happens next? Popular Now Focus Iceland has largely kicked teen drinkingWhat can it teach other countries? US policy doc hints at 'limited' nuclear arms use, alarming Russians Monitor Breakfast In Democrats' strategic strike against gerrymandering, Holder leads the charge Can foreign policy be feminist? Sweden says yes. Memo wars: When secrets get out, what happens next? Photos of the Week 02/05 Photos of the Week #home-subscribe-ad-b { background: #ECECEC; } #home-subscribe-ad-b a { color: #0a0a0a; } #home-subscribe-ad-b .ad-container { background: white; padding: 20px; margin: 35px 0; } #home-subscribe-ad-b section { text-align: center; } #home-subscribe-ad-b a:first-of-type section { padding-bottom: 1.5rem; border-bottom: 1px solid #ECECEC; margin-bottom: 1.5rem; } #home-subscribe-ad-b h2 { text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: 600; font-size: 23px; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto 2rem; line-height: 29px; } #home-subscribe-ad-b h4 { text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: 800; font-size: 1rem; margin: 1.5rem 0 0.3rem; } #home-subscribe-ad-b p { margin-bottom: 1.5rem; font-size: 0.87rem; } #home-subscribe-ad-b .button_link { font-size: 10.8px; } 2 ways to enjoy the Monitor's award-winning journalism! Daily Digital Enjoy a thoughtful evening read. Subscribe to the Monitor Daily Weekly Print & Digital Magazine Enjoy a longer, more in-depth read. Subscribe to the Monitor Weekly Next Up Why fixing US infrastructure matters: $9 per household per day By Laurent Belsie Staff writer Why Americans are using a lot less water By Story Hinckley Staff writer The place in America where (almost) no one drinks their tap water By Story Hinckley Staff writer Photos of the Week 02/05 Photos of the Week $(function() { // Give some inbody elements to load and set the height setInterval( function() { $( '#right-column' ).impulse( { colTotalHeight: $( '#main-column').outerHeight(), }); }, 2000 ); $( '.gallery-modal' ).modalGallery(); }); of 5 free articles this month > Get unlimited free articles You've read 5 of 5 free articles Sign up for a one month free trial. Get unlimited access to for one month. ( No credit card required) Get free trial ( Or, learn about our Subscription options ) Subscribe for continued full access. Like what you see? Learn more about the subscription options. Full ad-free access to Five handpicked articles delivered to your inbox each weekday evening Editor commentary on why each story matters Quick-read versions of each story Insightful graphics and videos exploring key issues Daily audio digest Subscribe ( Still need more time to decide? Get a 1 month free trial) $(function() { if( parseInt( getParameterByName( 'test_meter' ) ) > 0 ) { // reset counter var uniqueStories = JSON.parse( '{"modified":'+ +',"ids":["1027787","1025415","1023972","1021620","1021591","1021497","1021493"]}' ); uniqueStories.ids = uniqueStories.ids.slice( 0, parseInt( getParameterByName( 'test_meter' ) ) ); 'csm_unique_stories', JSON.stringify( uniqueStories ) ); 'csm_meter_test', 1 ); $( '#sticky-messenger' ).meteredMessengerNew().show(); } else if( getParameterByName( 'test_meter' ) == '0' ) { // On DDP pages we don't have the plugin loaded which is good if( jQuery().meteredMessenger ) { 'csm_meter_test' ); $( '#sticky-messenger' ).meteredMessenger().show(); } } else { if( 'csm_meter_test' ) == '1' ) { $( '#sticky-messenger' ).meteredMessengerNew().show(); } else { // On DDP pages we don't have the plugin loaded which is good if( jQuery().meteredMessenger ) { $( '#sticky-messenger' ).meteredMessenger().show(); } } } function getParameterByName(name, url) { if (!url) url = window.location.href; name = name.replace(/[\[\]]/g, "\\$&"); var regex = new RegExp("[?&]" + name + "(=([^&#]*)|&|#|$)"), results = regex.exec(url); if (!results) return null; if (!results[2]) return '; return decodeURIComponent(results[2].replace(/\+/g, " ")); } }); #home-subscribe-ad-a .banner { background: #FFC700; position: relative; margin: 50px 0 35px; min-height: 40vw; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .subscribe-binocular-short { display: none; } #home-subscribe-ad-a a { color: #0a0a0a; } #home-subscribe-ad-a p { font-family: "Open Sans",Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .button_link { background-color: #007582; } #home-subscribe-ad-a h2 { text-transform: uppercase; font-weight: 800; font-size: 1.7rem; margin: 0 auto 0.6rem; width: 195px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a { padding-left: 0; padding-right: 0; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .column.binocular-container { position: absolute; bottom: 0; padding-right: 10px; padding-left: 12px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .subscribe-binocular { max-width: 113px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a { padding: 26px 0; padding-right: 8px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a, #home-subscribe-ad-a .column.subscribe-container { text-align: center; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .column.subscribe-container img { display: block; max-width: 160px; margin: 0 auto 11px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a p { font-style: italic; font-size: 1.2rem; font-weight: 600; } @media only screen and (min-width:500px) { #home-subscribe-ad-a .column.binocular-container { position: absolute; bottom: 0; padding-right: 10px; padding-left: 25px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .subscribe-binocular { max-height: 285px; max-width: 100%; } } @media only screen and (min-width:640px) { #home-subscribe-ad-a .banner { min-height: 168px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .column.binocular-container { padding-left: 10px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .subscribe-binocular { display: none; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .subscribe-binocular-short { display: block; } #home-subscribe-ad-a { padding: 42px 12px 22px 0; text-align: left; } #home-subscribe-ad-a h2 { width: auto; font-size: 1.25rem; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .column.subscribe-container img { max-width: 135px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .button_link { font-size: 10.5px; } } @media only screen and (min-width:825px) { #home-subscribe-ad-a h2 { font-size: 1.55rem; } } @media only screen and (min-width:1070px) { #home-subscribe-ad-a h2 { font-size: 1.7rem; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .column.subscribe-container img { max-width: 160px; } #home-subscribe-ad-a .button_link { font-size: 14px; } } Like what you see here? Less noiseMore insight. SUBSCRIBE TODAY Stay CurrentGo Far. Discover the Monitor Difference About Contact Us Subscribe Free Newsletters Advertise With Us Careers Find us online Content Map Text Edition

Trending Oklahoma News:

  • Tobacco companies file lawsuit, claim Oklahoma’s cigarette fee is unconstitutional
  • Organization Updates Lockboxes Used For Home Showings In OKC
  • Case involving Oklahoma real estate agent who was run over in own driveway closed
  • At a glance: Water task force members
  • Balance seen in Oklahoma City housing market
  • Coburn report: Bon Jovi, Springsteen, Quincy Jones, Ted Turner received federal funds
  • Oklahoma Lawmakers, VA Argue Over State Of Veterans Homes
  • Houston homes still at risk of floodwater despite upgrades
  • Wildfires burn homes, force evacuations in Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma Joe: Our friends in Texas need our help
  • Security Lock Service: For Locking and Unlocking Solutions in Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma film students win awards for short documentary work
  • Why REI’s Should be Investing in Texas and Oklahoma...
  • Oklahoma Wind Power Companies Run Into Headwinds
  • Homes by Taber Launches Food Drive to Benefit City Rescue Mission
  • Miller in May Tour offers 7 stops in historic Oklahoma City
  • Oklahoma Earthquake Victims Sue Oil Companies For Damages
  • Oklahoma State clobbers KU, 82-64; Cowboys sweep season series
  • Eastern Oklahoma fire grows, but progress made
  • Guffey's Reports Real Estate Mortgages