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November 23, 2016
Governor awards grant to help rural water systems identify and eliminate leaks

MONTGOMERY— Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded a grant that will help Alabama’s rural water systems find and fix leaks that waste not only water, but also cost energy and revenue.

The Alabama Rural Water Association will use the $15,000 grant for a program that helps rural water systems identify leaks in underground water lines. Undetected water leaks account for thousands of dollars in lost revenue for water systems each year.

“Our current drought is a strong reminder of how precious and vital our water supply is,” Bentley said. “This grant will help ensure that water is not lost due to leaks and will help rural water systems cut their annual energy costs.”

In the next year, the association will contact 400 local water systems to review water loss and complete detailed surveys of at least 12 water systems to identify suspect sections of water lines and pinpoint the specific locations of leaks. Local water system operators are involved in each phase of the surveys and use the experience to upgrade their skills for finding and repairing water leaks themselves. Repairing the leaks will reduce the workload on water pumps and reduce the amount of electricity required to transfer the water to residents, according to the association.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Water is a precious resource, and times of drought can put a strain on local systems,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “ADECA is pleased to continue our partnership with the Alabama Rural Water Association for this program to help lessen the strain on rural water systems during both wet and dry periods by ensuring that water is not lost due to leaks in their pipelines.”

ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.

Bentley informed Kathy Horne, the association’s executive director, that he had approved the grant. Matching funds of $3,750 are supplementing the award.

Contact: Mike Presley or Jennifer Ardis

For more information, visit:  http://www.adeca.alabama.gov/