It has been an eventful year for VPID. In May, we experienced a catastrophic failure of the electronics that control operation of our water treatment plant. Our extraordinary team of operations staff, Ian and Rob, rose to the challenge and pivoted to a manual system of controlling the inflow of water to our filtration system and conducting essential backwash operations to keep the filters from building up too much pressure. As of this writing the electronics are mostly repaired but we’re still waiting on the final step. At no point was the quality of our drinking water jeopardized.
Two significant leaks happened this summer, one on Spinnaker Drive and the other on Mariners Way. Both involve lines running under the road, so we have road works scheduled for November to complete the repairs. Both leaks affected two homes and in each case, we were able to run water lines from neighboring homes to provide water while the supply to these homes has been turned off. Many thanks to the affected homeowners for their cooperation. We also experienced a leak at the Leighton Lane lift station in June that required rapid work to maintain safe operations of our sewer system.
As you all know, the summer of 2023 was extremely dry, which put a strain on our water supply. During the August long weekend, we experienced the single highest outflow ever recorded at the plant – over 25,000 US gallons in one day. When demand during the busy summer months is high, we simply aren’t able to pump enough water into the system to match outflows, and because of this we had to bring in trucked water in mid-August to ensure our storage remained above the level required by the fire department. Our storage was slow to recover in the early fall – some of our wells showed signs of stress in the late summer – but we are now back to normal levels for this time of year.
Additional storage tanks: The treatment plant has storage for 88,000 US gallons of treated water: 30% of this is held in reserve the fire department, and 13 – 20% is consumed daily, depending on the season. Refreshed continuously, the water is stored in five large steel tanks that are more than forty years old. The tanks appear to remain in good shape, but because of their age and, more importantly, our desire to be more resilient to high water demand in the summer, VPID will be acquiring new, modern plastic tanks and adding them to the site. We are purchasing 2 tanks this year and two more next year, which will add 20,000 US gallons of storage at the site.
Winterizing your property: Our recent chilly weather pattern served as a reminder about winterizing your property. If you will be absent from your property for longer than 48 hours, please shut off your water at the roadside curb stop. If you are in doubt as to how to accomplish this task, please contact one of our staff or a trustee for advice, or email at email@example.com
Taxes and Tolls for 2024. Our operating costs have continued to rise this year, as a consequence of the inflationary pressures we have all experienced in the past couple of years. As well, we continue to be faced with sharply higher interest rates on our infrastructure loans for sewer and water, both of which have been renewed in the past two years. We were able to reduce the principal on our water loan this year by $35,000, which reduced our carrying costs for this debt. Nevertheless, to offset increased operating costs, and to continue to build our reserves in sewer and water, the Board is recommending $2/month increases in water and sewer tolls, and sewer taxes, and a $1/month increase in water taxes: