Pipe leaks cost city of Marion up to 800,000 gallons of water

Pipe leaks cost city of Marion up to 800,000 gallons of water
(Source: KFVS)

MARION, IL (KFVS) - A Marion pipe leak costs the city up to 800,000 gallons of water.

According to Marion Water Finance Commissioner Anthony Rinella, the bitter cold temperatures last week caused pipes to freeze.

Last week, Rend Lake Conservancy District told Marion to shut down part of it's water supply to the city. Rinella said Marion pumps about 2,000 gallons of water per minute. Rend Lake slowed them down to 1,300 gallons per minute. Marion Water Department re-read water meters throughout the city.

They said pipes were found with leaks all throughout the city.

The average household uses roughly 5,000 to 7,000 gallons of water per month. There were several homes that used more than 60,000 gallons of water in a matter of days. Two customers were above 90,000 gallons within several days.

After assessing pipes throughout the city, Rinella said they have lost anywhere from 500,000 to 800,000 gallons of water in the city in the last several days. Usually, Marion uses about 2 million gallons of water a day for the city.

The cost will run around $85,000 a month for the water in Marion in the winter and up to $125,000 a month during the summer.

Rinella said he wouldn't be surprised if it cost them up to $150,000 for this month.

The water department has to pay for the water used from Rend Lake. Customers will be responsible for paying for the water loss, according to Rinella, but he said the city will work with customers by making adjustments.

Rinella wants to start renewing talks about building a cooperative for Marion. Rinella said they are making progress finding the leaks and fixing the pipes.

The Williamson County Jail contributed to the wasted water, leaking more in 10 days than it would use in a month's time. The problem has residents on their toes by double-checking their pipes for leaks.

"Nobody wants to go without water, so we try to stay on top of everything and if something goes wrong we try to go in there and try to fix it as soon as possible," said Kyle Williams.

The city urges residents to keep a close eye on their water lines.

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