Water figuratively engulfed the July meeting of the Laurens Commission of Public Works on Monday.
On the positive side, General Manager John Young said it was the first time he recalled CPW making more money on water than the other utilities in a single month. May water profits were $59,550.63, relegating electricity to runner-up at $58,608,76.
The Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission served notice that CPW’s raw water rates decreased as of the first of the month, signifying a reduction in annual costs of about $15,000.
On the other hand, a water-line break in the Lake Rabon Pump Station on the morning of June 30 will eventually require expensive repairs. Pumps failed. Water rose in the station and flooded all three pumps in a pool estimated at 500,000 gallons. Fortune favored the short-term repairs necessary to restore service. Roper Brothers and Godwin Pups arrived at the station by noon, and water was flowing again by 9:30 p.m.
On Monday, customers complained about “an earthy taste” in Laurens drinking water. Young said he suspected the testing being conduct would reveal “an elevated level of organic matter in Lake Rabon.”
Also, two customers were apprehended and charged by law enforcement after being caught tampering with water meters.
Lobby security upgrades and exterior renovations were completed at the main office.
LCPW has fully “energized” (provided electrical service) the True Core Inc. faciity. A service loop has begun at Hunter Industrial Park. A fire tap and water line have been completed for the coming Muffin Mam plant, and Martin Brothers Construction has begun work on the sewer line.
Gas mains are nearing completion on Price, Green and River streets by Electricom contractors.
Finally, Young issued a mid-year update on Laurens CPW’s incentive bonus goals.
One goal is keeping CPW’s lowest residential rate for electricity within 10 percent of the state average. It is lower, 12.62 cents per kilowatt-hour to 13.07 statewide.
The natural gas rate is less than half ($12.23 per thousand cubic feet to $27.98) the state average, far better the goal of being within 5 percent.
The accident rate is 2.34 compared to a 4.16 average. The number of customers receiving e-bills instead of by mail has risen from 766 to 925. Overtime is 4 percent of total regular-time hours, better than the goal of 5. CPW employees have missed an average of 24 hours due to illness, ahed of the goal of 40. The Average Service Availability Index is 99.9999 percent, ahead of the goal of 99.5423. For the year to date, the organization is 4.9 percent under budget, and CPW currently has no regulatory issues with any agency.
Meeting eight out of 10 goals means eligible employees will receive incentive bonuses. At present nine of the goals are on track, and the other won’t be relevant until October when customer satisfaction surveys are conducted.