January 18, 2017

Water usage returns to normal on southern Hatteras


Dare County Utilities Director Ken Flatt said this week that water usage on southern Hatteras Island has returned to normal after several months of a mysterious higher-than-normal water demand after Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 9.

At first the county water officials thought that the higher usage was due to storm cleanup and probably in Hatteras village, but the cleanup  began winding down and the usage was still abnormally high.

They suspected a rather large leak -- the higher-than-normal demand was about 100 gallons a minute.

Crews from the Water Department started from the water plant in  Frisco and worked their way outward, checking every line they could and driving around looking for sinkholes full of water -- all with no luck.

They asked the public's help but no one reported a huge amount of water, the size of a small lake, that refused to go away.

As it turned out, "There were no giant leaks," said Flatt.

Water Department crews located several smaller leaks in the distribution system, and water usage has returned to normal.

Flatt says he assumes that the higher usage was just a long period of people cleaning up after the storm and perhaps causing leaks in some smaller lines -- such as around water meter boxes.

But, just in case this happens again, he said, he and his department are going to take a look at some electronic water leak detection equipment.

As always, county residents who suspect leaks to the water system can call 252-475-5990.

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