Water treatment plant report reveals town water storage only 11 hours in emergencies

Smiths Falls water tower
Photo credit: Emilie Must
Posted on: December 12, 2019

Smiths Falls has just 11 hours of water supply in the event of an emergency, town council was told at a Dec. 9 meeting.

Town Manager of Water/Waste Water Treatment Jason Barlow presented a year-end service sustainability report to council. The report showed that the town would only have 11 hours of water supply in the case of emergency. The hours of storage are based on daily flow rates and compared to Perth and other municipalities; Smiths Falls has the lowest number of storage hours. 

“With the lack of storage capacity, the town of Smiths Falls has a higher risk when dealing with plant shutdowns and or production issues,” the service sustainability review stated. 

Barlow told council the construction of a new water tower in the next two years will dramatically change that number to close to 24 hours of water supply. 

Another major issue highlighted in the report was the percentage of non-revenue water (water which is lost through leakage in the system before it reaches users) in Smiths Falls. The non-revenue water target is a value below 30 per cent and Smiths Falls is currently at 65 per cent. 

Barlow says the town has to come up with a solution.

“I applaud the transparency of this document,” Councillor Peter McKenna said. “This report will be the baseline for future councils to see how we’re doing.”

Article by Emilie Must