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2017 Annual Report to Membership
I am pleased to report to the membership that Davidson Water, Inc. has 60,847 total connections and 53,983 active meters. That is an increase of 585 active taps from prior year. We added 463 new water taps in the past year. That is an increase of 81 over prior year and the highest number since 2008. Currently, we have 71 full-time employees and 4 part-time employees.
The Gregg Stabler Water Plant ran an average of 9.56 mgd with a maximum daily production of 13.236 mgd. This is slightly down from prior year in spite of us being up in customers. The combination of low flow fixtures and customer conservation is greatly contributing to this downward trend. We have maintained full compliance with all state mandated tests. We partnered with North Carolina Rural Water Association and conducted a B-Surface school in which four operators participated. Operational changes to our dechlorination process were put in place allowing a savings of over $25,000 annually. A substantial project underway is a 12-filter rehabilitation in the CO Pickle WTP. Rehab will include demo of existing filters, recoating pipe gallery infrastructure, new under-drain and air scour system. This project is budgeted at $2.35 million.
Our distribution system saw line upgrades, line extensions and pipe relocation of 22,500’ or 4.26 miles. Projects included Ronniedale Road, Remer Regan, Beckner Road, Riverwood Drive, and Walkabout Lane. In addition to these projects, we completed 5 NC DOT projects requiring line relocations and 6 different new or expanded subdivision projects. Our main project right now is a replacement of our Hyattown Pump Station where 70% of our daily water goes through. This pump station is receiving new more-efficient pumps, new electrical equipment, a larger generator for back-up power and larger piping with the room to add on more. This project will replace 1970’s equipment. We estimate the new station will carry us out to the year 2060.
Our meter department installed 4,044 radio read meters bringing the total number in our system to 42,842. We plan to have all meters replaced with AMR technology by the end of 2018. These meters are very accurate, have a 10 year warranty and are the best value for the company to measure and bill for water.
Office and customer service upgrades included work-order migration software, annual meeting proxies presented online, new wiring and data/server room and numerous billing dashboard features. Other customer service measures implemented were email notification for high bill consumption and past due accounts. Also, staff has been very busy working through two different bank mergers.
Effective January 1, 2017, we instituted the Water Loss Protection Plan (WLPP) for our customers. This opt-out program gives a member relief from an unanticipated high water bill in any given 24-month period of time. The charge is .50 per month. The number of customers opting out of the program has been less than 1/10th percent.
Davidson Water employees have demonstrated an admirable need to give back to the community in more ways than one. We set a record in employee giving in our annual United Way campaign. Our employees partnered with RCR Racing in donating water and clothing to flood victims in West Virginia. Also, we partnered with Western North Carolina United Methodist Church in donating 253 buckets of cleaning supplies for flood relief in eastern North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew. And our annual Food Drive at Christmas is always a huge success. Our employees contributed $353 in cash and 374 lbs of food for Greater Outreach Ministry in Welcome.
Davidson Water, Inc. annually awards four $1,500.00 scholarships to deserving high school seniors in memory of past board members. Last year recipients were: Madison Armstrong, West Davidson High School; Gibson Caudill, Ledford High School; Patience Hunt, West Davidson High School; and Megan Ogle, Central Davidson High School.
Our company is fortunate to have community stewards serve on our board of directors. One of whom is retiring from the board tonight. I want to recognize Barbara Ewings for 23 years of service on the board. Barbara has served as a Director since 1994. During this tenure she has participated in numerous industry conferences, served on multiple committees, most notably the Scholarship Committee where she served as Chair for many years. Barbara, we thank you for your service. We will miss you.
In closing, I want to emphasize our commitment to our mission of providing safe reliable water to our members at the lowest possible cost. We will continue to do that with the leadership of our board and management, the expert guidance of our professional staff, the dedication and expertise of our employees, and the support of our members. Thank you for your support.
Ron Sink, General Manager