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Lobby Reopened

2008 Annual Report to Membership

“There are years that ask the questions and years that answer.” The world of water 2007 had one dominating focus “drought”. Most of the 100 counties in NC were under extreme drought classification. Some areas are more severe than others. We’re still over 15” below normal rainfall. Systems with dependence on large reservoirs had to go under strict water restrictions and had a count on the number of days of available water left. Rivers and streams are still at only half flow.

Our previous drought of 1998-2002 affected us more than the current drought, but the current drought is not over yet. The drought of 98-02 was hoped to be a 100 year or maybe 500 year event, not so. Droughts seem to be getting progressively worse going from our drought of 53-54, 86-87, 98-02 and now our current drought of 07-08. Some experts still question whether the rains of 2003 replenished the water basins as completely as thought. It has been said “In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.” But, are times going to get progressively worse?

Environmentalists concerns on global warming and it’s effect on climate change seems to be coming true, and a world wide effort and willingness to change our life style seems to be needed sooner than later. The value of life sustaining water, conservation measures, source water protection and the need to develop new sources need to be communicated to our users. “Its better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.” “Today’s preparation determines tomorrow’s achievement.”

Davidson Water, Inc. has and will continue to improve its river intakes to operate more efficiently and under lower river levels. A source water protection team has been formed to make sure our water quality is the best we can make it. We have and are continuing to change our rate structure to emphasize conservation. Those that use water more wisely or stringently should pay less (per thousand gallons). We initiated Voluntary Conservation in September and are still under this measure. If river flows dictate we will go under stricter conservation measures. We are working with Randolph Co to obtain an allocation from the new Randleman Reservoir to obtain another source that will allow us to continue to serve existing and new customers in the Uwharrie and Deep River Basins. The Randleman connection can also be used as an emergency connection. We also hope to make an emergency connection with the City of Thomasville which can benefit both systems. We will also be exploring connections with Asheboro and looking at a regional approach of exchanging water.

We are in the process of GPSing all of our meters, valves, hydrants and other facilities that will help us develop a GIS program to help manage our system more efficiently and provide better customer service along with an in depth inventory of our system. When finished the GIS program will help us with several of our strategic initiatives, Asset Management, Sustainability, Growth, Service Area and Customer Service. Our Workforce Development and Security teams have worked diligently. A table top scenario was played out and ideas on improving productivity and benefits are being formulated.

This past year we received $26,995.69 of generator credit at our Hyattown facility and office complex. Since installation of these generators, we have received over $200,000 in credits. Through peak shaving at our water filtration plant, we have been able to reduce our power cost by an additional $170,000 annually since 1995, over 2 million in credits. We produced 4.17 billion gallons of water in 2007, billing for 3.52 billion gallons with a water loss of 15.6%. We now have over 56,000 accounts serving a population of over 135,000. Our Consumer Confidence Report will be ready to go out shortly showing no violations.

We have continued our capital improvement program, completing the 16” and 12” water lines on Meadowbrook Road. Our service leaks have been reduced from a high of 1,214 in 1997 to only 28 in 2007. This past year along with the 28 services repaired, we repaired 526 main line leaks, plus an additional 24 caused by contractors, moved 15 meters, repaired 5 hydrants, made 904 water taps, 229 valve boxes were raised and realigned and 102 valves were repaired or replaced. We continue with our meter replacement program changing out 6,414 meters. We are continuing with our automatic meter read program now having 18,100 in use. Over 625,000 meters were read, billed and payments posted, 6,000 meters were cut off for non payment and 6,495 final readings were obtained when customers moved. These accounts also had to be cut back on and processed by our office personnel as customers move in, out and sign up for new taps. We continue to add new sign up and payment alternatives providing better customer service. A new phone system has been installed with additional lines and options for our customer needs.

We opened bids on March 21, 2007 on two new 1 million gallon elevated tanks. One will be going in the Welcome zone and the other in the Hickory Tree zone. Both are under construction and should be finished by late summer. SCADA has been upgraded at our filter plant and at our central station this year. The filter sweeps and piping have been upgraded. Our engineer is working on a design for a new river intake with more capacity and dependability in low flow conditions. A new 20” transmission line has been designed and is under construction from our 3 million gallon reservoir to provide more water to the Welcome zone, which provides water to the Hickory Tree, Wallburg, Hasty and Prospect zones. A new 12” and 8” transmission line has been installed from the Lower Hasty Tank on Old Greensboro Road, along Kanoy Road, Bonnie Reagan Road, Jacob Street and Whiteheart School Road. This line will be an upgrade and also replacement of pipe that has a high failure rate. A new pump station has be designed to go under the 500,000 gallon elevated tank in Trinity. The City of Archdale has agreed to give us this tank and property, but it will continue to be a joint use tank. The pump station will provide better pressure and water quality by more rapid turnover of the water and help to meet peak demands now and in the future. Through these initiatives, we hope to provide better service to you our members now and in the future. In the future we hope to continue replacing lines that have a high failure rate. This year Hampton Road, County Home Road and Howard Black are slated for replacement and improvements. Lines that need to be looped will be given high priority also. Continued growth and water demand in our service area will require us to continue making plans for a new water plant and larger reservoir. Our 2 mgd plant that started operating in 1969 with 2,800 connections has been expanded several times now serving 55,000 connections with a capacity of 20 mgd.

Our founding fathers would tell us “we didn’t get where we are by thinking about it or dreaming it, we got there by doing it.” Our success will be measured by our ability to complete and sustain what our founding fathers started. Next year we will be celebrating 40 years of providing water to you our members.

Gregg Stabler, General Manager

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