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2009 Annual Report to Membership

On May 2, 2009, we will be celebrating 40 years of providing water services to you our membership. Our founding fathers would tell us we didn’t get where we are today by thinking about it, dreaming it or taking the easiest road, we got here by doing it. If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there. Our visionaries knew which road they wanted to take, it wasn’t the easiest, it was the road less traveled, but four years after they started, a water system was born. It is said if we don’t change direction we will end up where we’re going, surely if our founding fathers had faltered and changed course, we would not have a water system that has grown from 2,800 connections to over 58,000 providing service to a population of 140,000 in 4 different counties plus portions or all of seven municipalities while providing commercial and industrial growth as well. Long before the movie “Field of Dreams” our past General Manager, J A Younts, said “Build a water line and customers will come.” How right he was, as currently we have over 58,000 connections.

During the past 40 years, we have gone through several recessions, severe droughts, major ice storms, a hurricane and saw our nation attacked on US soil for the first time. Each of these adversities has lead to system improvements and tighter security.

Our water plant has been expanded 6 times from 2 mgd to our present capacity of 20 mgd. We now have over 1,500 miles of water lines from 2” thru 30” in diameter. 30 tanks holding 19,125,000 gallons of water, 3 reservoirs holding a combined total of 77 million gallons, 22 remote pump stations with 55 pumps plus 7 raw water pumps, 6 river pumps, and 15 high service pumps at our water plant. We have 10 permanent generators and 6 portables, 58,020 water connections, 10 backhoes, 1 trackhoe, 15 trailers, 38 small trucks, 14 heavy duty trucks, 2 skidsteers, and a 40,000 plus square foot office, warehouse and maintenance facility. I remember when we had one backhoe with no truck or trailer to pull it to the job. We truly have been blessed over the past 40 years from our visionaries, to the leadership from our Board and Management and dedicated skilled employees.

This past year we have obtained permits from the Core of Engineers for a new river intake and are waiting final State approval before beginning construction. The new intake will operate more efficiently and under much lower river levels. Davidson Water, Inc. developed a Source Water Protection Program that has been approved by the State. Our rate structure has been changed to emphasize conservation. We are still under voluntary conservation measures and if river flows dictate, we will go under stricter conservation measures. We are continuing to work on our IBT issues by exploring many options. Our GIS program is getting closer to reality. Almost all our meters, valves, hydrants and other facilities have now been GPS’d and software purchased.

This past year we received $27,112.00 of generator credits at our Hyattown and office facilities and were able to reduce our plant electrical cost by an additional $170,000.00 by load management with our 2 plant generators. We produced 4,079,958,000 gallons of water in 2008, billing for 3,485,416,000 gallons with a water loss of 14.6%. We now have over 58,000 accounts serving a population of over 140,000. Our Consumer Confidence Report will be ready to go out shortly showing no violations.

We have continued our capital improvement program, completing an 8” line on Hampton Road that replaced a 6” line. We also replaced lines that were giving us trouble on Howard Black Road and County Home Road. Our service leaks have been reduced from a high of 1,214 in 1977 to only 13 in 2008. This past year along with 13 services repaired, we repaired 459 main line leaks, plus an additional 16 caused by contractors, moved 15 meters, repaired 23 hydrants, made 574 water taps, 210 valves boxes were raised and realigned and 73 valves were repaired or replaced. We continue with our meter replacement program changing out 6,083 meters. We are continuing with our automatic meter read program now having 22,643 in use. Over 635,000 meters were read, billed and payments posted, 6,200 meters were cut off for non payment and 6,049 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. Our new phone system with additional lines and options for our customers needs has provided for better customer service.

The two new 1 million gallon tanks, that we opened bids on March 21, 2007, one in the Welcome zone and the other in the Hickory Tree zone are now in service. A new 20” transmission line has been designed and constructed 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. The new pump station that was designed to go under the 500,000 gallon elevated tank in Trinity is now in service. The City of Archdale signed this tank and property over to us. 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. Black Sawmill and Robert Everhart Road 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.

The value of life sustaining water, conservation measures, source water protection and the need to develop new sources need to continue to be communicated to our users. “It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret” “Today’s preparation determines tomorrow’s achievements.”

In March of 1985, John Sharpe became a Board Member of Davidson Water, Inc. He has provided leadership, support and his innate God given qualities have shown at the most appropriate times during Board Meetings. This will be his 302 Board meeting and 25th annual meeting. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.” For almost 25 years John Sharpe has exemplified this by helping us at Davidson Water, Inc. to help provide one of God’s most precious resources, water to our membership.

Gregg Stabler, General Manager

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