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Flow meters save money, too: Water district helps farmers conserve

The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 offers flow meters and leak detectors on a free-loan basis to help people within the district locate costly water leaks that can waste the region's limited ground water supply. Flow meters measure the amount of water that is moving through pipes, while leak detectors can find leaks in pipes buried beneath the land's surface.

“Using flow meters can help an irrigator find out if a well is producing as much water as it was originally designed to do,” said Arnold Husky, water use division director for the High Plains Water District. “This simple test can save a lot of money.

“For example, if your pump is designed to produce 600 gallons of water per minute and the flow test shows it is only producing 400 gallons of water per minute, then there appears to be a problem with the pump and it should be repaired.

He says flow tests save money in the long run because it costs about as much to operate a pump that is producing 400 gallons a minute when the pump is designed to produce 600 gallons of water per minute.

The flow meters are available for loan to anyone living within the 15-county High Plains Water District service area. Individuals may pick up a flow meter during regular business hours at the water district office, 2930 Avenue Q in Lubbock, or at any of the 15 county USDA-NRCS offices in the district.

The water district also offers underground leak detectors on a free loan basis. The leak detectors use sensitive microphones that can “hear” the sound water makes as it flows from a leaking underground pipe.

“In some instances with a center pivot irrigation system, the leaks are large enough that you can see water coming up to the surface,” Husky said. “However, there are other times when you may suspect that an underground pipeline is leaking. This type of leak can often be small and hard to detect.

“Using the water district's leak detector can help you prove or disprove a suspected leaking pipeline without the inconvenience of hiring a contractor to dig and locate the leak.”

The leak detectors are available to anyone living in the High Plains Water District. Husky added that city water utility managers and superintendents often check out the leak detectors to find leaks in their town's water distribution system.

“Use of the leak detectors can save taxpayers money by pinpointing a leak without having to dig up large sections of roadways in a hit or miss attempt to locate it.”

Husky said it is important to conserve as much water as possible and the free-loan flow meters and leak detectors are tools to help people conserve water for a more beneficial use.

For more information on flow meters or leak detectors, contact Arnold Husky, Water Use Division Director, High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 in Lubbock at 806-762-0181 or e-mail him at [email protected].

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