City approves water study, repair projects

Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE — For a nominal fee city officials approved on Oct. 2 a study of its water system that could result in short- and long-term savings for both city hall and residents.

Mayor Joseph Kuspa said the water distribution survey contract of just under $14,000 to Aqua-Line Inc. will make use of state-of-the art technology to identify any existing leaks, however small, in the system.

“The technology has gotten very affordable to see if there’s any loss that isn’t metered,” Kuspa said. A certain amount of water loss is anticipated, and there is an estimated 15 percent difference between what the city is billed by Detroit and the amount billed out to residents. Kuspa said the survey will identify places where that can be reduced, and by addressing small leaks prevent future, bigger losses.

“There is some inherent loss,” Kuspa said. “The system is over 50 years old, and we’re taking a proactive look to make sure the loss is manageable. Long-term we’ll save those dollars and recoup the initial investment. We should be proactive and find leaks. That’s just water being wasted.”

Kuspa said the project continues the city’s cautious approach to infrastructure maintenance. The modest amount of expense for the water system represents an affordable investment, while another item approved this month were long-needed roof repairs on the 23rd District Court and Southgate Veterans Memorial Library buildings. A $213,000 contract was awarded to Molnar Roofing for the repairs, which Kuspa said became more pronounced this year.

“We saw what happened with the rains in the last few months,” Kuspa said. “We’re not in a position to replace everything, but we looked at the worst-case areas and addressed those first.”

(James Mitchell can be reached at