Ontario Municipalities Fixing Leaks to Save Water and Tax Dollars

    TORONTO, July 21 /CNW/ - An expert panel of the Ontario Municipal
Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) has singled out eight Ontario municipalities
for introducing measures to reduce leaks in their water and wastewater
treatment systems, conserving water and reducing millions in annual costs for
their taxpayers.
    The Region of Durham and the Cities of Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Sudbury
have reduced leakage of treated drinking water from their distribution
systems. The Regions of Peel, York and Niagara have reduced storm and
groundwater from getting into its sewage treatment systems. Halton Region has
done all of the above and extended the life and efficiency of its water pipes
by attaching cathodes to them.
    The OMBI panel findings are released in a series of reports that address
Water Loss Management in Drinking Water Systems and Control of Inflow &
Infiltration in Waste Water Systems. Highlights from the reports include:

    -   Durham Region reduced the number of annual ferrous metal watermain
        breakages from 100 in 1983 to just 25 in 2005, saving taxpayers at
        least $3.4 million;
    -   Sudbury reduced drinking water leakage by 43 per cent;
    -   The City of Ottawa reduced drinking water leakage by 12 per cent;
    -   Thunder Bay generated approximately $200,000 in annual savings, while
        better protecting basements from flooding.

    "These are just some examples of the measures that municipalities
throughout Ontario are taking to conserve drinking water and make water
systems and waste water systems more efficient and reducing costs for
taxpayers," says Ken Thompson, Manager of the OMBI Water & Wastewater Expert
Panel. "OMBI is working with the Ontario Centre for Municipal Best Practices
(OCMBP) to document and share these success stories to help municipalities
improve their own management practices."
    Details about each municipality's initiatives are documented on OCMBP's
website: www.ocmbp.ca.

    The Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) is a groundbreaking
collaboration of 15 Ontario municipalities. OMBI fosters a culture of service
excellence by creating new ways to measure, share and compare performance
statistics. This helps municipal administrations understand where they are
performing well and where they can make improvements. Expert Panels have been
created for most municipal services to share ideas on operational practices,
so that service experts can learn and improve faster.

    The Ontario Centre for Municipal Best Practices (OCMBP), a partnership
between the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and the Province of
Ontario, commenced operation in June of 2002. It uses performance measurement
data to identify and share 'best practices' with Ontario municipalities.

For further information:

For further information: Ron Gibson, Project Director, OMBI, (905)
685-4225 3228; Ken Thompson, Project Manager, OMBI W&WW Team, (647) 880-6543;
Michael Boggs, Project Manager, OCMBP, (905) 631-8569

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