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Perham water increases by 100 million gallons

In the span of a decade, water use in the city of Perham increased more than 100 million gallons.

The data was revealed in a report from Ulteig Engineering, which was approved by the Perham City Council Sept. 24.

The water plan was prepared by Ulteig to establish water emergency and water conservation measures. It also lays out a five-year plan for capital projects, such as water-related street, utility and other municipal construction.

The rapid increase in water use, both commercial and residential, launched various water facility expansions in Perham. Among these, installation of new wells, new water mains, and a new, one million gallon water tower, which is scheduled to start construction this fall.

In 1998, Perham had a population of 2,343, and used about 277 million gallons of water per year.

By 2007, population was estimated at 2,719, and water use rose to 394 million gallons.

While commercial water use grew the most significantly, from about 200 million a year to 280 million; the number of home water connections grew dramatically--from 925 residential connections to 1,081 in 2007.

In total residential water usage, the number of gallons climbed from 77 to 114 million a year.

Future trends are a major component to the city's water planning. Population is projected to rise from about 2,725 to 3,500 by year 2017. Water use is expected to increase by another 30 million gallons, to 427 million.

The Ulteig water study for the city of Perham outlines emergency water plans, as well as a broad series of conservation initiatives:

Metering: The city will establish a meter testing and maintenance schedule for the present 913 residential water connections; 171 commercial connections; and 15 industrial.

Unaccounted water user: Reducing loss from leaking pipes, valves and hydrants, and other unknown losses of water.

New water fee structure: Phase out the present program, which essentially encourages water use by giving a lower rate for higher volume of use. The new rates would be flat, without discounts or a sliding scale based on volume.


Perham's largest volume users of water:

Customer / Gallons per year / % of total use

Resource Recovery Facility / 92,619,230 / 22.6

Barrel O' Fun Snack Foods / 69,169,113 / 16.9

Primera Foods Corporation / 18,438,057 / 4.5

Bongards' / 16,031,884 / 3.9

Tuffy's Pet Food / 13,021,737 / 3.2

Industrial Finishing Inc. / 9,080,338 / 2.2

Memorial Hospital/Home / 4,953,487 / 1.2

Kenny's Candy Company / 4,439,987 / 1.1

Perham Public School / 3,254,914 / .8