For the first time, CUC’s non-revenue water loss below 50%


For the first time in the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s history, it has managed to reduce its non-revenue water loss below 50%.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho disclosed this at CUC board meeting last Thursday, saying that CUC’s Water Division reduced its non-revenue water loss to 48.1% last December.

That number was at 53.6% in November, he added.

Camacho said this demonstrates the level of effort being pursued by their team of professionals.

Before Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation on Oct. 24 and 25, 2018, CUC’s non-revenue water loss was at 50%. This then jumped to 77% during the storm because a lot of leaks occurred and several water wells went offline.

CUC deputy director William B. Gilmore, water/wastewater chief engineer Joseph Carlson, and water/wastewater division manager Randy Blackcloud have informed Camacho that they have been taking a different direction in analyzing and investigating the water loss problem, billing accuracy issue, metering accounts and gaps in service locations, and other activities.

“It is proving to be a large effort with findings that are new to the team and may develop into some real solutions as the program being promoted rolls out,” Gilmore said in his report.

Gilmore said he himself is seeing progress that is of a whole new level of detail, which may soon provide a chance to gain ground on a perennial problem.

Gilmore said the Water and Wastewater divisions have implemented a pressure monitoring program that monitors and steps up repair activities on valves, hydrants, pressure reducing valves, wells, booster/lift station maintenance, quality assurance (inspection), and safety programs. There is also effort in identifying the best technologies and best practices.

Other new initiatives that were begun recently include a pressure management team meeting to identify and correct the root of non-revenue losses. Gilmore said they also scheduled recurring meetings with Rota and Tinian to discuss leaks and other island needs that might impact non-revenue water loss.

He said Wastewater and Engineering are initiating a wastewater connections audit to determine if there are more unknown connections and service lateral failures that may not be known.

Gilmore said the reason for this is the number of wastewater billing complaints coming in from customers that are indicating they are not wastewater customers.

He said they had also initiated a water audit, with Kagman targeted for that effort.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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