WILTON — Water consumption is down and so are revenues, according to Wilton Water Department Superintendent Clayton Putnam.

Putnam presented the 2014 department budget of just under $505,000 to the Board of Selectmen last week.

“If you don’t use water, you don’t have to pay for it,” Putnam said Friday.

He attributes the decrease in revenues partly to a tightening of distribution leaks by the North Jay Water Department. Revenues realized from water sent to North Jay were under $19,000, down from those in 2012, he said.

Another factor affecting revenues is the number of vacant buildings and those for sale at which the water has been turned off.

When homes and apartments are vacant, less water is pumped from the water plant, he said.

The board approved the budget, he said. Putnam intends to keep a close eye on the budget and revenues each month and revisit it in June.

While water customers have not seen a rate increase since 1993, a decision on a rate increase could be considered later this year, he said.

It takes a while to start the process for a rate hike, he said.

No large projects are planned for the Water Department this year, he said. 

The department intends to check the line from the town’s water source at Varnum Pond to the plant, and from the plant to the Weld Road. It’s an old and a small line. When the time comes for replacement, the work already done to pinpoint the location could be helpful, he said.

Some other smaller projects will be done, but this year is mostly about keeping the system going.

“It’s always cheaper to maintain than do crisis work,” he said.

Goals, including the High Street project, were accomplished in 2013, although the department did go well over budget.

The replacement of a 20-year-old computer system for the department cost $60,000, he said.

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