Aging facilities to blame for Lake County Schools $1M water bill, officials say



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Lake County schools have a water problem.

An audit that shows some buildings are paying twice as much as others, even though they have the same amount of students.

There are hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake.

The district's annual water bill is nearly a million bucks and it looks like many of the older schools are to blame for high cost.

For the first time, the Lake County School Board got a look at each school's water bill in a side-by-side cost comparison.

Some schools had bills two or three times as much as others and many had similar numbers of students.

Officials blame most of the problem on older schools with outdated faucets, urinals, toilets and leaking pipes.

Tavares' High had a huge annual bill and officials said they discovered a leak 6 feet underground that was probably the culprit.

Replacing fixtures and pipes in all of the old schools would be a very expensive project.

The school board asked for an estimate and some members admitted some of the schools will present constant problems.

"The school is very old and it's all iron pipes. So, there's going to be leaks and there's some we're not going to catch for a long time," said Tod Howard of the Lake County School Board.

Some schools used metered water to irrigate their athletic fields which is very expensive.

It's another issue the board will look at to try to chip away at that annual $1 million bill.