First and foremost public water supply is important for public health above all else. Every drop counts we cannot waste such a precious resource.
If 5 million gallons were billed and there is 8 million gallons of water unaccounted for and unbilled several things may be happening:
There is a tremendous undetected leak somewhere. Without some kind of a leak, water pressure does not drop from 30 psi to 20 psi to 10 psi (A leak detection can be performed for very little money to correct this issue). Ten psi is a dangerous level for fire protection.
Or, meters that are in the homes of the residents, businesses and public buildings, i.e. school, etc. are old and inaccurate. Meters slow down over time, and if they have not been replaced or calibrated in the past 10 years this is a huge problem and could be why so much water is not being billed to anyone.
There could also be people without meters and therefore not paying for their water usage.
Cave Spring is a beautiful town and may be ripe for development, but the issues with the water system leave the town open for the Environmental Protection Division to step in and take over management of your water department. These issues should be addressed immediately.