Several RDCK water systems will be migrating to metered billing over the next several years. Water meters are currently being installed in selected types of properties (multi-family, agricultural) during property development in all of our water systems. In some water systems, the Regional District is implementing universal metering programs. In these programs, meters are being installed at all residences and businesses within a specific water system.
Water metering can provide the following benefits:
- More equitable water rates
- Water conservation
- Reduced energy, cartridge filter and treatment chemicals consumption
- Deferral of capacity upgrades
- Improved consumption data
- Improved leak detection
Universal Water Metering Programs
Universal water metering programs are being implemented in the water systems listed below. Please visit the water system webpages for metering program information specific to the water system.
Water Metering FAQs
Why is the RDCK initiating metering in my water system?
In many Regional District Water Systems, low stream flows or low levels in water storage reservoirs have been experienced over the summer months. All Regional District Water Systems are subject to Stage 1 water conservation measures during these months, with some systems going to Stage 2 or 3. We have had good compliance with these measures; however metering will help reduce peak demands. A reduction in overall water demand will also result in a longer lifespan of equipment.
In Balfour specifically, the lake pump station, raw water supply line, and treatment plant are operated at capacity during periods of high demand. Treated water storage levels often fall to levels where treatment disinfection and fire fighting capability could be a concern. Upgrading capacity would cost millions of dollars. In order to upgrade capacity, the lake pump station would have to upgraded or twinned, the raw water supply line would have to up sized or twinned, the treatment plant would have to be twinned and the proposed water storage reservoir would have to be larger than planned.
Why don’t you just fix the leaks instead of implementing metering?
The Regional District does fix leaks in the system when they are detected. Significant leaks are fixed as soon as possible. Small leaks might be postponed based on weather and scheduling requirements, particularly if not during a high water demand period.
Small leaks can be hard to find if they are not visible. A small amount of undetected leakage is normal in water systems as leak detection work can be expensive and it is not cost effective to find all small leaks. Metering data can also help find leaks.
Will the RDCK be charging more money for water services when metering is implemented?
It is not the Regional District’s intent to generate more revenue based on metering than would be otherwise planned based on a flat rate system. Metering offers the opportunity for a fairer cost distribution amongst users.
What will my water rates be if metering is implemented?
Metered water rates will be determined well before actual metered rate charges are introduced into a water system. There are many rate structure options available and the Regional District intends to consult with individual water system’s Commission or Community Advisory Committee and customers before implementation. Metered rates can be set after we gain customer water usage data. Mock metered rate bills will be produced before switching to metered rates so that customers can better gauge what their water bills might be.
How will my water meter be read?
Once the metering program is in place in a water system, water meters will be read quarterly, at the end of March, June, September, and December. The metering equipment uses automated radio based meter reading technology. The meters use the 900 MHz radio band utilized by many consumer devices such as cordless phones, garage door openers, communications radios, Wi-Fi networks, and other wireless devices. The meters will be read by the Regional District simply by driving or walking by properties resulting in a significant amount of labour savings over manually read meters.
How will you know that my meter is reading accurately?
Meters used by the Regional District meet or exceed the AWWA (American Water Works Association) C700 Standard, and have a field-proven record of accuracy, reliability, and long-lasting performance.
Water meters will be maintained by the Regional District. Customer flow data will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to ensure that RDCK water meters are recording information within the standard accuracy range.
Customers can request that the Regional District conduct a water audit where water consumption values are reviewed for the homeowner.
How do I arrange a water audit or learn more about water conservation?
A Water Smart Ambassador has been made available during the past two summers (2016 & 2017) to advise RDCK water users in the central region water systems, and for the past eight in Erickson Water System, to inform residents and businesses on water conservation. In summer 2017, they performed over 89 Water Smart assessments, knocked on over 500 doors to speak to business owners and residents, attended community events, and delivered educational workshops in participating water systems. We anticipate that a Water Smart Ambassador will be available again in summer 2018. Please also visit our Water Conservation webpage for information and tips on how to conserve water.
Who will pay for water meter maintenance?
Water meters will be maintained by the Regional District. Customer flow data will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to ensure that RDCK water meters are recording information within the standard accuracy range and to flag potential leaks. RDCK Water Services will also respond to reported water meter problems. The water system will pay for any maintenance costs unless the meter was damaged or tampered with by the property owner.
Will future developments be charged for water meter installations?
All future developed properties in water systems with metering programs will be required to have a water meter installed at the owner’s cost. Property owners who are making changes to their properties should submit a Water Application which can be found on our Utility Billing webpage.
The content on this page was last updated October 12 2017 at 10:23 AM