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
The Water Bylaw identifies the requirement for metering of Commercial properties, Industrial properties, Institutional properties, golf courses, Agricultural Land, and recreation facilities during development.
In 2021 the Regional District Board adopted a Water Metering Strategy. The Strategy provides a plan and guidance document to assess metering feasibility, provide prioritization and a timeline for potential metering implementation in each individual water system. Metering might not be cost effective or feasible in some water systems. A review is required that includes social, economic and environmental considerations to determine if metering should be or should not be ultimately required in individual water systems. The review for each water system is anticipated to be completed in the near future but planning an implementation on any new universal metering programs can take a number of years.
Universal Water Metering Programs
Universal water metering programs have been implemented in the water systems listed below. Please visit the water system webpages for metering program information specific to the water system.
- Balfour Water System
- Grandview Properties Water System
- Rosebery Highlands Water System (metered but billed by annual flat rate)
- Lucas Road Water System
A phased metering program is currently planned for the Erickson water system
Reading your Meter and Leak Detection
If your meter is installed in your home/building, you can read your meter at any time. If you have a meter with a digital display, the display can be turned on by shining a bright light on it. Balfour and Grandview Properties Water Systems customers can view their water use and set "leak alerts" through the portal website service, EyeOnWater. Instructions for signing up can be found HERE.
Information on how to detect leaks on your property can be seen HERE.
Water Metering FAQs
Why is the RDCK initiating metering in my water system?
In many Regional District Water Systems, low stream flows or high water demands can result in low levels in water storage reservoirs during hot, dry weather. High water demands can be the result of outdoor watering, wtaer wastage or leakage, particularly in aging water systems. An emerging concern is low aquifer levels during drought for some water systems on well source water. Increasing water system capacity is often not economically feasible or possible if low stream flows or acquifer levels are a concern. 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 by promoting water conservation and identification of water leakage and/or wastage. A reduction in overall water demand will also result in a longer lifespan of equipment.
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.
Leaks can be hard to detect, particularly 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?
Metering likely would not be implemented in a water system unless it makes overall economic or environmental sense. Metering might typically be implemented as an alternative to more costly capacity upgrades or when source water is limited. Metering can cost more than non-metering and it is not the Regional Districtʼs intent to use metering to generate more revenue. Metering also 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 in advance of any actual metered rate charges introduced for a water system. There are many rate structure options available and the Regional District intends to consult with individual water systemʼs Commission or Community Advisory Committee and customers before any metered rate implementation. Ideally metered rates are established after we gain at least a year customer water usage data. Mock metered rate bills can 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 or cellular based meter reading technology. The Regional District currently has two automated meter reading equipment suppliers. The Balfour and Grandview water system have Badger/Beacon equipment that is based on cellular technology. Meters are automatically read and data is transferred to a server on a daily basis. Other water systems have Neptune based equipment with 900 MHz radios to transmit data. The 900 MHz band is utilized by many consumer devices such as cordless phones, garage door openers, communications radios, Wi-Fi networks, and other wireless devices. Neptune meters are 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. Meters can fail or lose some accuracy over a long period of time; however, the meter would under record consumption. It would be considered extremely unusual if a meter over recorded consumption.
Who will pay for water meter maintenance?
Water meters will be maintained by the Regional District. 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 meter pits installed by the developer. Water meters will installed at the ownerʼs cost at the time of building construction. 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 January 4 2023 at 9:35 AM