Lake Country residents tap into water meters
Over the next two years, farms, homes and businesses in Lake Country will be supplied with a water meter.
Universal metering was approved by council as part of the water master plan in 2012 and the first phase of metering, estimated at $1 million, was approved within the 2014 budget.
“Now all of Lake Country’s water customers will also know how much water they are using,” said Mayor James Baker.
Implementation will begin in April with agricultural connections in the Oyama area, as well as with business customers. It is expected to take several months to complete these retrofit installations. Winfield, Carr’s Landing, and Okanagan Centre agricultural customers and residential connections are scheduled to begin next year, in spring 2015.
Meters are being supplied to existing single-family residential and agricultural customers for free. There are no plans to charge newly-metered customers based on their consumption until at least 2017 after a mock billing cycle.
Water rates have already been approved to increase each year until 2016 to fully fund implementation of the master plan.
About one-third of residential customers in Lake Country already have water meters. Analysis conducted in 2012 found that these customers use much less water than their non-metered neighbours.
“Information is empowering,” said Greg Buchholz, operations manager.
“We only have access to so much water. Knowing how much we’re using is the responsible thing to do.”
Residents will be contacted to make an appointment closer to the time retrofit meter installation in their area is scheduled. Installation takes about 90 minutes, during which the water has to be shut off for a short period of time.