The new meter installation is almost complete. Training for the electronic reading and billing system was completed the week of September 17th. We would now like to clear up some misinformation and misconceptions about the new meters.
Although the new meters cost more than the old meters, they have a 20-year warranty whereas the old meters only had a 5-year warranty. As Mr. Stoner pointed out, a number of meters have had to be replaced each year because they were more than 3% in error [average of over 14 per year for the last 3 years–Ed.]. Those replacements have been increasing as the meters age. The major savings we get for replacements is from those meters with a 3% or less error that were not replaced.
The new meters have much better accuracy, less than 1%. That is where the major savings for the Association, in everyone paying for the water they actually use. As meters get older they record less water than actual use. Also, they do not record a slow drip which uses about 450 gallons a month. However, the new system detects leaks, in some cases within 24 hours. It can also help detect the leaking system in your home by identifying the time of the day when the leaks are occurring. They also are more resistant to tampering. Waiting longer to install meters would only get more expensive due to the growth of the association. Prior Boards should have been installing electronic meters, which would have significantly reduced the cost of our current installation. We plan on reselling the old meters to recoup some of our costs.
In the past, the Association has had multiple homes with leaks each month. Large increases in usage were only identified during the monthly meter readings and home owners were notified as soon as possible. The process of identifying the cause of a large increase can be frustrating and time consuming. Because of our rocky soil, many of these large leaks leave no evidence; the ground may not even look damp. As stated previously, the new system can help in this process by reporting the time of day and patterns in the leaks.
Most people are completely surprised at the amount of water, and its cost, of common types of leaks. Below are the average number of gallons that common leak types cause:
• Dripping faucet 450 Gal/month
• Leaking Toilet @1/2 GPM = 21,600 Gal/month
• Drip Irrigation Leak @1 GPM = 43,200 Gal/month
• Unattended Water Hose 1 night @10 GPM = 9,000 Gal/night
Typical high usage activities:
• Watering Garden for 2 hours a day @ 5 GPM = 18,000 Gal/month
• Watering Garden for 2 hours a day @ 10 GPM = 36,000 Gal/month
• Sprinkler 1000 gal/hour