Water meter's on the way

It look¡¯s like water meters are heading our way. Over the next five years, the city plans to switch all residents to water meters.

This is important for several reasons:

  1. A metered system gives power to the citizens - the power to control the amount they pay for their water. By limiting water use (not watering the lawn, no thirty minute showers, etc), citizens can pay much less then they are now.
  2. On a metered system, residents use less water. This reduces costs for the city. The system requires less chemicals and energy to treat the water, and we do not need to build such big water treatment plants.

The only issue that I have right now is with the cost to switch to a meter.

This will be an important issue with low-income residents, luckily the Deputy Mayor is already working on this:

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase said he plans to spearhead a council motion that asks city staff for recommendations on assistance packages for low-income residents that would offset the costs of meters and fixtures such as low-flow toilets.

¡°If you¡¯re at a certain income level and you own your own home, there may be a relief package that you¡¯d be able to access,¡± Chase said. ¡°That will take us over the largest barrier of push-back over water meters.¡±

For everyone else, I am still hopeful that the city will be subsidizing the initial cost to switch.

Currently, I am responsible for finding a plumber to come and install the meter which also includes paying them to perform the work. The people I spoke to at the city estimated the job at $200 - which is a lot of money to pay upfront.

Perhaps the city can work with the various plumbers in the city to ensure the installation costs are consistent - and maybe the installation cost can be included in future bills?

Either way, I do plan on making the switch once I have more information.

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