As a property with two dwellings, having a water meter installed was the best option for us.
The cost of the water meter aside, now that our meter has been running for four months, here is what we have learned:
Jan – June 2018, billed a flat rate of $800 due to our secondary dwelling.
July – Sept 2018, billed exactly for the water we used.
There is no longer a disadvantage for having two dwellings
139 cubic meters costs $189
October 2018, estimation of 13 cubic meters per 30 days or $18.
At that, current water consumption for the next quarter would be 39 cubic meters (13 X 3).
Actual consumption: approximately $54.
Lastly, there is a minimum quarterly rate of $112.50, based on 83 cubic meters.
There are no discounts or credits.
We were billed the double fee in all “fairness,” said SRD (Strathcona Regional District). The Campbell River Mirror wrote on 7th June, 2018, “Brenda Leigh suggested part of the problem around water use resulted from secondary suites.”
While flat rates may work for some property owners, they are very ‘unfair’ for property owners that have upgraded their homes to include low flush toilets, low volume shower heads, front loading washing machines, and use water wisely in the yard. Clearly proven in this case. Based on our water use patterns, we believe we were over charged for water between January and June this year, by at least $500. Based on our current water meter readings, we will also overpay for water in the fourth quarter.
Water meters are the only way property owners, can become aware of their own water use, and most likely save money too. Meters will also educate the SRD on property usage and perhaps attribute our astronomical increase in use over the past few years to something else, like lack of maintenance or leakage which has been suggested before.
I truly find it hard to believe that it is the individual owner in northern Area D that uses “more than double the average for its metered users…Black Creek Oyster Bay…or users in Canada” as written in the Mirror, 21 August, 2018 (Editor’s Note: this is according to a SRD staff report). We are not an exceptional neighbourhood, and I doubt we use an exceptional amount of water either.
I would encourage all to look at having a water meter installed. More meters will provide accurate water use data and may shed light on to where the water going?