High Water Use Statement
October 01, 2019
We have been receiving inquiries from several customers about the accuracy of meter readings and extremely high water bills, so we’ve decided to provide additional information.
A chief concern has been about the accuracy of meter readings. The remote meter reading capabilities we have recently rolled out did not require us to swap out existing water meters. In fact, the meters we have been installing over the past 10 years were selected precisely because they supported remote meter reading capability. The only thing that is new on your meter is the addition of a radio that transmits readings to our office, which eliminates the need for our field technicians to spend entire days doing physical touch-reads of the nearly 6,000 individual water meters in our system. While we may not be able to tell you what happened with the water that passed through your meter, we can tell you how much water passed through your meter on a certain day over a given period, down to the hour.
The meters we use are industry-standard models that have years-long track records of accuracy and reliability, and we have conducted extensive testing to ensure the accuracy of our meter reads. Additionally, it is not just in everyone’s best interest to ensure that our meter readings are accurate. Under Texas Public Utility Commission Substantive Rules and Laws, Chapter 24, Subchapter F, we must ensure meter accuracy. Furthermore, these same rules allow us to charge service fees to perform meter reading accuracy checks if a member requests it; something we do to ensure that the rest of the membership doesn’t pay to check meters that are functioning properly. Of course, if there is a problem with a meter, we would repair/replace it free of charge.
Another concern is high water bills. To illustrate how quickly water use can add up, our last billing cycle went from August 4th to September 4th, during which there were 20+ days of temperatures over 100 degrees. There are many reasons why water usage skyrockets during the summer months, but chief among them are folks keeping their swimming pools filled to replace water that evaporates, and folks trying to keep their landscapes as green and lush as possible in the unrelenting heat; activities that can double or even triple the amount of system water consumed. The fact of the matter is we simply do not have the potable water capacity sufficient enough to allow every member on the system to use the volume of water they choose to without limit, especially during the summer months, while also ensuring adequate water flow for firefighting or other public safety activities. Public safety concerns and state/federal water conservation mandates are why we have water conservation rules in place, and these help to ensure adequate water supplies when needed.
We also try very hard to monitor exceptional or continuous water use situations and notify our members when we detect them, but in the end it is still the member’s responsibility to regularly check for leaks and excessive usage, and to pay for their water usage.
Please help us to conserve water, and if you have an irrigation system, adjust it to your assigned watering days to comply with the system’s conservation and drought contingency plans. Doing so will ensure adequate supplies at useable pressures, while also leading to lower water bills.
Thank you for reading!