GF Meters Fact Sheet
Why Meters Matter
Grand Forks City Council approved a plan in November 2013 to expand the water meter program to residential customers.
The City has almost completed the installation of the residential water meters to all residential properties. All residential water meters will be in place by July 31, 2016.
We often don’t realize just how much water we use when we sprinkle our lawns or wash our cars. Yet, maintaining our water infrastructure – the system to treat and deliver water to our homes and businesses and remove wastewater – is one of the most expensive services we provide as a City.
The average Grand Forks resident uses about 720 litres of water per day – that’s more than 3,000 cups of water every day. That’s also one-third more than the average British Columbian. If the trend continues, the City will need to spend millions of dollars upgrading and expanding its water and wastewater facilities.
Water Meters Will:
Defer the need to spend millions more in the future to upgrade our water infrastructure system.
Reduce the cost of power to pump the water to our homes and the cost to treat the used water at our wastewater treatment plant.
Spread costs fairly—just like your electricity or natural gas bills are metered. The more you conserve, the more control you have over how much you pay. Currently everybody pays the same amount regardless of how much effort they make to conserve.
Expanding the use of water meters to residential homes has been recommended by three independent engineering reports and included in our Sustainable Community Plan. More recently, water meters were identified as a solution for water conservation in a survey of area residents conducted by the Kettle River Watershed Committee.
Grand Forks joins a growing list of communities across BC that have installed water meters, including West Kelowna, Oliver, Penticton, Summerland, Peachland and Lumby. All residents supplied by the City of Kelowna water utility are on water meters, Vernon has universal metering, and Kamloops is currently undertaking a meter installation project.
And in Richmond, 70 per cent of residents have voluntarily converted to metering over the past seven years, with 87 per cent of those who made the change seeing their water bills decrease compared to their previous bills under the flat rate.
OPTIONS FOR WATER METER INSTALLATION AND METER SPECS
The City of Grand Forks would like to thank residents for participating in the Universal Water Meter Program. The property owner is responsible for booking the installation appointment prior to December 15, 2015 with Mainstream Mechanical Ltd. by calling (250) 442-3069 to set up this appointment.
Mainstream Mechanical has been operating as an industrial mechanical contractor in Grand Forks for 35 years and employs a core group of long time experienced personnel with two Red Seal Certified Plumbers. They were responsible for the installation of approximately 200 water meters as part of the commercial Water Meter Program in 2007.
The City of Grand Forks has opted to provide three options for water meter installation:
- In-house – This option is the most cost effective and is the preference of the City for installation. The R900i E-coder equipment with AMR technology. This meter can be read remotely, and meter readers will not need to access your home.
- In-house touch pad – This option utilizes the ProRead Encoder, which is a wall touch receptacle that is installed on the outside of the house. Water consumption is communicated by using a 3 conductor bell wire connected from the meter (located in the house) to the touch receptacle. There are no RF’s emitted with this choice. There would be a cost of $25 for each reading. The number of readings per year has yet to be determined, and will be set by the Water Rates Committee once it is established.
- Property line – This option is referred to as a Pit meter, and is installed on the City water service at the property line. The R900i E-coder equipment with AMR technology is used and the meter can be read from the road.
R900i E-coder – Product Sheet
ProRead Encoder – Product Sheet
PIT METER INFORMATION
The following information has been provided to answer any questions residents may have with regard to pit meter installations:
For those homeowners that require a pit meter, that has been determined by City staff, the cost of the pit meter and installation will be covered by the City. All pit meters will be installed outside and underground on the water service where the City water shut-off has been located.
The base rate for a pit meter is roughly $2500.00.
Those residents who request a pit meter, but are not required to as per their City assessment, will be required to pay the difference in cost between in-the-home water meters and pit meters. The approximate cost difference for this is $1700.00 plus 15% administration. The cost of a pit installation is determined by several factors and dealt with on an individual basis such as:
- Depth of pit meter, slope, restoration of area, and what is currently underground i.e. gas, electrical and phone lines.
- Further, there are additional costs associated with post-installation restoration – landscaping, driveway replacement, etc.
Argosy Construction Group will be the contractor for the installation of the pit meter installs which will be completed by May 31, 2016. Please continue to check www.grandforks.ca for current information on all water meter information.
Thank you for your ongoing cooperation!