Water metering review needed

We would like to join Mr. Hooper and Ms. Bartosinski in their criticism of the recent metering structure.

Dear Editor:

Re: Metering model disputed, Summerland Review, Oct 2 and Fair water metering model needed, Oct 23.

We would like to join Mr. Hooper and Ms. Bartosinski in their criticism of the recent metering structure for the 280 or so properties that have separate water lines for irrigation.

Some of the issues brought forward by Mr. Hooper and Ms. Bartosinski such as; payment of $1,500 for a separate meter; a flat rate of $35.82 per month until later notice; inadequate pressure on domestic lines to water lots larger than half an acre; the cost of rerouting irrigation line through a domestic line, are all issues that were thrust upon us with very little explanation or notice.

For four years my husband and I have been attending information meetings held by the municipality about water metering and we tried to get an answer on how it would affect our property that has two water lines.

We were consistently told that a decision would be made and we would be notified in good time. So, in August of this year, we received a notice that we had just six weeks to decide whether we want to keep our irrigation line or have it disconnected.

No explanation as to what our options might be, only that a flat fee would be applied starting in January, even though our irrigation water wouldn’t be turned on until April.

Like many of our neighbours, we have over half an acre in Prairie Valley that provides us with tree fruit, berries and vegetables for most of the year.

It seems ridiculous to promote the use of treated water for irrigation when a suitable line already exists and has done so for the 20 years we have lived here.

We do not profit monetarily from our backyard produce and it would seem to me that local government should promote backyard gardens, not set up financial barriers to discourage them.

Like Mr. Hooper and Ms. Bartosinski, we do not object to paying for water used but rather that the fee schedule and notification process was ill conceived.

I would recommend all stakeholders defer a decision on this issue until after the municipal election.  Perhaps a new council will see the how poorly this scheme was thought out.

Dawn Richards and Grant Thompson

Summerland