Water meter readings show waste

When the first water consumption notices are sent out later this month, some homeowners will be shocked with the amount of water they have been using. Municipal treasurer Ken Ostraat said one home in Trout Creek showed 710 cubic metres of water used from June 16 to July 14.

When the first water consumption notices are sent out later this month, some homeowners will be shocked with the amount of water they have been using.

Municipal treasurer Ken Ostraat said one home in Trout Creek showed 710 cubic metres of water used from June 16 to July 14.

“That’s more than the average homeowner uses in a year,” he said.

A cubic metre is 1,000 litres.

If water metering was in place at present, this property would have been charged $420 for the water use.

Ostraat said the excessive water use came because the property owner, with a 0.2-hectare property, was irrigating around the clock, using a soaker hose.

“He didn’t need to use that much water,” Ostraat said. “It’s pure waste to leave a soaker hose on 24 hours a day and seven days a week.”

He added that the watering restrictions in Summerland do not allow for non-stop watering.

Under Stage 1 watering restrictions, residents may water their lawns and gardens three days a week.

While this property had the most excessive water use in Summerland, Ostraat said others have also been using far more water than necessary.

Several had consumption of more than 400 cubic metres.

Fewer than 10 per cent of Summerland homes had excessively high water consumption, he added.

The municipality has collected residential water use data as it will be issuing letters showing homeowners how much they are using.

The notices, which will be sent out in early August, record water use from Feb. 25 to March 25, from May 16 to June 16 and from June 16 to July 14.

“Lots of people will be shocked how much they do use,” he said.

The water meter readings are in preparation for when Summerland’s water will be metered.

The municipality will use a fee structure which starts with a base rate of $18 a month. Every cubic metre of water will then cost 68 cents.

Residential users in Summerland use an average of 682 litres a day, or just over 20 cubic metres a month.

Ostraat said the February to March reading will show household consumption, while the May to June and June to July readings show water consumption including irrigation.

 

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