It was five years in the making but the bylaw setting Summerland’s metered water rates received first three readings on Monday evening.
The consumption model for the metering was suggested by Peter Parchomchuk, a retired irrigation engineer.
Lorrie Coates, acting administrator for the municipality, said finding a suitable metering model was difficult.
“The system that we have in Summerland has so many different faces to it,” she said.
These include metering for single-family homes, multi-family units, single parcels with more than one service, strata developments with individual meters plus a meter for irrigation, domestic meters, compound meters and irrigation meters.
Under the new rate structure, there is a base fee for all water users. The fees for consumption are structured based on the irrigation needs of the property.
“To be fair to all water users, all users must participate in the water system and everyone must pay their fair share,” Coates said in her report to council on Monday.
Coun. Peter Waterman said developing a metering structure has been a difficult situation for the council. “We had to try and deal with this whole situation as fairly as we could,” he said.
Coun. Martin Van Alphen said it was a lengthy process finding a suitable metering structure.
“We wanted to be revenue neutral,” he added. “This isn’t a tax grab. We need to meter and monitor our water.”
Coun. Orv Robson said the metering bylaw is for domestic use, which accounts for around 20 per cent of Summerland’s water consumption.
Mayor Janice Perrino said the structure may be adjusted in the future if needed.
The first three readings of the bylaw received unanimous support.
Coun. Bruce Hallquist was not present at the meeting on Monday.