Does your purveyor....

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by 1idejim, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    That's sad. All water based industries have been pushed toward developing water conservation programs, intelligent application and management practices and consumer awareness education and your purveyor doesn't care enough to develop a program that would notice excessive VS normal usage via monthly billing. The meter reader should notice (even electronically read) excessive meter changes.

    How can we be expected to ride herd on our resources when the people that are monitoring the private sector don't give us a heads up warning?

    I thought this was a good call from a town of 10,000.

    Btw, 5 more H/O's have contacted me over the weekend. One is another dive job.
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  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    May work for a small town, but I don't see it for a large metro area. Especially with seasonal watering. One, they don't have the man power in any district right now to monitor/hand hold/notify the general public. Two, when does excessive become excessive? For us, some folks turn on their irrigation anywhere from late March to early July. So when should they notify folks that there water bill is too high? And with the weather pattern this year, with minimal to no rain, hottest temps ever locally, everyone had to water more than usual. So realistically, EVERYONE should have gotten notices. Yes they want us to conserve, but they have to sell water to make money. In 2002 when we went to restrictions for the first time ever, our main water district didn't sell much water. So in 2003, they upped the price significantly.

    I've seen customers with small lawns get a $800-$1000 bill due to a broken mainline, manifold, seeping valve, etc, and never get a notification. They are willing to discount the bill if a company like mine or yours, can repair the system and invoice it stating there was a leak that was fixed. How much they discount it, I have no idea.
  3. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    I don't think you're giving the purveyors enough credit Dana. We live in an electronic world, the technology is available to red flag an unusually high monthly service spike automatically it's just not being used.

    The same purveyor that can clamp down on a customer that uses too much water during drougth periods can also alert customers when there is a sudden increase of thousands of cuft.

    As far as making money goes, these are governmental agencies that are supposed to be working for us. They should be making no more profit than it takes to run and maintain the infrastructure.

    I deleted a bunch of this reply after reading it, my views on public services don't belong here and my opine shouldn't be a reflection of those views.
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  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    If their monitoring and notification is all automated, it may be easy to implement. But here is a scenario:
    November to March, customers monthly bill is $100. April, sprinklers get turned on, and bill spikes to $180. Then May it goes slightly higher to $200. June, still no rain so customer bumps controller, it goes to $240. Hottest, driest June and July recorded, so another bump, it goes to $300. Incremental increases for at least three months. When, and how often, is the purveyor responsible for monitoring and notifying the customer? At what % increase are they going to notify?

    I have one customer who has been complaining this summer. Water bill in winter is roughly $100-$150. June or July it was over $800.
    Here are the reasons:
    22 zones
    This spring their district implemented an additional $45 per month service fee, due to a ranch they bought over 50 miles away for the water rights.
    On top of the $45 per month additional fee, their rates went up 30-60%, depending on which usage tier they are in. 22 zones? Upper tier for sure.
    Nothing I can do really.
    She is also on water restrictions - which people don't really understand. If we are on restrictions, it is because water is becoming low or scarce. On top of that, the local weather this year has been record breaking hot and dry. This DOES NOT mean you should still try to keep a lush green lawn. We should try to keep it alive, not make it thrive in a climate that is not set up for lush green lawns.

    the water districts need to do a better job of COMMUNICATION, teaching these common sense ideas.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Yea, what he said. Not that difficult to automatically flag a service that is unusually high compared to the previous year and make a notation on the bill.
  6. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,171

    Silly me, I forgot to push the "read the OPs mind" button on the Mac. :dizzy:
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    I think it's a good idea if they can notify, but I don't think it's necessary or their responsibility. If the customer sees a bump in their bill, wouldn't that be notification enough? If they have to pay an additional $50 from the prior month, and they have no irrigation, wouldn't the customer realize there could be a problem?

    I'm not a fan of hand holding and enabling. People need to be responsible for their actions and their belongings. But, people always want someone to blame.
  8. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    I don't know where a governmental agency actually doing their job correctly became a bad thing?

    Banking and credit card use is monitered for unauthorized use and theft. You expect that service from them don't you?

    If everyone paid for water like gas at the pump, (with no monthly accounts) then excessive use would be more evident. But we don't pay as we go..... Yet.
    My comments have been conservation based Dana, i don't care how much water one uses or how they use it for that matter since they pay for it.

    we pay our purveyor $37 per acre for a water share (per year) and i manage about 100 acres per year.

    That breaks into about 600-800 acre feet per year. Even though water here is cheap i work hard not to waste it. That is my responsibility, i also hold the purveyor responsible for their end of the deal.

    We won't agree on this issue but since we have the technology to decrease waste and if it is not being used, i feel that the purveyor is as mvch at fault for waste as the consumer is.

    Being a little more familiar with leak survey and corrolation than some of our members maybe i am more apt to look harder at the purveyor that can't account for their infrastructures loss's, yet hammers the customer with increased fees or restrictions.

    I would like to continue but have to check water the go to work.
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  9. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    I'm all for water conservation, but you can really see the difference in east/west coast attitude's toward's water. In my county there is no legal responsibility to let a homeowner know if their bill is rising, it's all about whether the computer see's that, and that doesn't alway's happen, but i'll bet that change's in the future.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,752

    If meters are wired into the utility grid somehow, like the meter/telephone interconnects of some purveyors, they could do much more along these lines.

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