For nearly a decade WaterPro’s long-term plans have included a goal to meter our pressure irrigation system, and in the coming year we will begin phasing in this important upgrade. We know that our customers will have many questions about this change, so we will attempt to answer some of those questions here.
Q: What are the advantages of metering the PI system?
Metering is undoubtedly the fairest way to bill our users, because those who use the most water will pay proportionally more than those who use little water. In addition, metering will help our customers use water more wisely. Most of the watering problems in Utah landscaping come about through overwatering. With meters, customers will know how much they use and can take advantage of free water audits to measure and plan so that they are using the optimal amount for their landscape.
Q: We’ve never had meters before. Why now?
Part of the reason why our irrigation system has never been metered before is because we’ve been waiting for technology to solve the problems we have faced. Specifically, impurities in the Utah Lake water have clogged previous meters we’ve tested over the past seven years. We have found a meter manufactured by the Sensus company that uses a magnetic wave to measure the water. The meter, which has no moving parts, has an exceptional 20-year life, as compared with a 10-year life for previous meters. In addition, this meter is compatible with the current method that we use to read meters on our culinary system. There are many meter reading systems out there, and it is expensive to change.
Q: Speaking of expense, where will the money come from to install these meters?
WaterPro/Draper Irrigation has a strategic plan that anticipates infrastructure needs such as these, and we plan for these expenses in our annual budgets.
In addition, we will receive money from other sources:
- We are a member agency of the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, which has a conservation goal of reducing usage by 25% by the year 2025. Because of this goal, Jordan Valley has awarded WaterPro a $35,000 grant to help us install the meters.
- We have applied for a federal grant that will pay 50% of the cost of installing meters. We will know by February if this grant has been approved.
We can re-apply for both of these grants on an annual basis until the project is complete.
Q: When will these meters be installed?
Our goal is to have the entire PI system metered within five years. In anticipation of this change, over the last five years when new subdivisions have been built we have installed meter boxes for each pressure irrigation connection. We will begin installations in these new subdivisions; our goal is to have 200 meters ready to go by the start of irrigation season in April. We will proceed one subdivision at a time, eventually working our way to the older connections where we will have to install meter boxes as we add the meters.
Q. How can I find out more about this project?
We will keep you informed through our newsletter and website as the project continues. In addition, we will present information and answer questions at our annual stockholders’ meeting in March.