Why are we installing individual water meters?

The plan to install individual water meters was the most important topic of the August 25, 2021, Canterbury Annual Homeowners Association Meeting. The cost of water and sewer has been rising dramatically over the past few years at Canterbury and during 2020 was reaching levels of $10,000 – $12,000 per month. We have explored leaks, replaced water lines, and worked with OWASA to try to understand what is causing these issues. We have reduced the costs with these efforts, but the monthly bills are still running between $8,000 and $10,000 per month. This is not sustainable when we need to be saving money toward re-roofing the complex. The Governing Documents provide for Association/Board of Directors the option of individual utility metering, so after years of consideration and monitoring the water usage costs, the Board has finally opted to exercise this option and wanted to inform you of this coming change and why. 

Saving Water Helps Protect Our Nation’s Water Supplies

Using water-saving techniques like installing individual water meters can save you money and divert less water from our rivers, bays, and estuaries, which helps keep the environment healthy. It can also reduce water and wastewater treatment costs and the amount of energy used to treat, pump, and heat water. This lowers energy demand, which helps prevent air pollution.
It’s not just the dry western areas of the country that need to be concerned with water efficiency. As our population continues to grow, demands on precious water resources increase. There are many opportunities to use household water more efficiently without reducing services, including installing individual water meters, leading to substantial savings on water, sewer, and energy bills. 

Why We Need Individual Water Metering:

•  Largest and growing HOA expense, with limited accountability 
•  Difficult to detect leaks and make repairs where needed
•  Repairs require water to be turned off for the building or community in many cases
•  Currently, Canterbury is wasting thousands of gallons of water weekly
•  Most communities already have this feature

Benefits of Individual/Submetering Include:

•  Accountability of water usage (fairness for individuals vs multiple occupants)
•  The ability to detect and track down leaks sooner
•  Allow us to make repairs without shutting off water to the community
•  Help us to conserve and protect our valuable water resources
•  Funds gained by the HOA can be put toward important projects

Water Metering Options:

  • Work with OWASA directly ($5000 min/unit)
    • We do not have the funds to handle it through the HOA
    • This would have to be an assessment
  • ATI – utility management company (approximately $450/unit)
    • They install the meters
    • They handle the billing and collection
    • The HOA can handle the installation costs

Below are links to more information about the benefits of installing individual water meters (as most of the local townhome communities have done), various vendor options and components, as well as what this will mean for you as an owner.

EN1501 Pulse Meter Transmitter
EN7580 TapWatch Gateway
EN5040 High Power Repeater
Flexible Axis Meter FAM