Deer Lake looking into feasibility of water metering for apartment building

Diane Crocker dcrocker@thewesternstar.com
Published on February 23, 2016
Diane Crocker/The Western Star
Coun. Elmo Bingle is seen during Monday night’s Deer Lake Council meeting.

The Town of Deer Lake has been asked to consider installing water meters on some lines at an apartment building on High Street, but it’s not something council plans to do without some investigation.

The issue came up during Monday’s nights meeting when Coun. Elmo Bingle presented the public works report.

There was some discussion around the council table that allowing the meters would set a precedent for other places and questions over why the owner would want it with water rates in the town what they are.

Right now the town charges $338 per unit, per year for water service and Bingle said the owner is of the understanding that paying a lower rate could be possible with metering.

“Which is not what we’re seeing at this point,” Bingle said.

He said preliminary information shows it is not worthwhile to have meters installed. After the meeting, Bingle said this is the first time council has received such a request.

The landlord has number of units and, while the vacancy rate is low now, he’s concerned if he had vacancies over a period of time then he’d be paying the same $338 per year per unit, regardless of the amount of water used. With a water meter, the expectation is he wouldn’t have to pay that price.

“It’s something we seriously have to look at,” said Bingle.

The town currently has one meter in place for its own use on the waterline going to Reidville, to monitor the amount of water going there, said Bingle.

“If we see it increasing at any point we can probably look at the fact that maybe we’ve got leakage,” he explained.

The town will do some research before it makes a decision on the request.

“We’re going to check with other municipalities to see what the costing is. What they’re charging either per litre, per gallon, and we will have to determine at that time if it’s even feasible to do it.”

Water metering is something a lot of communities are either doing or looking at doing, and Bingle said it is something the town may have to look at in the future as the cost of treating water and new waste water regulations come into effect.