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Author Topic: Who's using all that water?  (Read 1081 times)

Tom

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Who's using all that water?
« on: February 12, 2018, 07:19:40 PM »
We received a letter from the City of Columbus asking for access to our townhome to inspect/replace the water meter. I spent 3 days trying to call their number (apologies, but we have an excessive number of calls), and my email went unanswered. I eventually talked to a live person; It took a little explanation that we visit for 4-6 weeks in the summer and at Christmas/new year. It didn't register, so I explained that 2017 had a couple of changes:
  • A family member lived at our home for 2-3 months while going through a change of homes.
  • Chris had knee replacement in November, and hip replacement in February, so we chose not to visit at Christmas/new year.
All is now well, but I could have done without the phone and email fiasco.
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 10:44:24 PM »
    We had the same issue the year I retired and we spent about 8 or 9 months on the road in the MH, the water usage at our house dropped to zero and the city wanted to change the meter.  Our daughter who takes care of the house when we are away, is also a city employee, and she had to call in some favours to back them off.

Ed
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 11:02:17 PM »
We had a flood in our house and part of the repair required 10 commercial dehumidifiers to run for three days straight to dry out the walls.

PGE came to our house and had to go inside and inspect the entire home, said it was mandatory in certain situations where excessive power was being used.
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The_Grey_Wolf

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 11:23:39 PM »
Anomalies will trigger an inspection in almost any case. I had a friend who thought he outsmarted the system by putting a marine power switch on the feed to his water meter in his basement.  It took about 16 months for the water company to catch on because he was switching it off before laundry/showers.  He had to pay about $2500 in fees and speak to a judge.

Moral is don’t modify your system and don’t be surprised when they show up to check things out. People always think they’re outsmarting the man. If you’re innocent, you’ll be fine.
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Tom

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 12:59:55 AM »
Quote
Moral is don’t modify your system and don’t be surprised when they show up to check things out. People always think they’re outsmarting the man.

No modification of our system and no intent to outsmart anyone. "Smart" doesn't belong in this discussion; It's beyond me that a utility company can't understand that their meter records higher when usage is higher, and records lower when usage is lower, something it's done for several years. Having to spend 3 days trying to get through on the phone to explain it to them is a waste of my time, and certainly not appreciated when I'm calling from Chris' hospital room, especially since I'd already explained it via email. I had no intent to drive/fly 2,500 miles for them to verify I'm not cheating them out of anything.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 01:15:36 AM by Tom »
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 08:56:26 AM »
We had a similar problem with the electric company that services our upstate NY cottage. The erratic month to month readings due to our random comings and goings with our coach kept triggering meter inspections, and even subtle accusations that we were doing something to interfere with the digital readings. When I was eventually contacted by a loss prevention manager and explained our life style, he actually understood the situation. He told me the problem was the billing system was programmed to kick out alerts whenever certain usage values varied too much from the previous reading. I then asked if they were getting alerts from any of our seasonal neighbors that would also have erratic readings, and he said, no, because they're flagged as "seasonal" in the system, but our place is listed as "residential" with different criteria. He said there was no rate difference between the two classifications, and we had apparently been "upgraded" from seasonal to residential a few years back when we had our service upgraded from 100 to 200 amp. When I suggested they simply change us back to "seasonal" to stop the alerts, he laughed and said that was the probably best answer and he'd take care of it. No more unnecessary meter inspections since then... 
Dutch
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The_Grey_Wolf

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 10:40:26 AM »
No modification of our system and no intent to outsmart anyone. "Smart" doesn't belong in this discussion

Never meant to imply that you were doing anything wrong.  I meant it's the bad actors that trigger these inspections, and the utility company's assumption that you're lying or hiding something.

We had a flood in our house and part of the repair required 10 commercial dehumidifiers to run for three days straight to dry out the walls.

PGE came to our house and had to go inside and inspect the entire home, said it was mandatory in certain situations where excessive power was being used.

What Arch triggered was a warrant-less search for evidence of a drug lab.  They were there looking to see if you were cooking meth or growing marijuana, which they would then report directly to the local police.  It's a wonderful way around the warrant system.
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Tom

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 10:50:39 AM »
Understood TGW, thanks.
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UTTransplant

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 11:19:07 AM »
I hope Chris is doing ok. That’s a painful procedure. Thanks to this post hough I know something else to talk to my electrical and city services suppliers in our next house where we will be gone a lot!
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Tom

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 04:07:03 PM »
Quote from: UTTransplant
I hope Chris is doing ok.

Thanks. She's doing better one week after hip surgery than she was one week after knee surgery.
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Heli_av8tor

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 06:44:09 PM »
Hmmm. The city replaced my meter a couple years ago. They broke the handle on the main shutoff valve in the process. They reluctantly replaced it.

What I didn’t discover until trying to shut off the water last January for our trip was that they also messed up the valve. No way to get them to fess up at this point.

But, if he lack of water usage triggers an alarm to replace the meter they’ll have to fix the valve to do it.

May be my way out of an expensive repair. 😂

Tom & Theresa
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Gods Country

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 06:47:18 PM »
I'm guessing government isn't too quick to change a meter when the water usage becomes abnormally high? ::)

NY_Dutch

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 08:39:27 PM »
Thanks. She's doing better one week after hip surgery than she was one week after knee surgery.

Glad to hear it, Tom. My best to her for a speedy recovery!
Dutch
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Tom

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 12:02:03 AM »
Quote from: Gods Country
I'm guessing government isn't too quick to change a meter when the water usage becomes abnormally high?

I suspect not  :)

Meanwhile, at our primary residence in California our household water comes from aquifers that the city water engineer says have 300 years supply stored. A few years ago the Feds passed a law that all homes have to be metered for water by 202x. So the city has been installing meters, and we end up paying for the meter and installation for no logical reason; The city engineer keeps apologizing, but says he prefers not to go to jail for violating/ignoring the law. In some cases, they have to cut a hole in folks' driveway to access the incoming line, something that was not envisioned when this development was designed in the 60's. Fortunately, they didn't need to cut into our driveway.
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Tom

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2018, 12:03:40 AM »
Thanks Dutch. She's a tough lady.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2018, 06:03:15 AM »
Thanks Dutch. She's a tough lady.

She's gotta be to put up with you! ;D
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant

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NY_Dutch

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2018, 07:32:46 AM »
I suspect not  :)

Meanwhile, at our primary residence in California our household water comes from aquifers that the city water engineer says have 300 years supply stored. A few years ago the Feds passed a law that all homes have to be metered for water by 202x. So the city has been installing meters, and we end up paying for the meter and installation for no logical reason; The city engineer keeps apologizing, but says he prefers not to go to jail for violating/ignoring the law. In some cases, they have to cut a hole in folks' driveway to access the incoming line, something that was not envisioned when this development was designed in the 60's. Fortunately, they didn't need to cut into our driveway.

I'm not aware of any federal law requiring water meters, Tom, but there is a California Water Code requiring meters:

"ARTICLE 3.5. Metered Service [525 - 529.7]  ( Article 3.5 heading added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 884, Sec. 4. )"
 
"527. 
(a) An urban water supplier that is not subject to Section 526 shall do both of the following:

(1)  Install water meters on all municipal and industrial service connections located within its service area on or before January 1, 2025.

(2) (A) Charge each customer that has a service connection for which a water meter has been installed based on the actual volume of deliveries as measured by the water meter, beginning on or before January 1, 2010."

Cal. Water Code, §527
Dutch
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Tom

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2018, 11:26:48 AM »
Might have been a slip of the tongue on the part of the city engineer, but I've heard him say it on several occasions. OTOH it might have been an issue with my hearing  :) That CA code doesn't appear to apply to residences  ??? AB 2572 appears to be the one but, as you say, it's a CA requirement not Federal.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2018, 12:20:25 PM »
The city engineer might be confusing the CA code meter requirements with the requirements in Sect. §526 that refer to stipulations in the water supply contract for the federal Central Valley Project. That contract does require meter installations and use requirements for those receiving project water, but those deadlines started in 1992, with the latest in 2013.
Dutch
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2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
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Bill N

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Re: Who's using all that water?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2018, 01:35:00 PM »
We had a flood in our house and part of the repair required 10 commercial dehumidifiers to run for three days straight to dry out the walls.

PGE came to our house and had to go inside and inspect the entire home, said it was mandatory in certain situations where excessive power was being used.
They were no doubt looking for a marijuana grow operation.

Bill
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