The City of Revelstoke is studying the viability of water meters in order to conserve water.

Revelstoke seeks contractor to study water metering

Water metering study will explore if and how question of water metering in Revelstoke.

A decision on whether or not to adopt water meters in Revelstoke may be years off, but even a council debate about a water metering study shows how politically high-pressure the issue is.

At the Sept. 11 council meeting, Coun. Tony Scarcella led objections to the concept of water meters and even studying them, saying the city hadn’t yet seen results of less costly conservation measures. He said an estimate from several years back pegged the cost of implementing household meters in Revelstoke at $5 million.

“Who’s going to pay for it? The taxpayers?” Scarcella questioned. “The taxpayers are fed up.”

Last week, the city posted a request for proposals for a water metering study. The city is looking for a contractor to study water metering here and make recommendations.

The study will explore both the ‘if’ and ‘how’ questions. The recommendation may be to not implement water metering. If it’s a ‘yes,’ the study will recommend how, including the type of metering, rate structures, equipment, billing and cost estimates.

In a city with relatively good water supply, balancing cost is at the core of the debate. Will future development in Revelstoke necessitate an expansion of the current (and relatively new) water treatment plant? What is the cost of that compared to water metering, which would theoretically cut demand and forestall expansion?

City of Revelstoke environmental sustainability coordinator Page-Brittin said the city had budgeted $50,000 for the study, but she expects the actual cost to be much less, telling council it would likely be $25,000 to $30,000.

Coun. Steve Bender presented mixed feelings. “We know from experiences all over North America that water meters work. They work a lot more effectively than sending out people to police [illegal sprinkling].”

However, Bender said the study would likely recommend metering. “When you call [for a] request for proposals, what usually happens is you get a positive on it, because that’s just the way it works,” he said. “They work, but they’re expensive. That’s what it comes down to.”

Coun. Phil Welock emphasized it was about comparing the cost of expanding the water treatment plant versus the cost of metering.

“Most days we go through about a million US gallons of water in Revelstoke … Some days we could go through two million if people are sprinkling,” Welock said. “I think we have to rely on education. I wouldn’t want to be putting signs on the sidewalk asking people not to sprinkle their lawns.”

He added: “I think we need to go ahead with this [study]. I think we’ll have a positive result.”

Mayor David Raven sought to quell debate, noting there wasn’t a decision before council. “This is not about approving water meters, it’s about making an informed decision sometime in the future,” he said.





Just Posted

Ski Patrol and SAR search for missing skier

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

PHOTOS: Potluck welcomes Syrian refugee to Revelstoke

Revelstoke for Refugees hosted a potluck at the United Church on Friday night to welcome Sam Aiden to town

City and Revelstoke Community Housing Society seek to address affordable housing crisis

The City and RCHS have applied for two separate grants to build 50 and 21 units of affordable housing

Update: Heavy snow disrupts flights at Kelowna International

Kelowna - Expect snow in the Okanagan, Southern Interior and the Kootenays

Interior Health CEO to retire in October

Chris Mazurkewich will step down after three years leading IH

VIDEO: Couples tie the knot on top of Mount Mackenzie

Free weddings and vow renewals offered by Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Valentine’s Day

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. VIEWS: Subsidy supercluster settles in B.C.

Ottawa, Victoria add to their overlapping ‘innovation’ budgets

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada’s first ever men’s ski slopestyle medal

Men’s hockey team beats South Korea and women’s curling reverses losing streak

Canada’s Beaulieu-Marchand wins bronze in Olympic slopestyle

The skier from Quebec City scored 92.40 on his second run

Russian athlete suspected of doping at PyeongChang Olympics

The case could be an obstacle to Russia’s efforts to have the Russian team formally reinstated

Canadians place second in first heat of two-man bobsleigh

Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz finish 0.02 seconds behind Latvian team in Winter Olympics

Canucks came out hot, beat Bruins 6-1

Loui Eriksson scores twice, catapulting Vancouver to a lopsided victory over Boston

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Most Read