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

Brother Octopus to deliver an unpredictable evening at Revelstoke Summer Street Fest 2018

Mixing theatrics and crowd interaction with a quirky pop-rock catalogue, Brother Octopus… Continue reading

Mt Revelstoke fire burns at 250 hectares, Glacier National Park fire burns at 990 hectares

Three new fires were sparked in the parks by lightning over the weekend

Okanagan air quality improves slightly

Index for entire Okanagan Valley rated at 10+, or very high risk, because of wildfire smoke

Motorists urged to steer clear of Mabel forest road due to wildfires

Road closure in effect from kilometre 10-59 to give BC Forestry crews space

Child dies in boating accident on Kal Lake

A North Vancouver family was boating on Kal Lake when the incident occured

A first-hand look at hazards facing scooter users

A Salmon Arm reporter tags along on a mobility scooter tour of the city to learn about safety hazards

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Man found not guilty in 2011 drug-related shooting in Shuswap

Judge rules Jeremy Davis couldn’t foresee his companion would kill 24-year-old Nick Larsen.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Parks Canada has ‘general concept’ in mind for South Okanagan-Similkameen

Minister Catherine McKenna will be providing a further update to representatives in Penticton Friday, August 17

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Most Read