City addresses questions of high water bills, meter accuracy
Over the past week, there have been a number of questions about the accuracy of water meters around town as customers have been receiving their utility bills.
Round Rock received a significant amount of rainfall through June this year. Because of all that rain, water usage was lower than past years for those months. Since June 30, Round Rock has not received any significant rainfall and has experienced high temperatures, causing water usage to rise. We have seen many homeowners irrigating at high levels to keep their yards green. As a whole, the entire City is using twice as much water now as we used in June.
In regard to questions about water meters, the meters are tested prior to leaving the factory and are calibrated to meet American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards. In addition, the Utilities and Environmental Services Department has testing equipment so the City can verify whether the calibration is accurate. All meters the City has checked do meet AWWA standards.
Utilities staff have visited some of the homes whose owners have expressed concern about their bills. While on site, we checked irrigation controller settings, as well as reviewed water use data for each home. The results indicate the meters are reading correctly and the properties are using a significant amount of water for irrigation. We have witnessed properties using between 3,200 and 10,000 gallons each time their irrigation system runs. Over the course of a month that equates to a significant amount of usage – enough to push customers into our highest tier of summer water rates.
In summary, water meters have been examined and are working correctly and are within AWWA tolerance levels. Site visits and data show many property owners are simply using more water for irrigation than they realize.
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Source: City of Round Rock