Commercial Landscaping Blog for The San Jose | Bay Area, CA

What You Ought to Know About Dedicated Water Meters

Posted by Gene Ebertowski, President on Sep 22, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Installing a Dedicated Water Meter Can Save Money

If your water bill is through the roof, it might be worth considering the installation of a dedicated water meters for your landscaping.

Escalating water costs have many Bay area property owners puzzled not realizing there are various ways to reduce landscape watering costs and installing a dedicated water meter can help.

Landscape water costs run between 40% and 60% of total water consumption in the USA

The cost of water in the peak months can skyrocket over 85% of total water costs.  There are several options available to reduce your watering such as having your system tested for water efficiency, installing smart watering irrigation systems, smart irrigation controllers, upgrading your system with a rain sensor, converting less efficient irrigation systems to drip or bubblers , replacing standard sprinkler heads with smart watering technology, high efficient rotating sprinkler heads just to name a few. But installing a dedicated water meter may be one of the fastest ways to get a return on investment.

Your water bill is usually structured in two parts; the water use and the sewer costs.  Water usage is the part of the bill that most think about when reviewing the bottom line. When focused on water bills, most property managers are primarily looking at the actual water consumption.  This is the total water used during the billing cycle period.  The other part of the water bill is the sewer cost and this is the associated cost for the city charges for the use of the sewer lines that carries away waste water.  This cost is significant in comparison to the water used.

Here’s the secret you ought to know

What most water purveyors or city agencies don’t tell you is that your irrigation water, which is the majority of your water cost, does not go back into the sewer to get processed; it gets filtered back into the soil and flows back to recharge the underground water aquifer.  Some cities offer sub-meter rebate programs for the installation of a dedicated irrigation water meter which is not subject to the utility sewer fee.  For many Bay area properties, this could equate to lowering their water costs during peak irrigation periods.

A dedicated water meter is usually installed in a parallel utility box next to their existing water meter and can impact and lower water costs.

While this function is important, it will not reduce total water consumption

The water agency will install a secondary water meter adjacent to your primary water meter.  At this point, there will be a cross connection to your landscape watering system and you will be invoiced separately for this meter for each month going forward.  The great benefit of having this secondary meter dedicated for landscaping is your water will not be assessed for an additional sewer fee.  While this function is important, please note that it will not reduce your water use, but can significantly reduce your water bill.  The meter will also help to show exactly how much water your exterior landscaping is using.

Please check with your local water agency or purveyor before considering a project like this, especially since there may be a permit process and associated costs to install the meter.  Every water purveyor has a different formula for how they compute and charge for the sewer costs and may vary from one agency to another.  For example, some smaller cities may have a lighter fee structure for sewer water costs which can take much longer to recoup the initial upfront investment for the permit and installation of the meter.  For some Bay area property owners that plan on retaining their properties for the long-term, it may make sense to invest in the upfront costs.

Need help with your landscaping & water management?

Leave It up to one of Our Certified Irrigation Rock Stars!

Regardless if you own or manage a Business Office Park, or have a Medical Office Campus, FloraTerra is very experienced in the area of commercial landscaping, let us help you with your next landscaping projects.

Smart Watering Systems for Commercial Properties

FloraTerra  provides commercial landscaping services in and around the San Jose Bay Area, we design, install and maintain apartment and hoa landscaping , providing a complete range of landscaping and water management services. Some of our landscaping services include drought resistant landscaping and design, commercial landscape maintenance and irrigation systems repair. We serve a variety of markets including: Landscaping for Home Owners Associations, Commercial Property Managers, Retail Shopping Centers & Malls, Industrial R&D, Condominium Complex Landscaping, Public & Municipal Property and Multi-Residential Communities.

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Topics: Landscape Water Management



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