With recent complaints of unusually high water bills, the Ramona Municipal Water District has asked the water board to approve a billing insert with water usage and meter information.
Ramona Municipal Water District General Manager David Barnum said that informational items, including a synopsis on the water board and their duties, will be included to help provide a better understanding of the district and water meters.
"We've had a few customers come before us with leaks" in the past year, Barnum said. The general manager hopes that providing ways to detect for leaks in the pamphlet will help residents recognize leaks before they cause high water bills.
District Superintendent Johnny Brean gave the water board a brief presentation on water meters at the Feb. 12 meeting in the Community Center, noting what each number on the device means.
"We measure by 100 cubic feet," Brean told the board. "The meter only starts measuring when water starts flowing. They read what you're using."
Barnum said that meter readers use machines when they go out to read the meters that give a year's worth of water usage history for each customer. He said if there is a high jump or suddent stoppage, RMWD will call the customer to notify them of the significant change.
Water Board President Darrell Beck thought the idea to include the informational pamphlets in the customers' next bill was a good idea.
"People need to be aware... once the water runs through their meter, it's their water," Beck said.
Director Rex Schildhouse also asked the water district to include an explanation in their pamphlet of what exactly a "unit" of water is.
According to RMWD, the district reads most customer meters every two months. The agency says it strongly encourages customers to monitor their water usage throughout the billing cycle.
The water board unanimously approved the staff recommendation to include a "Water Bill Facts" insert in the RMWD customer bills for the next billing cycle.
The fiscal impact is anticipated to be less than $300 due to a small increase in postage.
You can learn how to read your meter on the water district’s website and check out the Patch Clip above to see Brean explain your meter readings.
The water district also has some tips for residents when checking for leaks:
- Turn off all the water in your home before you look for leaks.
- Locate your water meter, most of which can be found off the street in front of your property. If you're not sure, call the district at 760-788-2200.
- Check to see if the meter dial is moving. If all your water is turned off but the indicator triangle or sweep hand is moving, you probably have a leak.
- If your meter indicated a leak, double check your irrigation system, toilets and water heaters.
- If there is no movement on the meter dial and your usage is still abnormally high, check for broken sprinkler heads and make sure your timers haven't reset.