Community Insider Spring 2018 - Page 40

“IF YOU CAN MEASURE IT, YOU CAN MANAGE IT!” only water that is supplied for the exclusive use of the particular dwelling unit. Billing is based on the individual usage tracked on the unit’s submeter. A spike or abnormal recorded usage (no usage and/or high usage), will alert the homeowner to a potential water leak. and economical distribution between homeowners. The location and type of metering system used by the community will determine how the meter is read.  The meter usage number will reflect on the owner’s monthly/bi-monthly water bill. The property manager is also provided with multiple reports, which may include a detailed consumption report, delinquency report, and line item report that includes all charges and collections. The submeters used in this process are the same as those utilized by most water pr oviders for water usage measurement. Submeter use is regulated by both the State and counties. Water submeters are registered to a particular community association for their county and are required to be inspected, tested, tagged and certified by the county prior to installation with the intent of reading and billing. Early detection of a water leak or spike in usage can help prevent a high water bill for the homeowner. Ninety percent of water leaks are from running toilets. A continuously running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day, which is 6000 gallons per month. In addition, early detection can prevent structural damage to the property thereby preventing expensive repairs. Once the meters are installed, the service provider will read the meter, and bill the homeowners directly. Payments are collected and the collected funds, less service provider fees, are sent to the community association to pay its master water bill. Under Civil Code Section 5515, a Board can temporarily transfer funds from a reserve fund to meet short-term cash flow requirements or “other expenses.”  This could provide a possible funding source for submetering. Also, if your board is considering submetering, it is in the best interests of the board to review the governing documents concerning whether the homeowners can be billed By Pamela Knutson T raditionally, multi- family homes and communities have shared the cost of water usage equally. With rising costs and current concerns over conservation, particularly in the western states, this practice no longer makes the most economic sense. With submetering, each unit or household’s individual consumption is tracked, measured and billed directly to the homeowner.  This means everyone is paying only for what they use, a far more equitable way to split the cost. Additionally, individualized billing allows each homeowner to implement and see the results of modifications to their water consumption, which means they can better budget and plan for months where they typically see a spike or drop. Water submetering is the installation of a submeter behind the master meter to measure water use for each individual unit within a building or community. Submetering is a solution for the community to manage the water and sewer costs by offering an equitable 40 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER SPRING 2018 The rates charged are identical to the water and sewer rates used by the city or water district that is currently billing the community. The submeters should measure for individual usage. Or, if in doubt on this issue, it is best to consult with legal counsel and obtain an opinion. Effective on or after January 2018, Senate Bill No. 7 is requiring the installation of water submeters in newly constructed multi-unit residential structures or mixed-use residential and commercial structures (defined in Section 517 of the Water Code).  All new multi-family construction must include water submeters for each individual unit, and must, at all times, bill the resident for water service. Things to consider when submetering your community are that each unit must have its own individual water shut off valve.  And, for existing communities, the location of the hot water heater will help determine if the association is a candidate for submetering. Pamela Knutson is the Sales & Marketing Manager New Accounts at California Sub Meters Water submetering is a win - win solution for homeowners and the environment! The goal is to help your community manage the increasing costs of water through personal accountability. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it! WWW.CAI-SD.ORG | 41