As I have mentioned before, to the point of becoming redundant: THANK YOU FOR SAVING WATER! Take a moment and congratulate yourself.
A few months ago, we applied for a grant for the purchase and installation of water meters system-wide. The granting authority was the US Department of Agriculture. We have recently learned that we were turned down. In the protocol of grants, generally no reason is offered or given. This was the case here. I am going to assume that the authority did not sense that BLS Water services an economically depressed customer base. What I do know is that if we fail to apply, we will receive nothing. The grants writing firm is researching other grant opportunities and is looking into low interest loan offerings as well.
The 4th of July weekend brings or brought lots of folks to the Arnold area and this year was no exception. What we found encouraging is that the water demand/consumption for this extended weekend was lower than 2014 and 2013. We took this opportunity to thank the Arnold realtors for stressing water conservation to their rental customers. Kudos to our regular customers for continuing to conserve!
The Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) proposed creating a control population base from all BLS customers, full time and part time, issuing meters and reading all usage for the next 12-14 months. The volunteer homeowner’s water use would be tracked, as to normal consumption and any deviation as to occupancy, length of stay or absences from the dwelling, would also be recorded. All monitoring as to water use would be recorded remotely from the installed meter. Occupancy would be tracked by the property owner. An online account would be created for each participant and all information would be gathered by email.
There are a number of reasons for this study. We will have more precise water consumption figures, as to frequency and variations due to weather, holidays, etc. As we move closer to metering the entire system, we will need to create a “fee for use” schedule. We want this fee to be fair and equitable. This test exercise will be of great assistance in that preparation.
We are frequently asked about the cost of a meter and its installation. Please go to www.blsmwc.com and read the LRPC Report dated July 15th. You will find a fairly detailed discussion on the capital outlay for the meter program.
A couple things to remember about meters: The selected meter unit must be designed to function in varied weather climate areas and underground. We have consulted with the manufactures of meters and their respective customers that are using meters in areas where the weather and climate are a parallel to Arnold. The meter unit must have an electronic transmitting capability for external reading. The one the company has selected meets these criteria. Starting in late July or early August meters will be required, if needed, in all sales/transfers of new or current residential properties. We have notified all realtor companies in Arnold of this effort. The eventual goal is to meter the entire system with up-to-date equipment.
As you know, we have been negotiating with CCWD for the purchase of water. The past few years of extended well exploration turned out to be a near bust. We have been unable to develop a redundant water delivery system using wells. The only other feasible alternative is to partner with an existing water company.
We have been on CCWD water in the past, for a number of years in the 1990’s and 2000’s and once again two years ago. The equipment and piping for the delivery of water, from CCWD to BLS is already in place. All we need to do at the moment is agree on a buy-in cost and a monthly consumption fee. An offer, unanimously endorsed by the BLSMWC’s Board of Directors, is in the process of review for CCWD’s acceptance. We will notify all shareholders of the details of the offer and timing of the formal CCWD review process. Once implemented, this partnership will go a long way to extend the life of our wells.
The search for an alternative water source has been a long and arduous one and I appreciate your patience. Our goal is, and always has been, to insure an adequate water supply and maintain a delivery system that will accomplish that goal.
We are doing just that.
President of the Board