Eighty percent of the homes in Fresno are now on water meters. Many went online as long as four months ago. The red needle on the water meter goes round and round. It's the new way the City of Fresno monitors every drop that comes out of the pipe.
David Wakold who lives close to downtown Fresno, has been on meters since June. "What I've experienced since I've been billed with the water meter has been at the same or less. Myself I've been pleased with that."
Years ago water meters were so controversial that a prohibition was written into the city's charter. Eventually state law and a federal water contract forced the city to install more than 110–thousand water meters.
Public works director Patrick Wiemiller says all is calm at city hall. "Unsolicited response has been positive. I believe the citizens understand they now have a better control over the costs of their utilities."
Currently many Fresno residents are receiving comparison bills from the city. Carl Mills is not yet on water meters. Had he been, Mills would have saved money. "Not really because I haven't paid attention to the difference until today. But I need to save the four bucks."
One item on the bill that may stir questions is the standby charge. Here is the explanation from Wiemiller. "It takes a certain amount of dollars to bring service to the locations. So even if you don't use any water, just by virtue of the fact that you stand prepared to use water there's a certain amount of money to have the water available to have the pipes hooked up."
Nearly 80 percent of the water meters in Fresno are online. If your meter isn't operating it should be before the end of the year.
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