Farmersville ready for water meters, turf
By Paul Myers
farmersville – The drought may be over, but there are still plenty of ways cities and residents can save on water. One way Farmersville is being water wise is putting their residents on meters and replacing their grass with turf.
As a part of a water saving grant, the City of Farmersville is preparing to replace grass at city hall and their community center with turf and zero landscaping. According to city manager John Jansons the City plans to replace large portions of grass along Visalia Road and Virginia Ave. The idea has been in the works for two to three years and is finally coming to fruition. As of now the City is waiting on the final approval from Serna Construction and Landscaping, expected in the next four weeks.
A much larger portion of the grant dollars will go toward water meters and installation. Jansons states that the City is anticipating installing approximately 1,800 meters throughout the city. Already the City has awarded the work to West Valley Construction. Jansons said that they were the same company who installed meters in Cameron Creek two years ago, and were chosen in part because of their familiarity with the area.
By adding water meters residents will move from paying a flat rate for water to paying for what they use. As of now residents who use water for regular use are charged as much as residents who use more water than they necessarily need.
“The folks who use are over consuming are being subsidized by the customers who are using water regularly,” Jansons said about the current was residents are charged.
According to Jansons residents currently pay $14 per month for water. Combined with sewer and refuse, resident’s total is $89.
The meters will do more than just monitor household water use. Instead of having to check each meter individually the City will be able to track water use digitally. Similar to the City of Woodlake, city staff can drive around a neighborhood and each meter will feed information into a laptop. From there it will be downloaded into the City’s software that tracks water usage and will correspond with billing.
Like Farmersville, the City of Woodlake charged their residents a flat rate for water. One of the incentives for meters were that residents would largely monitor their water use when they started paying for the water they use.
Jansons expects the kickoff planning project to be held in the next 6-8 weeks. That is when the City and the construction firm will begin to plot their course of action.