A recent story in the Vancouver Sun highlighting the $300,000 financial impact to Metro Vancouver because of a faulty water meter reinforces the value that accurate, functioning utility meters can provide. The water meter missed measuring the usage of millions of cubic metres of water in the City of North Vancouver because it wasn’t working properly. This news story, illustrating a sudden decline in water usage in 2004 in the City, demonstrates the importance of regular monitoring and maintenance of meters. After the meter repair in 2010, accurate consumption data indicated a rise of approximately eleven percent. Subsequently, City of North Vancouver taxes were raised to reflect true consumption levels.
Earlier Water Meters in Vancouver could have seen decline in usage
Although we don’t supply meters for municipal applications, the same scenario holds true for any meter solution in a commercial, institutional or mixed used building. Variances provide evidence of change. That change could be faulty metering, corrupt data or a change in customer’s consumption pattern. Monitoring of meter data on a daily, weekly or monthly basis can help identify variances in consumption and if investigated, along with meter equipment inspection, can help prevent financial losses.
Interestingly, Measurement Canada has no standards or regulation for water metering. As a Measurement Canada accredited service provider, we adhere to and perform calibration, certification and recertification of electricity and gas meters. Electricity and gas meters that are used for billing purposes must be recertified at various intervals over the lifetime of the device. This recertification process helps identify inaccurate or malfunctioning meters. Currently Measurement Canada does not mandate standards for the calibration and certification of water meters. With the current water shortages in many areas of Western Canada, and conservation on the minds of many, standards for water meters seems a logical next step.