Typically, water meters are only read once per year. Because of this, we don’t keep water meter readers on our staff. We normally contract this work or hire as many as 10 temporary workers to do this work.
Unfortunately, adding contractors or temps into our working environment would increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure to our employees significantly. Since March, we have been vigilant in keeping our crews’ and staff’s potential exposure as small as possible so we can keep providing uninterrupted water and electric services.
We have also found that customers assist meter readers on their property by going outside to help locate the water meter. This creates an unintended exposure risk that we would like to minimize for the sake of our customers.
Another part of this decision-making process included avoiding the cost of bringing in these temporary workers. While this is budgeted for every year, the loss of revenue we have experienced this year due to COVID-19 is substantial. Several of our community’s small businesses have closed, and many of our customers are out of work and struggling with their water and power bills. As a public, not for profit agency, we receive no outside funding. All the funds required to operate the district come from your monthly statements. If we can reduce costs, with our customers’ assistance reading the water meters, we can blunt the potential for future increases to our water rates.
Asking customers to read their own meters is our attempt to keep everyone as safe as possible while keeping costs down. We do understand that there are roadblocks individual customers have that will make reading their meter impossible. In these cases, we are very happy to add you to a list for our regular employees to read the meter.
As always, our first goal is the safety of our customers and staff.
Please feel free to contact us with questions.