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Water board discusses multiple-user meters

The Butler County Water Authority took a proactive step today towards eliminating a problem that has been brought to their attention-some 137 water meters in the system are known to be servicing more than one household.

Wesley Bass, with Artesian Utilities, said that this has been occurring despite board rules.

“It’s already our policy not to allow it,” Bass said. “It’s costing us and the water board money.”

The language in the board policy specifically prohibits multiple households from drawing from one meter, but it stipulates a fee for those that choose to do so anyways.

A motion was approved by the board to remove any mentioning of multiple user provisions from the code, to make the board’s stance on this matter less ambiguous.

“ADEM determines the water system size by the number of meters,” Bass said. “This figure is used to determine if a system can support the number of users it has, treatment and otherwise.”

When more than one person uses a meter, this figure becomes inaccurate. Bass said this would be a problem for the USDA Rural Development grants the system is seeking.

“Rural Development has a rule that you can’t have more than one household per meter,” Bass said. “We are just trying to bring the system into compliance.”

The board also made a motion for Bass to draft a letter to send to customers known to be in violation of the rule to allow these customers to come forward to correct the matter.

More discussion of this matter was pushed off until the June 28 meeting.