We can tell you about a leak before you know you have one—but we need your phone number!
Marge Eggers was on a much-deserved vacation.
She and her husband were relaxing, spending a few weeks off the ridge; they weren’t even thinking about the house they were having built back in Paradise.
Until Marge got a phone call from Paradise Irrigation District.
“One of the women from the front office called and told me that, according to their information, we had a leak at the house,” recalls Egger of the incident last summer. “They even told me exactly what time that leak started. I was pretty surprised they could do that.”
She was also thankful.
“It turned out the leak was outside and wouldn’t have been seen by anyone because we weren’t home. We wouldn’t have even known about it until we got a big water bill the next month.”
“PID called us before the leak caused a lot of problems. That was a real blessing for us.”
Customers can find out about water leaks much earlier than previously, thanks to the district’s new automated metering system, says PID customer service representative Mickey Rich.
“Before we had automated metering, people wouldn’t be alerted to excessive water use until they received their bill one month later—or even two months later when we did bimonthly billing,” Rich says. “Now we check those num-bers on a weekly basis and our customers are notified the day we’re first aware of it.”
A key element for success in the customer leak notification system, though, is having a phone number on file for each customer account. The phone number needs to be current as well as one that will be monitored if the customer is out of town.
“People sometimes think we automatically have a phone number for them because they’ve been a customer for so long,” notes Laura Capra, utility billing technician. “But we don’t have phone numbers on file for many, many of our customers. And, without that phone number, we won’t be able to phone the customer to tell them if we detect a leak.”
That’s why it’s so important for you to call us and give us your current phone number. Do it today!
While it remains the customer’s responsibility to monitor their water usage, PID’s automated phone notification system (to be installed this year) will phone each customer if a leak is suspected.
“The system looks for water usage every hour for 24 hours,” explains Rich. “So, if you’re running a drip hose to irrigate your garden, turn it off for at least two hours a day or you’ll get a call because it looks like a ‘constant’ leak to our system.”
When a “severe” water leak is detected (over 10 units a day), the customer’s location gets a visit from PID in addition to the other notification.
Look at how automated metering can help you
If you’re watching your water usage, Paradise Irrigation District has a new tool that can help you pinpoint when you use water so you can conserve more—and pay less!
Automated metering, which began in 2012, means that the district’s customer service staff can now produce reports which show customers their water usage, right down to the day and the hour.
While automated metering reduces the cost of reading meters and increases accuracy, it also helps district personnel alert customers of constant usage over a 24-hour period, indicating a leak (see article on front page). Additionally, the system can steer customers to wiser water usage by showing them the times of day when their water use is higher.
“The most important thing about this metering system is helping people be aware of a leak earlier, before they’ve run up such a big bill,” says Laura Capra, utility billing technician. “But there are other benefits as well.
“We can now show customers exactly when they’re using water. They can tell if it’s when they’re doing laundry in the morning or when their sprinklers are running at night.
“By going with this system, we knew that customers could be made aware of their water usage a lot easier than it was before.”
Customers can contact PID at 877-4971 and ask customer service staff to create a detailed water usage chart for them for a specified time period. The graph below illustrates an example showing daily readings which “spiked” when a customer’s outdoor pipe began leaking.
“We’ve had customers call us, worried because they’d forgotten to turn off a sprinkler the night before, and wanting to check if they were going to be paying a lot more in their next bill,” Laura says. “We can pull up the data right away and give them the information they need.
“As a district, we’re really happy because we don’t want people to pay for something they don’t want to use. This system helps us to give our customers the information they need so they can use and conserve water more efficiently.”
New Mobile-Friendly Water Conservation Site
SaveourH2O.org Launches New Mobile Site
The save our water program created by ACWA has recently transformed its saveourh2o.org site to allow on-the-go access from mobile phones. The new mobile-version of the site has some great features such as tools and tips, a water-use calculator, water-wise garden photos, videos and more.
In addition to the mobile site, Save Our Water also sponsors Sunset Magazine's "Plant Finder". The plant finder allows visitors to search for plants by color, size, type and growing needs. You can also browse the plant database using an A-Z list. The plant finder can be accessed by clicking Plant Finder
Irrigation and Sprinkler Information
The following link "The Pacific Northwest Irrigator's Pocket Guide" offers information and resources about your soil, soil moisture, water needs of specific crops, efficient surface irrigation, sprinkler irrigation and more