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Financial assistance for accidental water leaks recommended for Muskoka

Financial assistance for accidental water leaks recommended for Muskoka

Posted: 2022-07-28 07:30:18 By: thebay

The District of Muskoka’s Finance Director, Laurie Bissonette has recommended an Accidental Water Leak Adjustment Policy be approved for residential customers.

In the Finance and Corporate meeting on July 20, 2022, Bissonette said water leaks account for “10% financial hardship for customers” adding that “2% of customers used abnormally high usage since January 2022.”

The goal of the policy would be to allow customers financial assistance in the instance of water leaks, provided that the repairs have already been made, and receipts are included with the application. A follow up meter reading will also be done to ensure water usage patterns have returned to normal.

Water usage has to exceed double the average of the same time period of the prior year, and the adjustment amount will cover half of this above average cost, at a maximum of $1500.

One adjustment per 24 months would be allowed per account and premise.

According to Bissonette, “3,500 radio reads are done by driving by, 8,900 meters are read by a walking route touch reader device,” done by a third party company.  

Since December 2021, the third party hasn’t been able to provide permanent staff for meter readings, resulting in the District using estimates for readings. Therefore, customers have not been alerted about high usage, often caused by leaks.

The District has since secured an alternative third party to conduct readings, effective mid August 2022.

“The cost estimate is between $85,000 to $150,000 in the implementation year,” said Bissonette.

The recommendation for the policy has been approved by the committee for further consideration.