District seeks funding for water meters

Project would cost approximately $15.5 million to install 9,000 new devices in Mission

Mission is taking another step towards having water meters installed into every home on the municipal water system.

The district has made an application for funding to allow the installation of water meters throughout the community. The money would come from the Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund.

Mission’s proposed Water Meter Infrastructure Project would see 9,000 meters installed.

The cost for the meters, hardware and installation is estimated to be $15.5 million, but the maximum amount of funding available, if approved, is $6 million.

“Once we find out if we get a grant, then we will have to figure out the rest of the funding formula and where that money will come from,” explained Tracy Kyle, Mission’s director of engineering and public works.

Kyle said it could take up to a year before the district finds out if the funding request will be approved.

The district has applied for this funding before, and been denied. However, it did receive funding for the new sewer river crossing pipe.

Due to the high cost, the water meter project is not currently part of the district’s capital plan, but the recent water meter pilot study indicated that meters are a “critical tool to manage both costs and water usage.”

All new home construction in Mission includes the installation of water meters. However, many older homes do not have the devices.

Homeowners in Mission currently pay for water based on an average amount, rather than the actual amount used.

Mayor Randy Hawes said the goal is to have water meters on every home.

“The hope is that we will see an overall reduction of (water) cost to the taxpayer,” said Hawes.