Required Measures
Measures that must be evaluated for the water use efficiency rule include:
  • Rates that encourage water demand efficiency
  • Reclamation opportunities
These 2 required measures are described later in this Chapter. In addition to the required measures, a minimum of 5 other water use efficiency measures must be evaluated or implemented for a system the size of Terrace Heights. To satisfy this requirement, the County intends to implement specific water use efficiency measures.

Water Use Efficiency Measures to Be Implemented
Yakima County has already implemented several water use efficiency measures. One such measure is the implementation of a conservation rate structure. Because the water use efficiency rule only requires that conservation rates be evaluated, implementing a conservation rate structure counts as one of the other 5 water use efficiency measures that must be evaluated. In addition, the water use efficiency rule allows measures to be counted as multiple measures if they are applied to different customer classes. Consequently, because the County implemented an inclining block rate structure for single-family, multi-family, commercial, education and government customer classes, it counts as 5 conservation measures

An additional measure already implemented is the notification of customers when they have an unusually high water bill that may be due to a leak. As an added incentive, the County currently provides an adjustment in the customer’s bill for 50% of the estimated leakage if the customer repairs the leak as soon as possible after it is discovered.

Consumptive History
Yakima County is investigating the feasibility of showing consumptive history on their water bills. Like conservation rates, a bill showing consumption history counts as multiple measures if it applies to multiple customer classes. The County has contacted the manufacturer of their billing system software to obtain examples of bills containing consumptive history and a cost.
In addition to the measures above, water use efficiency measures that must be implemented include:
  • Installing source and service meters
  • Performing meter calibration
  • Implementing a water loss control action plan to control leakage
  • Educating customers about water use efficiency practices.
Source & Service Meters
Source and service meters have been installed with the exception of 1 service for Fire District No. 4 on Commonwealth Drive and a service to Well #4. The County plans to have these services metered by June of 2009. Source meters have been installed since before the County assumed ownership of the system in the 1990’s.

Meter calibration has been limited to testing a small number of service meters. Meters tested were within standards. Source meters have not been tested. Meters for Wells 2 and 3 are approximately 15 years old, the meters for Wells 4 and 5 are approximately 10 years old, and the meter for Well 6 is approximately 25 years old. Testing of the source meters and replacement of older service meters is included in the “Water Loss Control Action Plan” described below. The County should develop a process and timeline for inspecting, testing, calibrating, and replacing meters as recommended by the manufacturer. The American Water Work’s Association manual entitled “Water Meters-Selection, Installation, Testing, and Maintenance (M6)” is 1 possible source for developing the program.

Yakima County will evaluate the effectiveness of the Water Use Efficiency Program each year by calculating distribution system leakage and demands per single-family residence and comparing to prior years. The program will be amended as needed if reductions in distribution system leakage or demands are not seen.