SOUTHINGTON — Town officials have further amended the process for residents to get a well or irrigation water meter.
Residents can buy their own water meters as long as they measure in cubic feet the water used.
Early last week, the town posted directions online for getting meters, which included a requirement that the meter measure in hundreds of cubic feet. Annette Turnquist, assistant town engineer, said she received a call from a resident on Wednesday saying such a meter would require a special order. Meters that only measure in cubic feet are much more common.
The town reposted the instructions on its website www.southington.org with only the requirement that the meter measure in cubic feet.
“We don’t want anyone to go through a special order,” Turnquist said.
Without a meter, residents on wells are charged a flat fee regardless of how much or how little water they send to the town’s sewer system. Families on a well are charged $400 without a meter. Those already on town water can install a second meter to measure the water used for watering lawns or washing cars, which isn’t sent to the town’s Water Pollution Control Facility. That meter reading is subtracted from the resident’s total water usage for billing purposes.
The town had intended to require homeowners to install meters that could be read from the street via a wireless connection. Meters that met this requirement were expensive, according to Town Manager Garry Brumback, and reading all the irrigation and well meters would have been time consuming for Sewer Department employees.
Earlier this year the Town Council passed a sewer billing system overhaul that increased bills for most residents.
Republicans supported the change, arguing that revenues weren’t meeting expenses at the Wastewater Pollution Control Plant.
Democrats opposed it, saying the changes were rushed through.