Illinois EPA provides $2 million for Chicago water meter program


Springfield, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 26, 2010 – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $2 million to the City of Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) to continue their pilot water meter program, MeterSave.

Under the program, customers in Chicago may volunteer to have a water meter installed on their properties. 
The volunteers receive the meter at no charge. In addition, the customer will receive a choice of water saving devices, and will be guaranteed that their water and sewer bill will go no higher than it would have without a meter.  This guarantee lasts for seven years after the meter is installed.

The MeterSave program is Phase 1 of a plan to fully meter the city and as of January 1, 2010, the program was expanded citywide.
DWM estimates that 30 million gallons of water could be saved daily if water meters were installed in all city homes and businesses. They have a goal to see water meters installed citywide.    
“MeterSave removes any reason people may have to decline the offer of a meter,” commented Chicago Water Management Commissioner Thomas H. Powers, P.E. “They will either save money or pay no more than they would have without a meter for seven years. So far, 98 percent of the people participating are on track to save money.”
The DMW estimates that approximately 64 percent of the 496,866 accounts they maintain are “non metered” accounts, and are primarily single family residences or two-flats.  They are billed based on building frontage, number of storeys and building type. Although these properties represent less than 20 percent of the DWM’s revenue, the installation of water meters is a priority for DWM. 
Financing for this portion of the project is being provided by the Illinois EPA’s Public Water Supply Loan Program as a 20-year loan.
The total annual project cost is $13.9 million, with a local contribution of $11.9 million.