October 19, 2020
Dear Residents of Marion Creek,
We have received numerous calls questioning high water bills and also questioning the water bills of neighbors within the subdivision. To address these questions, we wanted to put out this frequently asked question summary to provide a common and consistent answer to all residents in Marion Creek. We hope you find this information helpful.
The amount of water that can be utilized by an irrigation system can quickly become staggering. For example, a Hunter PGP Rotor head is rated for 3GPM. Most homes have 5 of these heads per zone equating to 15gpm per zone, and most homes have 6-8 zones. So if you water for 10 min with 6 zones, that is 150 gallons per zone, with 6 zones, is 900 gallons. For 90 days, which is our typical quarter, that is 81,000 gallons of water. If your system was programmed to run more often than once per day, you can see how quickly a large bill could be generated.
One of the first things we recommend is to take a meter reading before and after your system operates to determine how much water your system is using. Also, this is good to do periodically to determine if you may have a leak or broken irrigation head in your system over time. We recommend running your system manually, turning it on as needed rather than just having it run all summer. Also, see how much water you are putting on your lawn. Most lawns, in a normal summer, need about an inch per week. You can set a pie plate on your lawn and see how many inches of water are laid down by your system to estimate how frequently you need to run it.
In your sub, the water pressure varies between 80 and 90 pounds per square inch. This is due to the elevation of the subdivision relative to the water tower south of your property off Peavey Road. Plumbing code requires pressures be below 80 psi, so as part of the approval for the subdivision, we stated that pressure reducing valves be installed in all homes, to be protective of home appliances and to meet the plumbing code. As part of irrigation system installation, the contractors should have taken a pressure reading and installed heads that operate between 50 – 100 psi, and discharge at 45 psi, which is the optimum pressure.
We evaluated putting in a master pressure reducing valve; however due to fire protection and reliability provided by looping the main, this was not possible to do. Therefore, the individual PRVs were the best solution. Finally, this also allows homeowners to set their pressure for a range that they prefer.
Yes, a payment plan can be set up to pay off the bill over time and avoid late penalties. Contact our billing office to set up a payment plan 800-881-4109.
We always urge residents to use caution when comparing bills. Please note that in many cases, the bill you are reviewing may have late fees or unpaid balances. Many people run their systems at night, when you likely won’t see it running. If you were trying to establish a lawn, and another home already had an established lawn, it’s likely they would have used much less water. Note that when it comes to plumbing, MHOG only sets the meter and installs the reading device. We do not inspect or direct any residential plumbing; that is up to the building, their plumber, and the plumbing code. It is our intent to make sure our meters work accurately, we obtain reads rather than estimate bills, and that we have water available at a good pressure anytime a home or business needs it. This past summer was quite hot and dry, we have added hundreds of new customers and was our highest production summer ever in the 22 year history of MHOG. It is our goal to continue to provide quality water to meet the demands of the homes and businesses.