Keep Your Meter Pit Clear
Your meter pit is a vital link between you and Le-Ax. The meter reader must access the meter pit each month to obtain an accurate record of water consumption to ensure proper billing. Please keep this meter pit clear of obstructions. If the meter reader cannot gain access to the meter pit, your usage will be estimated. Le-Ax Water District does not, except for adverse weather conditions, estimate meter readings. We believe each customer should pay for only the amount of water used. If the estimation is low, the customer will pay a catch-up bill when an actual reading is made. If the estimation is high, the customer will receive a credit when an actual reading is made, but they will have overpaid in the process. Just as important as being under or over charged, estimation takes the meter reader out of the process. The meter reader is many times the customer's first line of defense in the event of high consumption. The meter reading system lets the meter reader know the customer's average usage, the previous month's usage, and if the usage is higher or lower than normal. If the customer's reading is high, the meter reader will leave a note, or the customer will receive a call from the office. However, if the meter reader cannot access the meter pit, the meter reading will be estimated and the meter reader will be unable to alert the customer to any problem. Please, keep the access to the meter pit clear.
Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention
Chapter 6109.13 of the Ohio Revised Code forbids "any connection whereby water from a private, auxiliary, or emergency water system may enter the public water system, unless such private, auxiliary or emergency water system, and the method of connection and use of such system, has been approved by the environmental protection agency."
Chapter 3745-95 of the Ohio Administrative Code deals with cross connection detection and backflow prevention. The Administrative Code mandates that each public water system survey its customers to determine the presence of an auxiliary water source, and to conduct periodic inspections to be assured that no cross connection or potential backflow problem exists.
What all this means to Le-Ax Water District as a water supplier and to you as a customer, is that the water from any private, auxiliary, or emergency water system (well, cistern pond, etc., must not be allowed to backflow into the public water system. This can be accomplished by properly abandoning the private water source. If you as a customer wish to retain your private water source, you must plumb that water source separately from the public water source, or you must install a reduced pressure zone (RPZ) backflow prevention device.
Separate plumbing means exactly what it says. A public water source and a private water source may not be plumbed into the same structure. If you wish to maintain a private water source for watering livestock, gardening, etc., you must plumb the private water source separately and may not bring it into the same building as the public water source. Any water line, faucet, etc., used for public water may not by used for the customers private water system. A series of check valves and shut off valves creates a potential cross connection and is not an EPA approved backflow device.
A reduced pressure zone backflow prevention device (RPZ) is designed to prevent the customer's water from flowing back into the public water system. An RPZ senses the pressure on both sides of the device. If for any reason, the water pressure in the home is greater than the pressure in the public water line, the RPZ will open, allowing the water in the home to vent out onto the ground. An RPZ is expensive to purchase ($150 - $200), must be installed by a licensed, qualified plumber, must be inspected and tested annually, and must be rebuilt every 5 years.
Given the restrictions placed on both the public water supplier and the customer, the simplest solution is to properly abandon any and all private water sources.
If your are experiencing a problem, or have a question, please give us a call. If we cannot answer your question at the office, we will put you in contact with a plant operator, maintenance person, or meter reader who can answer your question. If you are experiencing a mechanical problem, before you call Le-Ax, please check to be certain the problem is not in your home. If you request, we will send an employee to your home to verify the meter reading and determine if the problem is at the meter pit. If the problem is in Le-Ax's portion of the system, there will be no charge for the service call. If the problem is in your system, you will be charged for the service call. The charge is $50.00-$80.00 during business hours. The charge for after hours, holidays, and weekends is $200.00. This amount will be added to your next water bill.