6 thoughts on “How Can A Loss Be Less Than 0% ? Are Residents Pumping Water Back Into The System?

  • May 9, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    You raise an interesting question. Thought the same thing as I read it, will ask the City Manager. Generally that is caused by a calibration error, thanks for being so observant. Ora pro nobis….

    • May 9, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      Thanks Bob! A simple bar chart month to month with water produced and water billed would be awesome. A complex mess like the one produced is confusing and appears meant to be. It is an embarrassment. That along with the mass meter confusion simply looks to be a ploy to further confuse us.
      It does not appear that they have a grip on what they are doing and don’t want you to see them chasing their tails. Maybe they can hire a consultant to create the simple chart. We are still waiting for a consultant story regarding the boil water event back during bike week because they don’t know what happened?????
      What do they know? I know their change order system has been creating unfair bidding opportunities to all of us in the private sector. Thanks again Bob. A simple chart rather than a 5 page story to understand the one sent out would be appreciated.

  • May 10, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Ora pro nobis
    Pray for us indeed.
    The chart may be uncalibrated with a spin
    I thought it was interesting at the council meeting that the manager wants to accelerate the meter replacement program because the existing meters are failing at a rate of 50 to 100 per week or 2,500 to 5,000 per year. We have about 28,000 residential meters in our system. According to reports over the past couple years we have changed out about 6,500 zero read sensus meters. About 4,000 of these that were changed were sensus meters under warranty with sensus flex net sending units. The other 2500 were non warranty sensus meters that failed and were replaced with Neptune base units and sensus flex net sending units. That is close to 25% percent of our meters that were zero read sensus meters that were replaced.
    I have some legitimate questions that I would like to see asked and answered at a council meeting.
    1. If 25% of the residential meters that have failed have been replaced why are they still failing at a rate of 50 to 100 per week?
    2. Are the continuously failing meters sensus?
    3. Are the meters failing at this rate due to many to many years of deferred replacement and are past their useful life or are many of the recently replaced meters still under warranty.
    4. After replacing about 6,500 meters has the city realized significant revenue increases by individual account or as a whole?
    5. Are we on a meter replacement/revenue treadmill where we are continuously replacing failing meters at a rate as to not show revenue loss?
    6. Are the 50 to 100 failing meters old and have exceeded their useful life?
    7. Are the 50 to 100 failing meters warranty meters that replaced previous zero read meters?
    8. Are the current 50 to 100 failing meters sensus base units, sensus flex net sending units or a combination of these that are both warranty and non warranty?
    9. Can and will the manager promptly supply a detailed accurate report to citizens and council with the age, installation dates, make of base and or sending units and warranty status (warranty or non warranty)?
    10. After all the money and work that has went into replacing about 6,500 zero read meters and a failure rate of 50 to 100 per week with no significant revenue increase would this not indicate that the meters that have been installed are failing as fast as they are being installed?
    11. Will the meter replacement activities continue as a perpetual hamster wheel with no expectations of increased revenue?
    12. Does this mean that the endless replacement of failing warranty and non warranty meter’s sole purpose is to keep from falling back to negative revenue and delay what may turn out to be that those that are pursuing the current plan find themselves in a perpetual no win situation?
    The city has spent a great deal of money on this failing program hiring a consultant, employee time and materials. Management has dug a deep hole and are in the process of burying themselves in it. They should have come clean at the beginning There are employees that know the answers to these questions and more. It would be interesting to hear management answer them.

  • May 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    This is all very confusing as well as being overly simplistic. The production data, adjustment data, and the billing data should be listed in a corollary table to be cross referenced with bar charts. As far as the billing cycle being variable and not matching up with the production report, production figures may be reported monthly but should be calculated and entered daily. Why not set up a spreadsheet with each billing cycle and copy and paste the daily production figures that correlate to each monthly billing cycle to get a clear representation on the monthly differential between production and billed quantities for the exact same period for each billing cycle? This report looks like a desperation measure that was thrown together off the cuff to produce some kind of a report on demand from the city council. Tracking and reporting criteria should already be determined and in place before embarking on a meter replacement program that potentially involves millions of taxpayer dollars.
    Hopefully the city council will ask the CM all of the intelligent questions that Mr. Woodman has posed about the meter replacement program. Those questions are extremely important and all of the information therein should be available and tracked. Only this way can a truly meaningful report and analysis be generated to demonstrate whether or not the taxpayers dollars are being effectively utilized.
    Furthermore, there should be a data base of revenue differential before and after the replacement of zero read meters. There should be tracking and revenue analysis to confirm if the replacements to date are generating increased revenue based on a monthly basis, as well as totalized from date of installation to current period. This will provide a baseline and an extrapolated formula for projecting anticipated future revenue increase in proportion to the escalation of meter replacement.
    In order to generate meaningful reports they need to be illustrated clearly with a good explanation of the data being illustrated in the syllabus. There needs to be a well thought out collaboration between the Public Utilities and Finance departments on how they are going to track the relationship between the production of water and the revenues that are generated. The relationship and impact on meters replaced individually and totalized should be calculated on a monthly basis so that successes or failures can be identified in the meter replacement program and corrective action taken if the data indicates revenue stagnation or decline. The bottom line is that you cannot solve a problem until you identify, define, and quantify it.

    • May 11, 2014 at 2:47 am

      Maybe the Lifesaver and his MITs will have some answers at the next council meeting on Mr. Woodman’s questions for Bob Ford! Looking forward to listening to that exchange.
      Perhaps then Councilman Ford will ask for a meaningful report that includes the information in the questions that Mr. Woodman posed that are essential to producing a meaningful report.

  • May 11, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I would hope not only Councilman Ford but every member of Council will pick up the phone and tell their life-saver Manager that they want comprehensive written answers to each of Rick Woodman’s excellent questions in time for the next Council meeting on Tuesday evening.


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