Carefree continues to notify people about high water use

By Curtis Riggs | July 16, 2008

Water audits available
CAREFREE – Carefree Water Company officials are continuing to call customers in households with high water use to let them know how they can best conserve water during the extended drought.

Last month General Manager Stan Francom and his staff made 46 phone calls to people whose water use increased dramatically from the previous year. Nineteen households used over 40,000 gallons. There were 36 such calls made in May during which 13 households used over 40,000 gallons.

Francom announced average monthly water consumption in single-family households is just over 16,000 gallons.

“With every customer we tell them about the increase in use and that there is probably a leak,” Francom said. He maintains most customers appreciate the calls and the notification about a possible leak.

“People really appreciate it because their bills are a lot higher when there is a leak,” Francom said, adding many of the calls lead to scheduling a water audit where their outside irrigation practices can be examined by professional landscapers.

“We would like to get more people to use them,” Francom said about the water audits done by Town of Cave Creek employee Glen Fahringer. “The results have been positive with many people replacing their irrigation systems.”

Francom said many customers, when contacted, ask how they can reduce their water consumption. Many also ask about the availability of $90 daily usage monitors.
Carefree is considering the implementation of an automatic meter reader program this year, which would make it easier to track use.

Mayor Wayne Fulcher said the Town is encouraging water company officials to keep on top of excessive water use.

“The policy of the board (board of directors of the water company which is also the Carefree Town Council) is to work with citizens to help show ways they can reduce their usage,” he said.

After last week’s meeting, Fulcher said the calls about high usage are successful because they are personal and “show the concern the Carefree Water Company has … When they talk to people they really appreciate it.” He likes that the calls often lead to a request for a water audit.

Town Councilman Bob Coady said he thinks the calls are good because often people do not realize how much water they are using every month.

“The program is good because many people aren’t aware there are leaks,” he said. “But they shouldn’t be criticized for their use, especially when the town has three water features.”