Need Outdoor Cellular Unit

Interesting stuff. What are your water rates? $18k for 40,000 gallons Our rates here are $3.43 per 1,000 gallons pus sewer charges. I do have a couple months a year where my usage peaks around 50,000 gallons, but my highest water bill has never been more than $200.00.

For my municipality it’s an unusual situation.

My city purchases water from a ‘co-op’ - the ‘co-op’ goes and gets the water to satisfy the purchases from area lakes. My city is one of many ‘members’ of the ‘co-op.’

The ‘co-op’ has some rules that all ‘member cities’ legally must conform to. One rule is that each ‘member city’ must purchase every year what they actually consumed last year, or, must purchase the same as in a prior year that reflects highest annual consumption.

In my city’s case the highest amount of water purchased was 17 years ago. Conservation efforts by everyone have reduced the amount purchased every year since.

By rule my city must still purchase the same as it was 17 years ago. While we don’t actually ‘pour the water down the drain’ the money owed for the 17 year high is clearly paid.

What this means is that all of us are penalized for saving water. Since my city must, by rule, continue to pay for the amount of water used at a 17 year high, as all of us continue to reduce our water usage, my city has to keep raising the per gallon rate in order to have enough money to pay the 17 year high bill.

Summary? For my city, you are ‘rewarded’ for conserving water with a later higher water purchase rate. Really, other than wanting to be a good citizen, interested in preserving a scarce commodity (the lakes went dry in '08), the way pricing of water is done here is to encourage everyone to ‘use as much as they want.’

You would think that everyone would sit down down and figure out what to do about this - it makes no sense to penalize those who want to use less water. Unfortunately the rules also require unanimous agreement amongst all of the ‘co-op member cities’ to change anything.

I think there’s beginning discussion of a lawsuit but I’m not aware of details.

Where are you from? This makes no sense. Who is your water provider?

@robertokc - North Texas Municipal Water District uses this formula. I have no idea if Bill, AKA @a0128958, is in one of those cities or not.

This is crazy stuff. Obviously a finance issue.

After reading this, i realize the member cities must pay for the infrastructure for an ever-growing DFW metroplex. Its a really bad situation, but I dont see any way out for these cities. You get a better deal in the City of Dallas.

Correct and correct. And whenever enough individual homeowners put in enough Iro units to materially reduce overall municipal water consumption, the homeowners are rewarded with a higher future water rate. Where I live it doesn’t make sense to put in an Iro other than to be a good person and conserve precious resource

Then why do all the member cities have large water conservation programs? One reason for sure is enforcement of licensed irrigators. I need to look at several cities rate structures. I do not understand how a city can charge more for a utilty customer using less potable water. North Texas is paying for poor longterm water resource planning. My state of Oklahoma releases about a trillion gallons of water into the Red River each year. There’s talk in the Oklahoma legislature about selling some of this water to north Texas with conditions.

Here are the water rates from Frisco. You can see they have a tiered rate structure. If you use less you pay less.

Residential Water Rates
$17.17 (minimum) for the first 2,000 gallons.
$3.73 per thousand for 2,001 to 15,000 gallons.
$4.34 per thousand for 15,001 to 25,000 gallons.
$4.64 per thousand for 25,001 or 40,000 gallons.
$5.38 per thousand for 40,001 to 80,000 gallons.
$6.46 per thousand for 80,001 and above.

Why cellular? HOA’s are full of people using wifi. Any HOA member could permit a Rachio to run on their wifi system. Defining “guest” users to the application would ensure the users do not have the wifi password of the resident allowing the Rachio connection to their wifi system.

Have you ever dealt with homeowner associations?
Most are dysfunctional little kingdoms. Yes, Rachio will work if there is cooperation, but what if that homeowner moves or gets mad at the HOA? There is a limit to wifi extenders.
There are cellular choices on the market now, but their cost is high. For example Rain Birds IQ3.0 software that works their ESPLXME controller has an upfront cost of about $2500 list, but thereafter it’s a just a 120.00 per year cellular bill from AT&T.
Again, Rachio will work - but only as HOA members are cooperative.

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What we do is bring in a DSL line with lowest bandwidth available. It will come with a modem, and usually has a fixed WAN IP address.

Rachio makes it a little difficult to take advantage of a DSL line because the Iro is Wi-Fi only. An access point is thus needed to be plugged in to the DSL modem.

The steps we would follow are very straight forward, and would include::

  1. Establish power to the sprinkler controller site.
  2. Install a waterproof box that will contain a power strip, the DSL modem, the access point, and the Iro. We’d also put in here a UPS to keep the modem running with good, clean power.
  3. Facilitate getting a DSL line installed and operational to the box.
  4. Turn everything on, configure everything, and then turn over remote configuration of the Iro to whomever is responsible for the watering.

When you need non-shared, no-mess no-fuss network connection, at a less expensive price point that cellular, it’s hard to beat the cost effectiveness of a DSL line.

@robertokc Also a contractor here from OKC.

@mckynzee - I have between 20-30 customers to whom I could sell <24 zone cellular controllers to tomorrow morning if there were an affordable one on the market. Restaurants, banks, gas stations, HOA’s, churches, office buildings, etc. If there were a controller in the 200-300 range with cellular at 100-200 per year I would EAGERLY subsidize the cost to my customers because of how much time and hassle this would save me. For contractors who are in the landscape maintenance business, there are absolutely ZERO solutions for alleviating light commercial irrigation management tasks.

We have to visit properties, no exaggeration, 7-12 times per year to make adjustments. We literally have to send a truck and a man around 7-12 times per year to every property we manage, more than half of these he has to sign in to the property, go inside the building, wait on a manager to sign off on a ticket, and sign out of the property. If any manufacture understood the burden on contractors to provide sprinkler management services, they would have built a solution for this many years ago.

It is insane that no one has developed a solution for this in todays techy world. I’ve been paying $10 per month for 2G cell monitoring of my home alarm system for many years. I am charging our landscape maintenance customers WELL over $10 per month to manage sprinkler systems. Only option I know of is $600+ per year for weathermatic. Totally unreasonable.