Why is my water usage unusally high?

Sometimes we field calls from our customers questioning their higher than normal water usage. To assist our customers in trying to determine the reason for the unusual usage, we usually review a checklist of possible scenarios. The most common culprit for high usage is a toilet leak. Other possibilities include a defective irrigation system, unauthorized usage, a broken pipe and/or excessive use of an irrigation system. In these circumstances, customers also often question the precision of our water meters.

In the July, 2009 issue of Opflow, a publication of the American Water Works Association, the article "How Water Works" addresses the accuracy of positive displacement type meters (the type of meter used by Princeville Utilities).

“Positive-displacement meters are the most common type of meter for measuring water use through customer services. This type of meter consists of a measuring chamber of known size that measures the volume of water flowing through it by means of a moving piston or disk, so there are two types of positive-displacement meters: the piston type and the nutating-disk type. Positive-displacement meters are generally used for residences and small commercial services in sizes from 5/8 inch to 2 inch because of their excellent sensitivity to low flow rates and their high accuracy over a wide range of flow rates.

Positive-displacement meters under register when they’re excessively worn.”

Of course, a meter that ‘under registers’ will report a lower quantity of water than that which actually passed through the meter, so a high usage will rarely be attributable to a defective water meter.

Reprinted from Opflow, Vol. 35, No. 7 (July 2009), by permission. Copyright © 2009, American Water Works Association.

How do I find the location of my water and sewer connections?

Chapter 269E of the Hawai'i Revised Statutes, established a Hawai'i One Call Center (HOCC) which serves to coordinate the distribution of information regarding the location of subsurface facilities in order to reduce the risk of inadvertent injury or damage to persons and property by excavators.

The HOCC is governed by the Public Utilities Commission, and all owners and operators of subsurface facilities are required by law to participate in and abide by the HOCC program.

Effective April 5, 2007, all requests for utility locations must first go to the HOCC, not PUCI. The HOCC will then relay your request to the PUCI offices for processing. PUCI will, within five business days of being notified by the HOCC, process your request for utility locations.

The Hawai'i One Call Center can be contacted toll free at 866-423-7287, or you can visit their website at CallBeforeYouDig.org.

If you have questions regarding the management of the HOCC, you may contact Mr. Dan Bilderback of the Hawai'i Public Utilities Commission in Honolulu at 808-586-3753.

May I add an additional water or sewer service lateral for my property?

PUCI may approve the installation of additional water or sewer service laterals on a case-by-case basis. If PUCI approves the customer’s request for a new service lateral, the customer must then:

  1. Hire a licensed civil engineer to prepare construction drawings for the installation. The drawings must be reviewed and approved by PUCI.

  2. Hire a licensed contractor to install the new service lateral. The construction must be inspected and approved by PUCI, and then dedicated to PUCI.

  3. Complete and submit an Application for Utility Service, and pay any fees including Sewer Inspection Fees and Contribution In Aid of Construction.

  4. If the request includes water service, PUCI will then install the customer’s water meter.

  5. Note that there may be other requirements, depending on the specific situation.