Troy urges residents to water after sundown or risk higher bills

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published July 21, 2020

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TROY — The city of Troy, through its contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority, receives a lower water rate by ensuring that water usage stays under designated thresholds during peak usage times.

“We’re getting close,” Paul Trosper, the water and sewer manager for the city of Troy, said July 7, in reference to the water threshold.

Trosper said that water usage peaks between 5 and 7:30 a.m.

“That’s when water usage goes through the roof,” he said.

In 2008, the city secured a lower rate structure for water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department based on restricting underground sprinkler usage during peak times.

The Great Lakes Water Authority board approved a 40-year deal between Detroit and Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties four years ago under which county municipal water customers became customers of the GLWA.

City ordinance stipulates that outdoor watering by an underground irrigation system, including for lawns and landscaping, shall only be done between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The use of garden hoses and hand watering are not restricted to those times.

“We’re out every day talking to people about the need to follow the ordinance,” Trosper said. He added that if residents have special needs to irrigate, such as new sod, he urged them to let the city know and refrain from watering from 5 to 7:30 a.m.

Violation of the city ordinance could technically result in a municipal civil infraction.

Fines for municipal infractions are $65 for the first offense within a three-year period, $250 for a second offense within three years and $500 for a third offense within three years.

“The city of Troy’s water and sewer division employees provide educational letters to residents and business owners who are seen watering outside of the ordinance,” Kurt Bovensiep, the director of public works, said via email.

“Additionally, the water and sewer division receives calls and emails from concerned residents and business owners who see others not following the ordinance,” Bovensiep said. “Employees will then make contact with those individuals to educate them on the ordinance and the importance of watering during not peak hours to ensure we can provide the lowest water rates to them.”

For information on the city water restrictions, call Trosper at (248) 524-3395.