Columbus, Ohio October 2, 2015 – In 2013 affordable home provider Homeport noticed a sharp increase in water expenses at Parkmead Apartments located in Grove City. While neighboring properties saw a 5 percent increase, Parkmead experienced a 28 percent increase. In 2014, Parkmead’s water costs soared another 50 percent.
Something was wrong, and Homeport staff, working with its property management company Wallick Communities, initiated an effort to identify the problem and fix it.
“We pay close attention to our operating costs,” said Homeport President and CEO Amy Klaben. “Parkmead’s water costs had to be brought under control.”
Initial efforts undertaken to solve the problem included pressure testing of water lines, installing a new master meter and repairing curb boxes. Sonar tests were also performed on the underground water lines.
In early 2015, with water bills continuing to grow and no solution in sight, it was decided to install individual water submeters in the 72 unit apartment community. Guardian Water & Power was called on to install the system and begin monthly monitoring and billing services.
The first monthly bill was an eye opener. “Our monthly submetering report immediately documented a $6,000 monthly leak,” according to Wallick Regional Supervisor Lisa Landis. “While the submeters showed $3,000 used by our residents, we were billed $9,000 by the City of Columbus.” Landis was convinced that a leak existed somewhere between the city master meter and the 72 individual submeters.
Armed with the sub-meter report and accompanied by a Guardian representative, Landis met with officials from the water department. The city suspected that clean water was draining directly into the sewer system.
Further investigation by a local plumbing and sewer drainage company revealed an underground leak draining directly into the sewer system. “Money was literally going down the drain at the rate of $6,000 per month,” Landis said.
Shortly after the discovery, a $78,000 settlement was reached with the city.
Homeport is a 28-year-old non-profit with over 30 affordable home and market rate apartment communities throughout Central Ohio. It revitalizes neighborhoods, sells homes and is a leading provider of financial education courses related to housing, including home buying and foreclosure prevention. For more information, visit www.homeportohio.org.
About Wallick Communities
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Wallick Communities operate four business divisions: Wallick-Hendy Properties, Wallick-Hendy Development, Wallick Asset Management and Wallick Construction. Wallick Communities has been providing development, management and construction expertise for a wide range of residential and commercial projects since 1966. Today, Wallick Communities specializes in affordable multi-family housing in the Midwest region of the U.S. For more information visit wallickcommunities.com
About Guardian Water & Power
Guardian Water & Power is a full-service submetering and utility billing company with over 30 years of experience in the multifamily industry. Headquartered in Columbus, Guardian maintains regional offices in Raleigh, Seattle and Ann Arbor. For more information visit guardianwp.com.