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Future-proofing or stealth?


Spray-painted coloured lines and spots appeared on the berm in the region of our “Toby” recently. Being of a naturally curious nature, and judging that this was not the work of a local graffiti artist, I messaged GDC to ask if they knew anything about it and was duly informed that: “The Tobys in the street are being upgraded and the paint shows the contractors your one is to be replaced. There will be a letter delivered to your mail box in the next days about the works.”

Sure enough, a leaflet appeared in our mailbox later that day explaining that “repairs and maintenance” to our water connection would be carried out the following day. I was quite unaware that any repairs were necessary, but hey-ho — c’est la vie!

After the work was completed I satisfied my curiosity by lifting the lid to inspect the work and, lo and behold, there was a new stopcock and what appeared to strongly resemble a water meter.

There had been no mention of water meters in any communication.

No doubt GDC would call it “future-proofing”; I call it “stealth”.

Peter Wooding

  1. Ken Ovenden says:

    Hi Peter, sounds like council skull-duggery to me. The lack of communication is one point but if what you are seeing is correct, ie a meter, that’s blatant over the top tactics. Is that all they wanted to do in the first place, for future use? Message the council and ask that your “toby” be put back the way it was and remove the meter, and wait to see if you actually get a reply.

    1. John Adams says:

      Or, perhaps the Council are simply applying a few meters to multiple houses to assess the water usage in the region? Accurate monitoring allows for correct planning regarding reservoirs, storage and other essentials.

      Footnote from Ed:
      Peter submitted the following letter for publication on December 6 –
      I wish to apologise to GDC for insinuating that a water meter had been secretly installed with the new Toby. That is not the case.
      My suspicion was misplaced; I am now reliably informed that the device in question is a non-return valve to prevent back-flow in the event of a loss of mains pressure.
      It is quite possible that, in due course, water meters will be introduced for domestic premises but I am not familiar with current GDC policy on this matter; I just expect there to be “open and transparent” consultation before it does eventuate.
      Peter Wooding