Due to high lawn-watering costs, residents in Canton, Michigan, implored township officials to trim sewer charges. To do so, they recommended installing separate water meters for sprinkler systems.

Canton households use 32,283 gallons of water every three months, and pay a quarterly bill of $343. The fee is based on a combined water/sewer rate of $10.11 per 1,000 gallons.

“It’s killing us,” said Patricia Duthie, Woodbridge Estates Condominium’s board president. Homeowners in the 189-unit complex last year collectively paid a $176,000 water/sewer bill. Monthly association fees had to be increased to pay for the excessive sewer charges arising from outdoor irrigation.

Residents argue that by having separated meters, landscaped areas will be better maintained, which will keep up property values and boost tax revenues. Even though administration officials have made a preliminary recommendation for no rate increase, residents are still concerned about sewer costs tied to outdoor watering.