Jul 31, 2012
04:54 PMThe Daily Scoop
City Begins Installing Wireless Water Meters
Chad Nuccio with Pedal Valve installs the first high-tech water meter at Patton Park on Tuesday.
WHAT HAPPENED? In February, Hendersonville City Council unanimously approved moving ahead with an $11.6 million project to replace current water meters which are read once a month by city workers with digital equipment that electronically collects and transmits water use data every six hours.
Tuesday, the first of the high-tech devices was installed on a water meter at Patton Park and within the next year the city will replace a total of 24,458 outdated water meters throughout the city to improve water conservation and generate more accurate meter readings.
WHY DO YOU CARE? City Manager Bo Ferguson says the hefty price tag for adding this infrastructure will largely pay for itself through added efficiency. Another bonus is that water customers who are getting more water than they are paying for due to malfunctioning equipment would get a more accurate bill and the new equipment will check for leaks every 6 hours as opposed to the current 30 day cycle.
"Whether you are a private citizen or a public utility, this is an important project," Ferguson said Tuesday at a ceremony commemorating the first new wireless water meter reading and transmitting equipment being installed at Patton Park. "We want people to keep our system strong and the costs as low as possible."
HOW DOES IT WORK? The project involves replacing the aging water meter boxes already in the ground with smaller digital equipment. Instead of paying city workers to physically inspect and read the usage from each location once a month, this automated system allows the data to be collected with the new digital water meter and transmitted to one of 13 antenna towers located on city-owned property across the county.
The digital equipment reads water use once every six hours instead of the current once-a-month inspection, which would allow for water leaks to be discovered before they cause too much damage to property and finances.
"It's exciting to take a new step with technology, especially in our small community," said Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk at the ceremony.
"I think this is one of the most responsible aspects of local government," added Hendersonville City Councilman Steve Caraker. "It may cost a lot initially, but it really is the responsible thing to do for the future."
WHAT’S NEXT? Replacement of more water meter equipment will begin soon with completion of the project expected by July 2013.
Correspondent Jonathan Rich may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.