Century Changing Out Nearly 1,000 Water Meters

February 28, 2011

The Town of Century has started the installation process on 1,000 new automated water meters in an effort to eliminate billing problems and increase revenue.

Each customer’s existing meter will be changed out for one of the new automated meters. The process is expected to last six weeks or more.

According to Mayor Freddie McCall, it is possible that open holes will be left around existing meters from one day to the next, but holes will be properly marked and barricaded. He asked that residents be careful around work areas.

Much of the $137,386 cost of 941 water meters from Datamatic, Ltd. will be recouped in additional billings due to increased meter efficiency, according to the company.

The current automated meters have been plagued by misreads, billing mishaps and continual customers complaints — a system that McCall termed a “headache”.

With the new Mosaic Firefly water meter system, the town’s meter reader will never leave his vehicle. He will simply drive block to block as the meters automatically report their readings wirelessly. For an estimated $30,000 in upgrades at a later date, the new system wold be capable of automatically reporting water meter readings from across the town without human intervention.

With the completely automated “mesh” system, each meter would communicate with neighboring meters, eventually relaying a report from each meter back to city hall. That method, Devane said, is much more cost effective than sending out a human meter reader. In addition, daily reports could pinpoint customers with leaks, backflows, usage on inactive accounts and fraud.

Datamatic also manufactured the current gas meter reading system for the Town of Century. McCall said there is no plan to replace that equipment at this point, but it would eventually be phased out for a newer system like that proposed for the water meters.

The new water meters would have a 10 year guarantee, including an internal battery. Each meter would store hourly information for 320 days. The new meters will also be lead-free, a standard required of new meters in Florida by 2012.

The $137,386 purchase will pay for itself in less than two years, according to estimates by Dan Devane, regional sales manager for Datamatic, Ltd.. He estimated the town would realize an additional $83,125 in additional billings due to increased meter efficiency and about $2,200 per year in labor savings.

Pictured top: Datamatic Regional Sales Manager Dan Devane describes a new water meter system  as Century Mayor Freddie McCall and Council President Ann Brooks look on during a September, 2010 meeting. NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.

Comments

3 Responses to “Century Changing Out Nearly 1,000 Water Meters”

  1. Darius on February 28th, 2011 7:51 pm

    This part……………:”The $137,386 purchase will pay for itself in less than two years, according to estimates by Dan Devane, regional sales manager for Datamatic, Ltd.. He estimated the town would realize an additional $83,125 in additional billings due to increased meter efficiency and about $2,200 per year in labor savings.”………………
    Never ever use a salesman’s estimate.
    Can’t you figure out his angle on this?
    Want do our number and estimates say?.
    I want to see customer reviews on this product.
    A competent meter reader and good billing software should makes things easier and cheaper.
    Did we figure in the cost of installation? Or did we just use the salesman’s numbers?
    What questions were asked at the meeting?
    Don’t it hurt you to spend big chucks of money?
    Was this in the published meeting agenda?

  2. David Huie Green on February 28th, 2011 1:14 pm

    REGARDING:
    “a leak on the city side of the meter will it pick that up and not be charging us for it.?”

    No, it won’t be charging you for water which didn’t flow through it. A meter only reads what flows through it. Old meters don’t even read all that flow through them, that’s why they have to be replaced every so often.

    David for flawless meters

  3. jeanettte thompson on February 28th, 2011 11:11 am

    I live on Campbell Rd .. big trucks coming down our road and when they use the roadgrader it somtimes causes a leak on the city side of the meter will it peak that up and not be charging us for it.





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