City to replace water meters

City water meters will soon all be replaced. The new meters will be equipped with advanced metering infrastructure technology, a web-based system that allows them to be read from a central computer.

BEEVILLE – Workers this summer will begin replacing all of the residential and commercial water meters in the city.

Beeville City Manager John Benson said customers soon will receive a letter explaining the change, which he said has multiple advantages.

“One of the benefits to the customer is that we currently have four people in the utilities department who oversee meter reading,” Benson said. “We have to physically view every meter once a month.”

The new meters are equipped with advanced metering infrastructure technology, a web-based system that allows them to be read from a central computer, he said.

With a web-based system, Benson said customers will be able to setup a profile online from where they can track their water usage. It also will allow for leak detection, notifying a customer if there is a sudden spike in usage.

“The new meters will provide new benefits to the customers,” he said. “It will also provide more accurate meter readings.”

Because the current water meters are between 20 and 40 years old, some are not accurately measuring water usage because of being out of calibration. Therefore, Benson said some customers may see an increase in their bills once the new meters are online.

Despite this, Benson believes the new meters will provide financial savings to the city, which will translate to the taxpayer.

“Our budget for replacing meters will go down because our meters are so old that we have to replace meters pretty routinely,” he said. “The water department will keep one person in to do maintenance and take care of situations as they arise, but the other three have been trained to work in other departments.”

William J. Gibbs Jr. is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 361-358-5220, or by email at wgibbs@mysoutex.com.

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