A crew from San Marcos, Texas, has spent the week in Luther visiting every Town water customer’s yard with a shovel. They are replacing the old mechanical meters with new ultrasonic meters that are expected to improve accuracy and detect leaks more quickly for Luther water customers.
The rain slowed the crew down from Secure Vision of America, but they still made quick work of replacing 285 meters and are expected to finish the job on Wednesday. The Luther Public Works Authority funded the system improvement that will save staff time and improve workflow. With the old system, Maintenance Supervisor Brian Proc walked the town each month and manually checked every meter, taking up to three days to complete the job. The new meters will communicate digitally with a tablet and Proc is expected to have the chore done in hours.
“It helps everyone out,” said the Secure Vision foreman who insisted everyone calls him Cheeseburger. “When there is a dispute about usage, you can look at each customer and see a graph usage. He said the new system will allow customers to see if they might have a leaky faucet or toilet and make the repairs.
Proc said the average person uses 70-100 gallons of water a day, or about 3,000 gallons for a household of three per month. Activities like watering lawns and gardens or power washing a car will increase that usage, he said but indicates that everyone should be mindful of their water usage and protect it. The new meters will tell all, he said.
Cheeseburger referred to water as “liquid gold,” a resource no one can live without but a resource that we should conserve.
The Town reported minimal problems with the installation although customers’ water shut off momentarily (for the most part) during each meter change. The crew said to flush the lines after water service resumes if there is a dirt or odor, reminding water customers that pipes under the town cannot be cleaned but restored pressure will improve the quality.
LPWA Board Trustee Liaison Jason Roach researched the issue and presented the water meter upgrade to the LPWA Trustees who approved it. Roach said once the new meters are installed and staff learns the new system, the whole service should benefit the Town and water customers.