Phase III of water meter upgrades to provide benefits

Water meter with radio transceiver.

By Brandon Martin

The Henry County Public Service Authority (PSA) is in the planning stages of Phase III, a Water Meter Upgrade Project.

This phase will involve upgrades to 50 percent of the county’s PSA meters to a fixed-based system which Director of Engineering Tim Pace said means that meters can be read from a fixed antenna. This will allow the PSA to acquire meter readings from the office.

Pace said the upgrades will carry a $110,000 price tag for that portion of the project alone.

He added that the overall project has three main benefits for the PSA and their customers.

First, “the radio read portion of the project allows PSA staff to read the entire system in less than five days, where it took nineteen days to read before,” Pace said. He added that this frees up customer service staff to perform other duties.

Vehicle equipment for radio read system.

Second, Pace said that the fixed base portion of the project will allow PSA staff to read half of the water meters in the system with one operation in the office.

“This will also make meter reading even more efficient,” he said.

Pace said that the final major benefit is that PSA will be able to use the radio head and fixed based system “to determine water leaks sooner, saving the customer money and preserving one of our natural resources, water.”

Receiver to be installed at Ferndale tower for fixed base system.

The first phase of the project involved upgrades to incompatible meters to touch read. Pace said this means that they could read the meters using a handheld device. He added that Phase I cost approximately $400,000.

The second phase of the project was upgrades to the touch read meters to a radio read system. Pace said this allowed reads to be made by simply driving by the meter.

Phase III should be complete by Spring of 2021, according to Pace.




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