(Chase Jordan / Sampson Independent)
GARLAND — After several months of work, a water reading meter project that expedites the process is now complete.
“Garland residents no longer see a water meter person going from house to house to read water meters over a two-day period,” Mayor Winifred Hill Murphy stated. “Office staff will no longer have to wait for the readings to begin preparing statements.”
According to a news release from the Town of Garland, the new water meter replacement project was approved in 2012 by the Garland Board of Commissioners. Murphy said all residential and commercial account readings can be generated in minutes from Deputy Clerk Teresa Smith’s computer.
The process began in December 2014 and was completed in mid-March. It consisted of replacing more than 365 residential/commercial water meters and two bulk meters in the town’s distribution system.
“Commissioners approved the project in an attempt to reduce water loss,” Murphy said. “Water production far exceeded water billings, perhaps due to the inaccuracy of aging water meters.”
In December, Advance Utility Services handled the work after town officials met Green Engineering and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
According to the town’s water use record from April 2011 through July 2012, the town experienced monthly water losses ranging from a low of 2.4 percent to a high of 38 percent. The average monthly losses for the 16 month period was more than 15 percent.
The project consisted of the installation of a fixed based radio meter system network. It also includes a base station located in the town’s billing department. Some of the other additions included a transceiver, battery backup supply, software, data collection and training. The new software is compatible with the existing billing software, which is presently used by town officials.
“The new metering package will provide timely information to see more accurately the flow patterns and where the larger water use is occurring in the distribution grid,” Murphy said. “It will also enhance the ability of staff to see where water use is being consumed through daily reading capability.”
Town officials said the meter project is also expected to provide energy savings and water conservation through a sustainable management tool.
“This system allows for improved customer service utilizing the data collector feature which allows billing staff to trend and provide reports for consumers to evaluate their own internal water loss and use on a daily basis,” she said.
If a leak is suspected, an individual copy of water usage can be generated. Town staff members may also detect water leakage sooner and contact customer as necessary.
For more information or questions about the water meters, contact town officials at 910-529-4141.