Seligman fixes 'goof' with $5,800 water meter purchase

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

City requires meters for mass installation, backup spares

After Seligman received 40 new water meters by accident, it decided to pay $5,800 to keep them.

The city requested 10 meters, but instead received 50 meters from Longview, Texas-based RG3 Meter Co., said Brian Nichols, Seligman city clerk.

"We didn't ask for them," Nichols said. "It was a goof that they mailed us 40 extra."

Maintenance employees are replacing about 670 water meters throughout the city, he said. They have less than 80 to install, and the 40 meters will be used in the installation process or used for spares.

The city has several inactive meters, said Wayne Persons, Seligman maintenance supervisor.

"If someone moves in [at addresses with inactive meters] and we have to activate them, we've got to have meters sitting on the shelf to put in there," Persons said.

RG3 has installed a $14,000 pilot program, which included 25 meters and software. The city then bought 595 water meters for $85,875. Each city maintenance employee can gather meter readings from a transceiver antenna. The data goes into a tablet, and the employee then downloads the information into a computer at city hall.

The new software allows the city to pull 120 days worth of information off of a meter. The software enables the city to look at diagrams that show hourly readings. The data also indicates possible water leaks.

The maintenance employees are ready to handle leaks from frozen pipes, he said. They have insulated the meter cans that gave the city problems with last year's major water loss. They also replaced the metal bottoms of the cans with plastic bottoms, which allows maintenance employees to replace meter parts easier than before.

The city's water losses were 1.7 million gallons between Nov. 15, 2013, and Dec. 15, 2013, 663,000 gallons between June 15 and July 15 and 431,000 gallons between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.

The efficiency increased after city crews tracked down water leaks and repaired them.

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