Starting on Monday, the citizens of Ardmore might notice crews out working on their water meters. In addition to making necessary repairs these crews will also be installing an upgraded technology which will allow the meters to be linked via satellite to a computer located within the Ardmore Municipal Building.
Sissy Burge, City Treasurer explained the situation.
“About 13 years ago the city added radio-read technology to read all of our meters,” Burge said. “They’ve got lithium batteries installed into the meters that actually ping the readings onto the truck. But now we’re seeing the batteries begin to go dead so we’re going to be updating the meter reading system.”
Burge said the process is expected to take between six to 10 months to swap out the approximately 12,000 water meters scattered throughout the city.
Burge said once all the new meters are instilled the citizens will see some benefits.
“We’ll have an eye on the water app that we will get set up, and everyone will have their own user name and password so they can monitor the water use by the day,” Burge said. “They can set up parameters and if they go over a certain amount of water, they can receive an alert.
She said this will prove especially helpful for customers in the winter if frozen pipes burst.
“A lot of times people don’t realize they have a burst pipe until they get their water bill and see that it’s $400,” Burge said. She added the new app will alert both the customer and the city to insure the problem gets corrected quickly.
In addition to the realtime notifications of leaking pipes, the new program will also help the city become more efficient in other ways.
“Right now we have one vehicle who drives around pretty much continually picking up the data, but now we can just push a button right here at the office and it will all come to us,” Burge said.
Burge is already impressed with the data they receive from the new system.
“Right now we probably have 60 or 65 in the ground, and if we have a technical problem it will show us exactly which meter is not coming in,” Burge said. “Then the guys go out to the location and see what the problem is.