Authority’s water meter shortage crisis averted - The Newnan Times-Herald

2022-01-03 15:20:31 By : yongxiong lan

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Students in the Coweta County School System will return to classes Tuesday amid yet another surge of COVID-19 infections in the community.

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The Coweta Water and Sewerage Authority is no longer facing a shortage of water meters for new customers.

In late October, the authority's meter supplier, Sensus, notified it that the meters ordered in May wouldn't be available for another six months. That meant the authority wouldn't have enough meters to serve the new homes that are already in the pipeline, as well as other new construction that wasn't already on the books. Be in the know the moment news happens Subscribe to Daily and Breaking News Alerts Email Address

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When staff got that news, they got to work searching for alternative meters. The authority uses a remote-read system, where meters send signals to a tower, and can be read in the office. With the meter shortage, there was the thought that they might even have to start installing manually read meters, if that was all they could find.

But it didn't come down to that; the authority found a company, Master Meter, that was able to provide meters that will work with the Sensus system and towers. The authority has also lined up vendors who can supply manual meters, just in case.

The authority has no plans to switch to Master Meter permanently, but the meters can remain in the system long term, according to Authority CEO Jay Boren. Or, if there was an opportunity to sell them down the road, the authority could replace them with Sensus meters.

While the authority was able to find meters to avert a crisis, Boren said the issue is still a concern because he doesn't like having a hodgepodge of meters in the system. Some utilities, which are still in the process of switching to remote-read meters like Sensus, have put those programs on hold because of the supply issues, he said.

Boren said they had multiple meetings with Sensus, but it was clear the company wouldn't be able to provide what the authority needed in the short term. Plus, "our concern is in six months; it's not going to just go away," Boren said of the shortage of meters. The authority averages about 100 meters a month, he said.

The authority and most other utilities don't keep large stocks of meters on hand; instead, they order to keep just enough in stock.

But in this case, the authority has placed two large orders with Master Meter.

"If we don't use them, we'll just sell them," Boren said.

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