Rowlett Replacing Aging Water Meters

Rowlett loses thousands of dollars due to aging water meters

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Water is a precious commodity and the City of Rowlett decided to invest in new water meters after discovering it has been losing money because of unaccounted water. (Published Monday, Jul 2, 2012)

    Rowlett is investing in new water meters to cut down on losses from unaccounted water.

    The city said its rate for unaccounted water has gone up between 12 percent and 13 percent in the last couple of years.

    "As meters age, they begin to fail in the customer's favor, so, over time, if like a hundred gallons runs through the meter, it may only register at like 90," said Gary Lester, city meter services crew leader.

    The city has lost about $160,000 in revenue because of unaccounted water.

    About 20 percent of the city's meters are older than 10 years old. In the next two years, Rowlett wants to replace about 6,000 water meters for more accurate readings.

    "If they can go out there and read the meter and know that it's accurate, then they won't have as many questions on their bill and they can go conserve their own water," Lester said.

    The city will pay $399,680 for 2,735 meters and 334 MXUs in the 2012 budget. Rowlett will spend another $271,474 for 1,980 meters and 250 MXUs in the 2013 budget.

    The meters will be financed through a three-year lease.

    "I think it's important to get a newer meter if it's efficient and it can get a better reading but, at the same time, I think it should save us money as residents," resident Amy Pace said.

    The city said the meters will pay for themselves over time. So far, Rowlett has replaced 1,608 meters aims to have no more meters older than 10 years old by 2013.