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HSVPOA Board Approves Purchase of Water Meters to Begin Transition to Smart System

At the January 29, 2022 Board Meeting, Director Belair made a motion approving the purchase of Smart water meters and Director Avila seconded. Click here to read the discussion on this item at the January 5, 2022 Board Discussion Session.

Temple Stresses Need For Approval of the New Meters

The Chair asked Temple, “Jason, if I understand correctly, we have our backs against the wall and have to do something with the water meters. Is that correct?”

Temple answered, “That is correct. We basically have to decide on [indecipherable] how we’re going to read our meters in the future. This is the basic decision today. This [motion] buys the system that we are going to use to read all of our manually-read meters, as well as we can start adding cellular-based, automatic read meters during this process.

POA Plans Eventual Transition to Monthly Water Bills

At some point in time, we will have enough [Smart] meters out there in the system that we could transition to monthly billing if we want to, which is something that the State Department has been encouraging us to do for several years. They don’t look at our bi-monthly billing as a good business practice, nor is it an accurate way for us to account for our water losses in the system. When we go to monthly billing, or at least [when] we put more of these automatic meters in our system and in the distribution part of our systems, we’ll be able to start fixing leaks and fine-tuning those leaks…The new meters will help to start improving our water loss percentages…]

Temple introduced Chris Boutzale, Superintendent of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants. “Boutzale is a 40-year employee. He is one of the highest licensed water plant operators and distribution systems in the state of Arkansas. He has all of the highest licenses. We’re very fortunate and privileged to work with him and have him on our staff. He is also available to answer any questions.”

Can We Go Ahead and Purchase a New Smart Meter Through the POA Before Our Replacement is Scheduled?

Board Chair, Joanie Corry asked Temple if Villagers could request a Smart Meter.

Temple said, “yes if you want to go ahead and get one of these automated Smart Meters at your house and you are not currently in this current plan, you are welcome to. For $276, we will replace that meter for you. That is outside of our budget. If you give us time, we will eventually get to your house. But one leak in your service line or a pipe break in your house, and the cost of fixing that…this could be detected very early in the process with these meters and save you tons of money and save you tons of damages.

Belair asked, “what is the size of the typical home water meter?”

Omohundro responded, “it is the 3/4.”

Temple added, “it is the 5/8 by 3/4. The very top one.”

Belair asked, “if someone wants to purchase now, ahead of schedule, when will they start being available?” Boutzale said we would receive some of the new meters in mid-February.

Paul said, “we could take preorders and then order them in bulk. It could take a couple or three months.”

POA Will Encourage Villagers to Purchase New Meters

Interim General Manager, John Paul, said, “one of the things that will be on the hand-off to the new General Manager is the marketing of this. It will be years before we replace all the meters…I noticed in a letter that was sent out about the insurance that covers your line from the house to the meter is $6.00 a month. It wouldn’t take long to make that back if you purchased a water meter on your own. We’ll be going out and doing a little marketing in the future to sell them to people. I’d buy one, just for the peace of mind. I could have it on my cell phone if there is a leak.”

“When we go to a residence, and there’s an issue with the meter or because the oldest ones are the Rockwells with no leak detecting device on them, if those meters have a problem, we will change them out,” Boutzale said.

“Anything 20 years and older are in the round of being changed, along with commercial meters,” explained Boutzale.

The motion passed unanimously.

Motion for Bulk Water Meter Purchase


By Cheryl Dowden, January 29, 2022

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