Meter replacement an important project for Selma

Published 8:17pm Thursday, March 6, 2014

Replacing several thousand, small water meters may seem like a small task. In fact, it seems to be one of the most substantial projects for Selma Water Works in years.

The meters are expected to greatly increase the efficiency at which Selma water works is able to read meters. It’s quite simple, really. The meters emit a radio signal to public works employees.

Employees will be able to read water meters from a four-block radius. Previously, employees would have to go up to each house, in person and take a reading.

The city’s engineering consultant Ray Hogg also said the department may see an uptick in revenue as a result.

As meters age, they become less accurate and often measure less than the actual amount of water used. As expeted newer meters are more accurate.

The meters also show hour-by-hour breakdowns of water usage, which is beneficial for the Selma water works and customers. For the water board, it’s easier to prove to customers exact water usage. The other benefit is a fairly cool feature. The water board is able to nofity customers when a pipe bursts. For example, if the water company detects that your water has been flowing for 72 straight hours, something is likely wrong. Even the largest water consumers in Selma are unlikely to use water for three straight days.

Though the innovations are small, and not earth shattering, it’s a small step into the 21st century for Selma. The project seems like a win-win for both water customers and the water board.

Another beneficial aspect is that the meters will be provided and installed by an Alabama company. In cases where local companies are able to provide components of municipal projects, we would far prefer the money staying in our area.

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