Water system nears end
by Rory Doyle
Apr 18, 2013 | 1173 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The $3.2 million overhaul of city water meters is nearly complete in Cleveland.

Keith Christopher, project manager for Severn Trent Environmental Services, Inc., which is contracted by the city for water and sewer maintenance, said the major project is about 90 percent finished.

Cleveland partnered with Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. to carry out the installations.

"We are thinking that around June 1 all the meters should be complete," said Christopher.

The purpose of the upgrade was to replace the old water meters on the city's water system with new radio read meters, which are considered more precise and efficient.

The approximate 6,200 commercial and residential meters in town will undergo the change.

"We've been talking about this in Cleveland for many years and we finally decided it was time to have a more modern system," said Christopher. "This will be a much more accurate way of actually reading the quantity of water going through the meters."

The Cleveland Board of Aldermen approved the project in 2012 and the upgrades have been ongoing since January of 2013.

Once all units have been completed, Christopher said the meters would be "woken up" and start transmitting the radio signals.

"This will help us find any dead, low-lying or problems areas," he said. "If we have any problems we may add repeaters to help fix the issue."

He added that an alarm would sound on the computer system once a continuous leak is detected, which will ultimately lower water usage and bills for the city and its residents/businesses.

The process of replacing the meters has caused only short interruptions in service and minimal inconveniences, and Christopher asked everyone to be mindful that small repairs may be needed once the new system is activated.

"We ask the public to please bear with us," said Christopher. "We understand there might be some small dress ups of the grass around the meters and a possibility of small leaks.

"We will be there to work with the customers to make this as smooth a transition as possible."

So far, Christopher said the work has already gone very smoothly. He commended the contractors for working efficiently and handling the challenges put forth by a rainy winter and spring.

The substantial cost of the overhaul will be repaid via revenue from the water meters and monthly water bills.

According to a 2011 statement from Chris McNeil of Siemens, the city was losing about 50 percent of its revenue on poor performing meters.

For any questions pertaining to the new system, contact the Cleveland Engineering Department at 662-846-5706.