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City begins installing new water meters

The city of Breckenridge began the estimated twomonth project of installing new water meters last Monday, Aug. 1. Each of the city’s current commercial and residential water meters will be replaced during this project.

According to information on the city’s website, the purpose of this project is to upgrade Breckenridge’s water distribution system with an electronic reading capability and to replace meters which have been in place past their estimated lifespan.

“The new system will allow meters to be read from data collectors either in a moving vehicle or mounted to infrastructure across the city. The program is being conducted as part of the City of Breckenridge’s energy conservation program,” the website states. “Water meters are the devices used to measure the amount of water delivered to our customers. Replacing old meters will ensure that Breckenridge can accurately track both individual usage for billing purposes, and also monitor and evaluate community demands.”

According to the city, the new meters will improve the efficiency of meter reading and water billing, and eliminate the need for estimated bills. The new meters will also save city workers time and prevent recording errors, and also minimize the need for workers to access properties. They also have the ability to detect if a leak is occurring.

“Over time, water meters become less accurate and can provide inaccurate water readings. By replacing meters, our city will be able to bill more accurately and efficiently for water usage. In addition, the new system will include an automatic meter reading technology that will save labor time, prevent any recording errors, minimize wear and tear on vehicles, minimize the need for the city to go on the private property of residents, and potentially allow water line leaks to be identified earlier by analysis of data collected,” the website states.

The city states that while water rates are not increasing, bills may be higher or lower, due to the new meters being more accurate.

“In cases where rates remain consistent, the new meters will simply record consumption more accurately. In some cases, your bill may increase, but only if your current meter is underreporting usage,” the website states. “Presently the majority of residents are paying for the water they are actually using, while a few residents are only paying for a fraction of the water. This condition is not fair to all residents. Discussions have already been held within the Water Department and the City does not intend to make bills retroactive where under-billing has been noted. The new system will ensure fairness and equality for all the residents and businesses in Breckenridge from this point forward.”

The city has contracted with Secure Vision, of Fentress, to conduct the project. The crew will be driving trucks with “Meter Replacement Crew” on them, and will be wearing bright orange shirts.

Residential meters will be replaced throughout the week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Commercial customers will be contacted to schedule a convenient time to complete the meter replacement.

In most cases, the process should take about 15 to 30 minutes to replace the old meter with the new one, according to the city. Before replacement, the meter will be checked to ensure water is not currently being used. Once verified, water will be shut off, and then the meter will be replaced.

“In rare instances, the main cut-off valve to your home may be left off. This will occur when the Secure Vision installation team is not able to pressurize your home following the installation. The normal cause of this condition is when an inside spigot is opened during the installation and subsequently left open. The water is not turned back on to ensure a sink or bath tub does not overflow with the resident not home to turn the water off. In these cases, your water will be left off and a door hanger will be left on your door providing you a point of contact to call to have your water turned back on immediately.”

For more information, visit www. breckenridgetx. gov/ publicworks/ page/ water- meter-replacement, or call 254-559-8287.

Breckenridge American

114 East Elm Street

PO Box 871

Breckenridge, Texas 76424

Phone: (254) 559-5412
Fax: (940) 228-0589