New Port Richey City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve nearly $928,530.85 to complete the second phase of water meter replacements. The project is expected to be completed by October 2015. The city currently has 10,240 commercial and residential water meters which require replacement. The new water meters allow for wireless transmission of water usage data, providing more accurate billing information for the City and its customers.
Public Works Director Robert Rivera presented the proposal to the council, saying that the new system will completely eliminate a $100,000 yearly contract to pay for meter readers (previous reports put the number at $77,000). Rivera said other benefits include improved customer service, faster leak detection, an end to estimated bills. The new water meters will also help to cut down on unaccounted water usage, which currently stands at six percent.
The water meters are installed in existing boxes, but require the installation of additional equipment that puts a hole in the lid of the container. Some residents have reported confusion over holes in their meter box, and should notify the City if any issues are experienced. Residents can expect to see crews placing a small, round, black box on top of their meter which is used to transmit the data. The devices use long-life batteries which for residential use have a life expectancy of 20 years, and for commercial use ten years, Rivera said.
Funding for the project comes from the City’s Water and Sewer Development fund which is funded solely by income from the City’s water program, and is not part of the general fund or funded by property taxes. Council members approved the first part of the project in May of 2014.
If you have questions regarding the installation or use of these new water meters, you should contact the City of New Port Richey Public Works customer service at (727)841-4536. You can also read the Public Works FAQ or visit their website for additional information.