Roughly half way through the construction period to install a new meter system for customers of the Consolidated Public Water Supply District #1 (CPWSD#1) of Scotland County, representatives of the rural water provider are reminding customers they still need to manually read their meters.

“We would like to let all of our customers know we are working to get the new digital meter system up and going, but during this time they will need to continue to read their meters manually,’ said Board President Tonya Bradley.

In October of 2017 the rural water district began a two-phase upgrade project to construct a new supply line and also to install a new automated meter-reading system.

Murphy Brothers Construction of Canton was awarded the contract for the meter installation.

The contract calls for the purchase of 1,350 new Badger meters as well as the company’s Beacon automation platform. New composite plastic pit lids will be installed along with the 1,350 meters. The contract also includes installation of 275 new meter pits, which will replace older black meter wells.

The total price for the awarded contract was $516,325.

Once installed, the new metering program will replace the old self-read system. Customers will no longer be required to manually open their meter pit to retrieve readings. Instead, the CPWSD#1 office will now have real-time access to all meter readings 24/7 from the office or from related applications, such as official cellular phone or tablet accounts registered to employees.

Many of the new meters have been installed, but the entire project is not expected to be done until August.

The district reminds customers that, even if they have a new meter, the system isn’t currently online, meaning the customers must continue to read their own meters in the meantime.

“If any of our customers need help reading the new meters or calculating their bill, all they need to do is contact us at 660-465-7200,” said office manager Kelly Frazier. “We will notify all of our customers once our office is able to start billing directly for water services. We appreciate our customers patience and understanding during this process.”

Once completed, the upgrade will allow the meters to be read directly from the office via cellular signal sent out by each meter. The real-time data will allow the software system to monitor for abnormal water usage, offering a number of unique alert conditions to notify personnel of potential issues within the distribution system.

Customers will have similar access to their own data, with computer apps available that will help monitor the customer of usage spikes that could denote a plumbing problem or other issue requiring immediate attention.