Lanett purchases new water meters

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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LANETT — In a called meeting on Monday, the Lanett City Council approved the purchase of a large number of radio-read water meters. These new meters will be installed around the first of the new year at every home and business that’s on the Lanett war system and should help the city capture a good bit of revenue that’s being lost with its present outdated meters.

City Building Inspector Randall Aikens explained that the old meters have outlived their lifespan and aren’t registering water usage the way they should. Some heavy water users like car washes and laundromats have been paying much less for water than they should.

A total of 2,383 meters will be installed at homes and businesses early next year. The new meters will provide data the current meters haven’t been recording. In the case of a water leak, they will record exactly when it starts and when it stops.

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The rate charged for water use won’t be changing. Those customers who will still be using 3,000 gallons a month or less will still be charged the minimum rate of $14.25 per month.

The new meters are manufactured by the Neptune Technology Group in Tallassee, Alabama and will be installed by a contractor.

Aikens said Lanett is charging less for water than most surrounding cities and will continue to do that. There should be a substantial increase in revenue due to a water loss problem being addressed.

There have been some months, for example, the city purchased over 36 million gallons of water from that Chattahoochee Valley Water Supply District but only got paid for 13 million gallons by its water customers.

The new meters, MRX and belt clip plus software training will cost more than $880,000. Payment won’t start until after the first year of using the new meters.  The city will then be billed on monthly installments of a little more than $155,000 a month for seven years.

Aikens believes the new meters will be a win-win situation for the city. With these radio-read meters, the city will have a much more exact means of tracking its water use, finding leaks, and receiving revenue from the water that is being used in the city.