Nocona Water Meter Upgrades - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Nocona Water Meter Upgrades

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The City of Nocona has begun the process to upgrade its water meter system for nearly 1,500 of its residential and commercial customers.  

City Councilors gave Aquamatic the green light when they approved a bid worth $433,467.  The company and the city will begin planning its full installation next week.

Until the new system is fully installed, Thomas Morrow, the city's lone water meter reader, will continue to service each home and business to monitor their usage of water. 

"I normally read approximately 250 to 300 meters a day, depending upon how many I have to dig out, because of the mold, fill the meter cans up, or snakes, spiders or whatever I have to deal with," said Morrow.

He acknowledges it's a difficult job and said some of his biggest challenges are that he is often faced with; most of the meters don't even work.

"We have a lot that are dead or very inaccurate.  They're not registering correctly," said Morrow, "In other words, I've gone by and read meters before and someone would have a sprinkler system going or a sprinkler and the meter wouldn't even be turning."

Winston Ezzell, Public Works Director for Nocona said the issue with water meters has been looked into for some time. 

"We did an evaluation of meters in the ground and they under read and we are losing revenue," said Ezzell. 

He said the new and improved meters will allow the city to better evaluate water usage.

"We can use this system to do analysis and show them that during the hours of two to five you used x amount of water," said Ezzell. 

Good news for Morrow, who said the new meters, will lighten his workload.  Instead of getting out and checking meters by hand, he will be able to drive by homes and businesses and collect data using a car that reads meters remotely. 

"Three weeks a month will be reduced down to four hours a month," said Ezzell

When Morrow was asked if he will miss running across the spiders and snakes, he laughed and then said, "I won't miss that at all." 

The City said it predicts the money spent to fund this project will pay for itself within two to three years.  They also said this project is another way they are trying to conserve as much water during this extreme drought. 

The new water meter system is expected to be completed by Oct. 1, 2014.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6