Nocona Water Meter Update Almost Finished

Nocona is almost finished installing its new smart water meters. 

"We should be done by the end of the month and have all of our hardware, software, and everything else up and going," Winston Ezzell, the Public Works Director for Nocona said.

They have just over 1,600 water meters throughout the city and they only have 50 left to install.  The meters are in residential areas and businesses.

Ezzell said this is a project they have been working on for a long time.

He said, "It's something we've been thinking about for over 5 years.  It's something we've been working for for about 10 years now."

They have been working on installing the new meters since August, but because of delays with the contractors and issues with the software, it was pushed back to the end of December. 

If the software isn't fixed by the time all of the meters are installed, their water meter reader will still go out and read them manually.  However, only one man does the job, so it takes him between three and three and a half weeks to do it throughout the town.  With the new upgrades, that time will be reduced to just four hours.

"We've gotten with the I.T. company and I believe we got all of the glitches worked out," Ezzell said, "We've got to do a couple test runs to work out any excessive bugs."

The new meters will also help with accuracy.

"They're down to a tenth of a gallon that goes through.  So, there's going to be an increase in a lot of peoples usage and bill," he said.

The increase in the bill is why some of the residents are hesitant about the new meters.  Many times in the past, residents would be running their sprinkler system, but the meter wouldn't be running, so they were never charged. 

"The majority of them are over 20 years old," He said.

However, Ezzell said it's important to have accurate meter readers.

He said, "I think it's going to be very beneficial because we can detect leaks, excessive usage in a matter of time where we can help somebody."

It also helps them keep tabs on people's water use to make sure they aren't using an excessive amount.

With the drought, any way they can conserve helps.  If the drought continues, or even gets worse, Ezzell said they have two water wells in place.  He explained they are looking at implementing them as a water source.  They are also trying to figure out if they need more.

The new meters cost around $430,000, but the money is coming out of their savings.  This is great news for residents because they won't have to pay a dime.

, Newschannel 6