Water meter project includes new upgrades

SOUTHWICK – A town-wide water meter project will be happening in the Town of Southwick. A total of 2,600 water meters will be replaced as it is mandatory for everyone in town.

The current water meters that people have are 20 years old and only have so much durability left.

“Most of our current meters are about 20 years old,” said Southwick DPW Director Randy Brown. “It’s time to swap out those older meters with newer meters.”

Brown and the DPW have been able to get appropriated funds through the Town of Southwick that total up to $1.4 million.

There are two separate aspects to the project. As the old meters will be replaced with completely new ones, East National Water is the contractor who will be taking care of that aspect of the project.

A private contractor who provides help for large-scale water meter replacement projects, East National Water will then check the valves of the residences and if they aren’t functioning properly, they will be swapped out.

DPW Director Randy Brown has worked with both contractors to make sure the water meter project moves forward. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick)

DPW Director Randy Brown has worked with both contractors to make sure the water meter project moves forward. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick)

There is an exception to residences getting their water meters replaced. According to Brown, if homes have had a new iPerl Water Meter in the past year, which has a white composite and hard plastic casing, there will be no need for another replacement. East Water National will still access the device for testing just to make sure the water meter is up to standards.

The major addition to the new water meters is the fact that they have low-flow technology.

“If there’s a leak in the house, this meter will actually register it and send us an alert notifying us that there was a potential leak,” said Brown. “That’s a great benefit because with our current meters we would never know if there is a leak in that property unless the homeowner looked at their bill.”

The second part to the project will be contracted by E.J. Prescott. They will be putting in a fixed network system with the water meters that East National Water installs. The fixed network system will allow the DPW to monitor the meters through radio re-technology.

With the current water meter system, Southwick DPW workers would check water meters in the spring and fall for a four to five week period.

Having the help of E.J. Prescott, a radio transmitter called a Smart Point will be outside the property and on the touch pad that will transmit the water meter results back to the DPW office.

According to Brown, in the next week or so, the DPW will be sending out postcards to all customers in Southwick requesting that they contact East National Water by phone or email.

Once postcards have been received, the project is then expected to begin in the next few weeks.

After Brown has had a most recent meeting with East National Water, it has been officially decided that they will split Southwick into five different regions for this project. The first region that will be getting new water meters in the neighborhoods off of Middle Pond, Berkshire Ave., Point Grove Rd., and most of Sheep Pasture Rd.

“They (East National Water) will move on to the next region and work their way through it over the next several months,” said Brown. “We’ll be posting periodic updates on the town website throughout this process.”

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