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New Water Meters Okayed By Council

Water meters like this one will either be partially or completely changed, as Archbold converts to a new meter reading system this fall.– photo by David Pugh

Water meters like this one will either be partially or completely changed, as Archbold converts to a new meter reading system this fall.– photo by David Pugh

If you have a home in Archbold, and that home has a water meter, you can expect a visitor this fall.

It will be a technician from a private company who will come to your home to change all, or part, of your water meter.

Archbold village council approved a resolution at its Monday, July 1 meeting to install a new water meter system throughout the village.

The meters will use radio links to provide almost-live information to the village water treatment plant and the billing office at the municipal building downtown.

Information on water usage will also be available to water customers via an Internet website.

Scott Schultz, water treatment plant supervisor, said the technician coming to your home will replace either what’s known as the “register”– the part of the meter that records water usage and transmits it to village computers– or the entire meter.

It all depends on whether the customer’s meter is compatible with the new register system.

Technicians will have proper identification, and residents will be advised when they will be working.

Some Archbold residents won’t be getting a visit from a technician. For example, those who live in apartments where the landlord takes care of the water bills won’t get a visit.

$110,000 Per Year

During a meeting of the council utility committee, Monday, June 17, Donna Dettling, village administrator, said the new metering system will be financed by taking $55,000 a year from the water treatment plant and wastewater treat- ment plant budgets for a period of five years.

Council is getting a bit of a break, because the city of Defiance is installing the same metering system, and crews that will do the work will be in the area.

The current system uses a radio transponder attached to the water meter. A water department employee in a small truck drives around the village.

As he drives, radio equipment in the truck works with meter transponders to record the water usage at each meter for the month.

When the truck has gathered all the readings, the data is downloaded to village computers. The information is used to calculate water bills.

The new meters will use five or six radio links, called repeaters, which will report back to a tower at the water treatment plant.

The new system has several advantages.

If a household water meter detects an unusually large amount of usage from a broken pipe or malfunctioning toilet, the system will notify village officials, who can then notify the home owner.

With more information, village official can better gauge water usage throughout the village.

Also, the radio link system eliminates the need for an employee to spend a day driving around collecting water meter data.

The current water meter system is about 15 years old, Dettling said.

The new metering system is the next generation in technology, but is a proven technology, she said.

Aeration

Council also approved a resolution to contract with Suez Water Technologies & Solutions, based in Trevose, Pa., to add an aeration system to the one-million-gallon water storage tank behind the ConAgra plant.

The goal of the system is to reduce trihalomethanes, or TTHM, in Archbold municipal water.

TTHMs are a byproduct of treating water with chlorine.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency restricts TTHM to .08 milligrams per liter of water, or .08 mg/L.

The water system is out of compliance, because in the first quarter of 2019, Archbold water had .082 mg/L of TTHM.

OEPA officials aren’t even sure if TTHMs are dangerous to humans.

The Suez aeration system will mix air with water in the tank.

TTHMs will “off-gas” into the air, then large blowers will remove TTHM-laden air from the tank. Village officials will pay Suez $116,000 per year for three years to install the system, plus a service agreement for the fourth year.

But the village won’t have to pay if Suez can’t reduce TTHM in the tank by 55%.

Dettling told council at its Monday, July 1 meeting, village officials met with OEPA officials, who, she said, want to see if village officials were addressing the TTHM problem.

Other

Village officials also discussed, but took no action on, increasing the surcharge for water service for those who live outside the village.

Currently, the village imposes a 50% surcharge. Discussions have centered on increasing that charge to 100%.

Council also discussed water service contracts with Fulton County for water for Burlington, Elmira, and Pettisville.

Kevin Eicher, council member, was absent.

The next meeting is Monday, July 15, 5:30 pm, in council chambers.