The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

January 9, 2013

Municipalities considering joint water meter project

By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — SHELBY — Municipal officials from Medina, Ridgeway and Shelby considered a potential joint program that would provide a more responsive measurement of water usage at their monthly shared services committee meeting.

The committee also discussed the financial impact for taxpayers of moving the costs of maintaining and operating the two town’s snowplowing services out of the fund that includes village residents.

Medina Public Works Supervisor Pete Houseknecht and his counterparts in Shelby and Ridgeway explained to Monday’s gathering of a dozen elected officials and about two dozen community members the outlines of their proposal for a shared water meter upgrade.

Houseknecht said that the new system would be more accurate at measuring the amount of water used by properties, identify sources of costly waterline leaks and be compatible across all three municipalities. Most importantly for residents, the system would be able to determine if a property’s water system is leaking.

“The software would show if a meter is turning 24 hours a day, that’s a sign there’s a leak,” Houseknecht said. “We can know immediately if our customers are losing water.”

The committee agreed to schedule a meeting with Wendel Engineering, which proposed a similar upgrade in the village a few years ago. 

The highway chiefs obtained a cost estimate for materials —  more than $800,000. The upgrade could be funded through revenues achieved by addressing leaks quicker.

Houseknecht said that Medina has the largest need for a more accurate system to measure water usage and identify leaks in the system, but that the benefits would be felt outside of the village. Around 2,300 units in the village would be updated, with between 400 to 600 in either town needing to be updated.

Once the system was in place, a single employee would be able to complete the needed checks of the system — the water usages are logged when the reader physically comes near the meter, with all of a hamlet or village’s meters being able to be measured at once — in far less time than the current system.

Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.