New meters may cause bill changes in water district 3

Monday, December 2, 2019

If customers have noticed a change in their bills from Butler County Water District No. 3, it is because of new, more accurate meters, according to officials with the district.

The district began a project early this year to replace equipment, and has replaced about 98% of its 1,000 water meters, said Sherry Faries, district office secretary.

“We did not have a rate increase because of installing the new meters in 2019 and we are not planning one in 2020,” Faries said. “If water bills have increased with the new meters, we were not recording the correct amount of usage with the old meters.”

District superintendent Brian Williams said he would not release the cost of the new meters and installation to the Daily American Republic. He explained the meters were replaced 10 years ago, but the new meters are better.

“We did not pass the cost of the new meters on to our customers,” Williams said.

Williams said, the water district is run by a board of directors and any customer who wants more information may come to the water district office.

The majority of the meters, or about 900, were replaced in February and March, said Faries.

The remaining meters were the bigger meters, which measure water used at more than one location or at businesses. They have been periodically changed throughout the year, she said. One-inch meters are used when water is supplied to more than one place, like a house that has a mobile home on the same lot. Two-inch meters are used for mobile home parks or businesses.

The district is having fewer problems with the new meters, said Faries, adding, the new meters have Wi-Fi and can be read by the computers in the office.

Water department employees are able to determine daily use down to a 15-minute time period and can tell a customer when a leak started. Faries said unfortunately they are not able to pinpoint where the leak is occurring.

Water district boundaries include Highway 51 to County Road 654, Ash Hill on Highway B, all of Rombauer, a mile on Highway T and up to the city limits of Poplar Bluff.

The office is located at 129 State Highway AA, Broseley. The office telephone number is 573-785-5571.

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