Town of Many Water Department employees, Peyton Ryals and Eddy Ryals prepare to help unload pallets of water meters this week that will be installed beginning in January. 

The Town of Many has invested in new ultrasonic water meters that will last at least 20 years and will read water usage down to 1/8 of a gallon. Water meters will be able to be read from the office once installation is complete and will save Many taxpayers the cost of 68 man-hours per month to manually read meters then enter data by hand into the current billing system. 

Mayor Robert Hable has said that while water rates will not be increased anytime soon, some residents and business may see an increase in their water bills just because of the accuracy of the new system. Water leaks can be detected more quickly and repairs made more efficiently once the meters are operating.  The town’s water department crews will assist contractors with the installation making that part of the job go more quickly. Updated billing software will integrate with the meters making the manual processes of reading meters, data entry, and sending out bills obsolete. 

The town did not have to go into debt to acquire the new water meters that are “Made in America”. Through a cooperative lease-purchase agreement between the town, Government Capital, and Core and Main, suppliers of the Neptune water meters, the town will be able to make lease payments each year from money being saved by recent upgrades made to the communication system from the water plant 12 miles West of town to the wells and water storage tanks in town. 

“The savings from the previously astronomical monthly payments for communications at the water plant will pay for the new meters in 15 years or less”, said Mayor Hable. “We have been working with our engineering firm since September to get Water Sector and Capital Outlay grants prepared and submitted for other major water and sewer projects that the town needs. Once the water intake plant is moved further out into deeper water, the cost of chemicals to treat water will be greatly reduced, saving the town more money.  The grants applied for also include replacing the 150,000-gallon water storage tank at the plant and rehabbing the elevated water storage tanks and wells in town,” he continued. Wastewater improvements will also be done throughout the town once grant monies are received. ARPA funds that the town received earlier this year will be used as matching funds for the grants depending on how much the State awards the town for water and sewer improvements. 

The State of Louisiana has allocated $300 million to the Water Sector program from the State’s allocation of ARPA funding from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Act Fund. The program was established to provide grant funding for repairs, improvements, and consolidation of community water and sewer systems around the state. 

“Please be patient with us as we begin our first steps in improving our infrastructure by getting these new meters into the ground”, said Hable. “We have great employees in our water and sewer departments and they will do their best to take care of routine work while helping to install the new meters. All of us at City Hall are excited about the positive changes we are making to help Many be the best it can be,” Hable concluded.

To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE