Goshen to upgrade meters

Published 6:14 pm Friday, June 20, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted the Town of Goshen $200,000 to upgrade the water meters of all Goshen households.

Mayor Jack Waller said the system would benefit all residents. “It will help reduce unaccounted water loss,” he said. “If we get a leak somewhere, we’ll know.”

The funds are from the agency’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The DWSRF program was established under the Safe Drinking Water Act amendments of 1996 and most of the funds were given to states that provided a 20 percent match. The states then loaned the money to public water systems.

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“It is a state revolving fund loan,” said Goshen consultant Troy Hudson of Hudson Engineering.

Townships can apply for the loan and, in some cases, are forgiven the debt. The program focuses on helping small and disadvantaged communities provide safe, affordable drinking water.

Most Pike County residents will get new meters through the program. Each municipality applied for the loan. Brundidge applied for a $975,000 loan in April and South Alabama Electric has had upgraded meters for several years.

Brundidge’s system will allow the city to install a similar meter reader for its electric system. That system would use the same software and hardware as the water.

Troy will replace meters in stages over the next two years. Its system will include online features that will allow Troy residents to monitor and manage daily water usage.

Mayor Jason Reeves said the system would be a more efficient one for Troy and benefit its residents.

“We can remotely cut on and remotely cut off water,” he said. “They’ll be able to see what’s going on with their bill on a daily basis.”

City employees will install most of Troy’s meters. Goshen will take bids on the water meter project.

Because there will no longer be a need to visit homes and read meters, those positions will be eliminated. Troy has planned to place those employees in other departments.

Goshen has one employee with the responsibility of reading meters. Waller said that person would not lose his job because of the upgrade, “There’s always something for him to do.”