Columbus Water Works prepares for upgrade to meters - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus Water Works prepares for upgrade to meters

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - 65,000 customers Columbus residents can expect an upgrade from their water company on Thursday.

A major 10-year technology upgrade has been announced at Columbus Water Works. The $8.4 million upgrade includes a monthly Automated Meter Reading to collect meter data from your home or business. Phase 1 of automated meter reading began Thursday.

Columbus Water Works is using a new-drive by technology, changing the way your water meters are read. The upgrade will cost you but it will help you save money in the end.

The days of manually reading your meter are almost gone. 

"The meter reader simply has a device in his truck, drives by, it picks up the reads from the meters wireless," said Vic Burchfield.

As the meter reader drives through your neighborhood, this new way of reading will help to catch leaks and other plumbing issues faster.

"This is part of our improvements for customer service overall for our customers. We are putting in a customer information system," Burchfield added. 

The billing period will also change from 60 days to 30 days. Because of the month to month automated meter reading, you'll see a one-time increase of about $30 on your bill in April or May.

"Because there is a catch-up period for the previous 30 days of usage. The previous bill was based on a split in the previous 60 days. Now with the 30 days cycle the customer will be billed on the actual 30 days as usage," said Burchfield.

Customer will see the automated readers installed over the next years,

"The customer will see a white disk, that is on top of the meter lid. If they see that, they have a new automated meter," said Burchfield.

Columbus ranks as one of the lowest when it comes to water rates.

"This new technology installed helps us to keep our water rates low as compared to communities and municipalities," said Vic Burchfield.

Right now 51 percent of the city of Columbus has the new automated meter readers installed.

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