Summerdale, AL, a town recently impacted by Hurricane Ida, is considering upgrading their collection system meters by using received funds from the American Rescue Act Plan, in which they received $399,000. Funds may only be allocated for certain items, with water being one of them.
The town currently has 760 meters, with new residential subdivisions on the way, increasing the need for water meters. Summerdale currently has an old model that requires employees to manually read meters.
Civil Southeast will be assisting the town with the switch, “We’ll be looking to switch what you currently have in the ground to one of the new technology meters, whether it be a drive-by system or a system where you push a button and all the readings come to town hall. We’re going to start working up some different ways to pay for that, and will hopefully use the American Rescue Plan Act if that’s something the council decides,” says engineer Alan Killen.
A flow meter upgrade would be monumental for the town, allowing the Public Works Department to focus their much-needed attention on other areas. Smart metering would also save readings from errors and unnecessary costs as a result of those errors.
In addition to a meter upgrade, funds could be used to purchase a long-range water system from Fabre Engineering & Surveying. The town previously looked into purchasing one, but at the time, the cost was too high, while other projects took priority.
Mayor David Wilson says of the likely upgrade, “I think this will cover obtaining that plan, and I think we should move forward with that…We need to in a very short time address our connection fees and our rates for water service, which I don’t think have changed in five years.”