The City of Howell is continuing a program to replace aging water meters.

City Council met recently and approved a proposal for the hardware and installation of new meters (Neptune T-10 pictured below) for a cost not to exceed $130,383. The Department of Public Services budgeted the meter change to complete the rest of routes in Ward 1, which includes all residential meters north of Grand River and east of Michigan Avenue. It’s known as the Piety Hill area and includes Clinton Street, East Clinton Street, Lake Street and Higgins Street. In 2018, staff underwent a lengthy process to determine a long term water meter solution as most of the water meters in the community are over 20 to 25 years old. Interim City Manager Erv Suida says it’s recommended they change out meters every 20 years because they start losing accuracy. He says a request for qualifications or an RFQ was developed last year and they looked at several different meter companies and products to determine what best fit the city’s needs as far as water meters and devices to read those meters. Suida says they’re at the stage where changing out the residential meters and have already done a lot of the larger commercial meters. He says a company, meters and reading devices were selected last year and a pilot study was done north of Thompson Lake, known as Route 1-N-A-5. The meters were installed by a contractor and Suida says they’ve been through roughly three billing cycles now and are very pleased with the product and how they’re working.

Suida says they’ll get a schedule together and notifications will be sent out to residents. He says they still have to order all of the meters and reading devices but estimates they’ll start moving in the next month. Installation from start to finish, if everything goes well, takes about 15 to 20 minutes on average. He said there could be some hiccups depending on how old the plumbing is in a given home but noted they were extremely impressed when the company did the installations north of Thompson Lake. Suida says it will probably take around two months to install the 375 meters but the contractor will make contact with residents and schedule appointments. He says they’ll try to be available as they can to help out and hopefully in two or three months that section of town will be complete. (JM)