Loan authorized for upgrading water meter modules

The Cannon Beach City Council authorized a loan Tuesday that will pay for upgrading the town’s water meter modules, which will allow users to keep track of their water usage remotely using a smart device, according to the city.

“The project will replace end of life manual meter modules and retrofit remaining meters with registers and/or batteries compatible with updated Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) Software,” as stated in the staff report.

The city is borrowing $624,150 from the Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund financed by the Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority, of which it is “eligible for $322,075 of principal forgiveness and an interest rate of 1 percent for the remaining balance over 20 years,” the report states.

“There is NO CHARGE to the customer for this change out or use of the software, and when we begin the change out of the modules, we will assist the residents in getting their accounts set up (it’s optional of course),” said Karen La Bonte, city public works director.  “So many people worry about leaks in their homes when they are on vacation … This software will allow them to monitor their water every minute of the day if they choose!”

La Bonte said the city will “change out” 1,750 meter modules. The module “is the piece of the meter that measures the water that flows through the meter.” The new modules will also “improve the man hours associated with reading meters…  

“The software that comes with the new modules allows (customers) to go online and set up an account that will not only show them their consumption by the hour, but also set up alerts that will text or email them if the system detects water running without a break over a period of time (they set the parameters) which would indicate a possible leak or a running toilet (stuck flapper etc).”

She said the city plans to start the project in about four months and completion of the meter module change is estimated to take 45 to 60 days.

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