Milton council to introduce water meter resolution
Milton officials plan to introduce a resolution Monday, Aug. 21, that will facilitate the transition of all water meters to outside placement as part of the town’s years-long effort to update its water infrastructure.
According to the resolution, all residences with water meters located inside their homes will have two years to relocate them to an outdoor pit. Residents with an indoor meter must hire, and will be responsible for paying for, a licensed plumber to install the outdoor pit. Following the two-year grace period, the town will enforce compliance up to and including terminating water service for homes that do not comply.
Jimmy Kersey, the town’s water superintendent, said installing water meters inside customers’ homes was an old industry standard practice. The problem is that town staff must enter customers' homes to access/read meters, he said, and customers are sometimes not home during normal department operation times.
Kersey took over the water department after former Public Works Supervisor Greg Wingo left in February. Wingo’s duties were split between Kersey and Maintenance Supervisor Dan Donaway.
For Kersey, the most challenging part of managing Milton’s water meter system is dealing with the lack of as-built plans. Late last year and into 2023, the town was having accuracy problems with water meter readings.
Kersey said the problem was the meters had reached the end of their life cycle and were not working properly, forcing town staff to manually read meters. He said the most immediate needs for making Milton’s water system work better are additional employees and new meters.
The issue actually goes back to June 2019, when council approved a resolution stating that there were about 100 homes in Milton with water meters inside the house, either in mudrooms or basements. At the time, the cost of moving the meter outside was $3,000. The resolution was approved unanimously, and there was a similar two-year window for compliance. However, shortly into that window, in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down everything and enforcement of the resolution was put on hold.