Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LAKE VIEW — Faced with a relatively large discrepancy between the water it treats and readings on meters, the City of Lake View is considering a variety of measures, including a possible move to automated meters.

The council discussed the matter again Monday night and plans more sessions on it.

Lake View City Administrator Scott Peterson said there’s no mystery to the problem. Many of the 900 meters in the city’s water system are simply old.

“A lot of them are very much outdated,” Peterson said.

He added, “They are pretty darn old.”

As the city looks to replace the meters, one solution is to place auto-read devices at homes and businesses. Water-consumption data would be sent through radio transmission to the city.

Currently, Lake View’s three electric utility and three water department personnel read water meters once a month in a process that takes about a day and a half, Peterson said.

Peterson said the 40 percent water-loss rate — the difference between the treatment volume and meter-recorded use — should be far lower. A 20 percent loss is considered a goal, Peterson said.

Lake View even has some meters that aren’t working at all, meaning the city water department has to estimate how much water is used based on the occupancy of a structure and other factors.

“That’s not very scientific,” Peterson said.

Peterson said more data on the possible meter changes will emerge in coming council meetings. There is no firm timetable for meter replacements. It could be accomplished as one large project or staged, Peterson said.