The Department of Water Supply is beginning a project to replace small water meters and upgrade aging meters within the County’s domestic water system. The meter replacement is free of additional charge to customers.
The project is expected to last four years and replace an estimated 26,000 meters that are 2 inches or less in size. The first year of the project is scheduled to begin this month in Waikapu and continue throughout Wailuku, Waihee and Paia.
Professional Meters Inc. has been awarded the contract for the removal of existing meters and new water meter installation work. PMI completed work on a similar project with the County of Kauai in 2008-09, and it has installed hundreds of thousands of water meters for counties and municipalities all across the United States over the past twenty years.
PMI will also be installing new cellular transponders on all water service meters. These new transponders will allow DWS to read customer water meters remotely by using existing cell tower infrastructure and will also allow customers to create an online account and view their own water usage in real time over the internet.
“We are excited about these upgrades to the system and know that it will give our customers more information about their own water use and will also make meter reading more efficient for the department,” Department of Water Supply Director Jeff Pearson said.
Customers will be notified in advance by mail of work in their area. Additional project information will be available on the DWS website at mauiwater.org and through public service announcements.
“Typically it will take the water meter installer approximately 15 minutes to put in a new meter,” Pearson said. “As a result, interruption of customer water service should be very brief.”
The second year of the project is expected to include Kahului and Lahaina service areas.
Small meter installations will occur between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, (except County holidays). Customers will not need to be present during the installation process.
Director Pearson reminds all customers that “meters must be accessible and should not be blocked by bushes, vines, equipment or other materials.”
If a meter is located behind a fence or gate or in an area that is difficult to access, PMI will provide customers with a call-in number to make an appointment and arrangements for the necessary work to be completed.
“We want this project to be as seamless as possible for our customers and want to thank them in advance for their cooperation and assistance,” Pearson said.