Diboll to make water meter updates part of infrastructure investment

Diboll to make water meter updates part of infrastructure investment
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:45 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 9:54 PM CDT
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DIBOLL, Texas (KTRE) - Diboll city manager Jason Arnold says the city is only billing for 63 percent of the water being used due to outdated water meters that are well past the point of replacement.

“So, my neighbor might be one of them that the meter is still functioning very well and so they may be paying for every drop of water going through them,” Arnold said. “My meter, however, may be very old and is not reading the way it should, and so I haven’t been paying my part.”

Close to 1,500 water meters around the city need to be replaced. Arnold said water rates will not be raised, but some customers will see an increase in their water bill once the more accurate meters are in place. Arnold also says that on average, users with faulty meters can expect a $3.45 a month increase in their bill.

“We will coordinate with every customer, every house, every business and say, ‘Hey, your water meter is going to be replaced today, tomorrow, this week, letting everyone know what’s going on, so they will see our people out and about,” said Arnold. “It’s really hard to say how quick we are going to get them, but we are shooting for a year to be done with everything.”

The water meter replacements being done by the company PSI will be part of a $5.6 million investment that includes improving city HVAC systems, street repairs, and park lighting. Arnold says the city does not project a payment on the entire infrastructure investment until 2024, but that the project will eventually pay for itself entirely from the water revenue.

“The neat thing is the way the legislation is written, it allows you to take care of other long-term projects,” said Arnold. “It’s got to be a minimum life of 20 years. So again, you are getting your money’s worth. You’re getting a bang for your buck.”

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