DELCAMBRE, La. (KLFY) – The Town of Delcambre is having some problems with its new water meter system. Residents are accidentally breaking the new meters that were recently installed in their yards. The new system is in place to make sure everyone pays their fair share.
The meters measure how much water is used, and to accurately charge customers.
“It’s like anything. It’s a piece of equipment installed in your yard,” said Town of Delcambre Public Works Supervisor Homer Stelly, “I wish everyone would understand. You need to take care of it. You need to not break it, because that’s where it was installed.”
The town used to charge a flat rate for water, $22.50 per month, regardless of how much water was used. Stelly says the water business started getting expensive. A few years ago, the town got a sizable loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to put in the meters. 950 water meters have been installed in the ground all across town over the past two years.
“People are running them over with the lawnmower and breaking them. It’s costing more money to maintain the water in their residence. We’re trying to alert everybody in the Town of Delcambre about these meters,” said Stelly.
Stelly says approximately 40 meters have been damaged, since they were installed. Stelly says people run them over with their lawnmower.
When a meter is damaged, the cost of replacement or repair is passed on to the customer. That could cost up to $1,000 per meter.
“Most of the cost is $50 for the cover. $200 for the end point. Another $200 for the digital reading. Then, the brass meter is the most, about $600,” said Stelly.
Stelly says a payment plan to pay for a damaged meter can be requested by customers at town hall. He also says the town is happy to help locate the water meter on a customer’s property.