Hoping to save on costs, officials in Western Alaska's most populated city are looking into whether new meters should be installed, hoping that doing so could more accurately determine how much water is being used by homeowners and places of business.
The Bethel City Council passed a motion that would have staff member’s research what the prices would be to have new water meters put in place, analyzing both the cost of the meters themselves and what labor charges would be, according to KYUK.
Joe Klejka, mayor of Bethel, told the news source the main reason the town is looking into the matter is not because the price of water is expensive, but rather the way in which it's delivered.
"The cost driver is delivery systems, by far, the majority," said Klejka.
There are many forms of water meters that can be used. However, what the city is particularly interested in is electronic meters. Kleja indicated, according to KYUK, that electronic meters are known to be more efficient and operate on their own, so it would help avoid costs associated with manpower.
Automated forms of water meters - specifically, smart meters - have gained a following over the years. One of the reasons why, according to USA Today, is because they help drive down costs for those that use them, as they don't require manual labor when they need to be read. Additionally, supporters say that residents can cut down on their utility bills, as they enable people to conserve water by tracking how much they use. Usage can be monitored through online resources.
Though highly touted by water conservation experts, there are those who are opposed to them, believing that the benefits they provide - such as tracking water use - is not something most people do, USA Today reported.
SOURCE: Master Meter, Inc.