Mayor Cyril Kleem
The City of Berea’s Water Department has around 6,900 residential and commercial customers. In 2006, approximately 2,700 homes and businesses received new, high tech water meters. This year, the City plans to replace the meters in the remaining 4,000 homes and businesses. The meters installed 10 years ago will be updated.
The meters to be replaced are, in most cases, more than 50 years old. We can replace them as they fail, which would be costly, or save money by replacing them all at one time. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk. The new meters also are more accurate. They will be installed along with a meter transmitting unit, which will automatically send readings to the city on a daily basis. If there is a problem, such as a water leak in your home, the City Water Department will know about it almost immediately. Right now, your meters are manually read once a quarter by a City employee, who visits every home and business. If there is a concern, it might not be spotted for months. Under the new system, there will no need for the water meter reader to visit your home.
The new system will also allow the City to send water bills monthly instead of quarterly. This will help homeowners to budget finances. We also predict this will lower the number of delinquencies.
The project is being paid for by a $1.7 million loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority. To help pay back the loan and save for future enhancements, $2 will be added to customers’ water bills each month. Provisions will be made to assist those residents for whom the extra charge is a burden.
Installation should begin this spring. Homeowners and businesses will be called to set up an appointment. The project is scheduled to be complete before the end of the year.
We all will benefit from this new program. Meter readings will be more accurate and problems will be detected at an early stage. The meters will bring 21st century technology to the Water Department and make it more effective and efficient.