The Knox Water Department has been dealing with frozen water meters this winter, although the number of meters changed has not reached last year’s totals.
Superintendent Todd Gardner told the Board of Public Works this week that freeze plates break when temperatures are cold, and Gardner stocked up after last year’s cold winter. He said crews typically will repair 15 to 20 freeze plates, but last year the number shot up to 120.
“They’re plastic. They’re meant to break so they don’t break the brass meters. We take them apart and clean them up and put them back together,” said Gardner.
Gardner said he’s been in contact with the company that the meters came from as they are having problems with the chambers.
“There’s a chamber inside of them that spins and the magnets come off. It benefits the customers because it just doesn’t record any water they use. We have to go out and repair them.”
The company has started doing upgrade programs, and a new style meter with a new chamber has been issued. Gardner said the company will assist the city in the trouble they are having.
“I think they’re going to give us a chamber for every meter we have in our system with the new style. What’s going to happen is we’re going to run out of our warranty period, and we still have this ongoing issue. It’s pretty huge for us. It’s about $30,000-$40,000 worth of material.”