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Employees of the Logan water department and sanitary board pose for a photo with Mayor Serafino Nolletti, seated center, after signing the contract to install new state-of-the-art water meters in the city’s system.

LOGAN — Work will soon begin to replace all the city’s water meters after the project contract was signed by city officials last week.

Mayor Serafino Nolletti officially gave the green light to the contract with Fortiline Waterworks and Kamstrup Water Metering on Wednesday, March 24, to replace the aging water meters that fall within the city’s water system. Approximately 1,800 state-of-the-art meters will be installed that can be read almost instantly and can detect even the smallest of leaks.

Around 400 to 500 of those meters will be what Herb Staten, the city’s operations manager, calls “sonic meters,” which will monitor the distribution lines.

“When those meters ping, we’ll know where we’re going to start looking for water leaks and, hopefully, we’re going to be able to jump on those and minimize downtime for the customer and maximize our efficiency as far as making repairs,” Staten said.

Staten said the project has been on the city’s wish list for four years. City council voted last summer to get the project underway, and in February, funding for the project totaling $1.2 million was secured through a lease-purchase agreement with Bridgeport-based Country Roads Leasing, LLC.

“It’s a great step for the people that work for this town, the dedicated service that they give over the years,” Staten said. “It’s going to mean their jobs are going to be a lot easier. It’s going to help our customers. It’s going to help the water plant, as far as maintaining the water supply and quality of water.”

Staten said the project should start sometime in mid-April, and is estimated to be complete in August or September. He said customers will receive notices of the impending work and reminds residents not to worry if they see workers in their vicinity.

“When you see us out in the yard, you see some strange people, don’t fret, don’t worry, we’re just changing your water meter,” Staten said.

Staten also notes that some customers may see a rate increase due to the increased sensitivity of the new meters.

“The average customer is probably not going to see much of an increase,” Staten said. “Now, if you’ve got a pretty good-sized family, you’re probably going to notice it because, basically, our meters are slow right now, so you’re benefitting. This right here is going to flip it back to where we’re playing fair on a level playing ground. You’re actually going to be billed for the water that you’re using, so you may see a slight increase, or you may see a pretty good increase.

“We’re doing all this without going through the PSC (West Virginia Public Service Commission) and having rate increases and things like that,” Staten added.

HD Media news reporter Dylan Vidovich can be contacted via email at dvidovich@HDMediaLLC.com.

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