POTTSVILLE -- The water company in Schuylkill County is warning the owners of nearly 1,000 homes and businesses they could lose their water soon because they haven't had their water meters upgraded--a requirement by the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority.
The authority says it's contacted customers more than a few times. They don't want customers to lose water because of this free service to upgrade their water meters.
The Schuylkill County Municipal Authority and a contractor are replacing older model water meters in 11,000 homes and businesses county-wide.
"We are certainly not in the business of turning people's water off, for sure. This project is not only to help the authority but also help the consumer and the customer," said executive director Patrick Caulfield.
The $1.1 million project to replace the meters began last April. Since then Lenegan Plumbing and Heating has replaced most water meters but still have 1,000 customers left.
Schuylkill County Municipal Authority officials say they've sent at least four different notifications.
"The primary purpose of the project is to get an accountability of the water," Caulfield explained.
Instead of going door to door to check on water meters, the SCMA can now use radio signals to check out water pressure in these new meters.
Jeremy Smith has worked as a meter technician for 12 years. The meters make his job checking how much water people use and keeping track of water pressure much easier.
"When I first started we used to walk the entire route so we were doing 1,800 homes within three to five days, depending on weather. Now we can do 300, 400 meters within a few seconds," said Smith.
Edward Lindenmuth tells Newswatch 16 he hasn't replaced his water meter yet because of scheduling but plans to before the June 7 deadline.
"They said it's supposed to be easier for them to read and more efficient saving time."
Bar and restaurant owner Peter Scopa says the replacement process was quick.
"They do it electronically. They read the meter every month. They don't even have to go inside. Mine's downstairs in my basement. They came knocking on my door saying the meter was working properly, came in and replaced it and boom, done!" said Scopa.
Customers who still haven't scheduled to receive their new meters have until June 7 to contact Lenegan Plumbing and Heating.
After that, the authority is going to shut off your water at a cost of $100. Then it will be $100 to get it back on.