Humboldt City Council approved a request for purchasing new water meters to the tune of $200,000. The motion was passed at Monday’s City Council meeting. The meters are necessary replacements for a series of failed meters installed between 2004 and 2008. A report to the Council from Public Works stated that in 2018, the inventory of meters purchased in the four-year span were failing prior to the expiration of their 20-year warranties.  

When the City went back to the manufacturer to discuss a claim, the City secured a 40 percent discount on meters from the same manufacturer. At Monday’s Council Meeting, Director of Public Works Peter Bergquist explained the new generation of meters coming in will be more robust. The combination of better meters and attractive pricing led the City to consider returning to the vendor, Neptune Technologies. 

“We were one of the adopters of this brand of meter, and we were finding that the early generations were not as resilient as we hoped them to be,” explained Bergquist. “Many municipalities followed in later generations which seemed to be built a little bit better with the internals and the electronics. The new ones now are a better design.” 

The 50 to 80 failed meters observed by staff since 2018 prompted the contact with the manufacturer and the re-order. The order is for an additional batch of 457 which will meet needs now and into the immediate future. Bergquist explained that supply chain demands mean the meters will not likely arrive until later in 2024. The new order of meters does not account for new houses.  

The report says it's important to keep up with meter replacements to track volumes of water used against those purchased from SaskWater. The data received affects how public works staff go about looking for water losses in the city’s water piping system.