DeKalb County replaces faulty water meters

The Sensus Accustream water meter will be installed in DeKalb County because some Sensus iPerl meters were malfunctioning.
The Sensus Accustream water meter will be installed in DeKalb County because some Sensus iPerl meters were malfunctioning.

A different kind of water meter is being installed in DeKalb County after meter malfunctions led to high bills.

The county recently spent $96,000 to buy 960 AccuStream model water meters, which will be used when old meters break and at newly built properties.

The AccuStream meters will be installed instead of iPerl model water meters, which in some cases recorded water consumption inaccurately when rainwater or other moisture got inside. Both models are made by Sensus.

Hundreds of residents have been protesting extreme water bills and pressuring county officials to fix the problem.

The DeKalb Commission voted in October to suspend installation of the iPerl meters in an effort to reduce billing inaccuracies.

“The only meters we have in stock are iPerl smart water meters, but this order of AccuStream meters gives us an alternative as the moratorium continues,” said DeKalb Chief Operating Officer Zach Williams in a statement Monday.

About 70,000 iPerl meters have been installed across the county since 2011. Meters manufactured before July 2014 have been malfunctioning when water touches sensitive equipment, resulting in erratic readings.

Unlike the iPerl meters, the AccuStream models use positive displacement technology to measure water consumption. The iPerl meters measure volume by electromagnetic flow technology.

County officials haven’t decided on a permanent water meter type. A new water meter contract will be awarded next year after a competitive bidding process.

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