voted Tuesday night to replace 809 defective residential water meters that were supposed to last 30 years but crapped out after just two.
In the springtime, about 500 of the meters—manufactured by the company, Severn Trent—were reported broken, said Tom Staunton, chairman of the Public Works Committee. But since then, an additional 300 have failed.
The committee approved an addition to the original $37,460 contract that was granted to Calumet City Plumbing to repair the first 500, Staunton said. They did so by tacking $18,355 onto that contract, bringing the total cost to $55,815 and allowing them to fix all 809 that aren't working.
Elster, the company that has taken over for Severn Trent, has agreed to uphold the original meters' warranties and provide new, free meters in their place, officials said. The village will pay about $33 per meter which is the fee for installation only.
"We shouldn't see this type of failure in the future," Public Works Director Dale Schepers said, adding that the replacement meters will be warrantied for 15-20 years and are expected to last 30. "(Elster is) standing behind this product even though they didn't manufacture it and they're providing their better product as a replacement."
Elster also granted the village a $30,000 reimbursement for the project, according to board documents. The total budget available for repairs was $195,000. But with reimbursements and warranties, the total cost will come in at $55,815—$139,815 under budget.
"There could be more (broken meters) out there," Schepers said. "As additional claims are processed through, there could be opportunities for further reductions."