City of Lake Charles begins upgrading 35K water meters

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 9:52 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The City of Lake Charles is working to harden infrastructure and improve the lives of its citizens. Monday the city began the smart water meter project, which will replace the current 75-year-old technology.

City officials say the new meters will transmit daily usage from homes and businesses directly to the city, allowing for more accurate meter reads.

“We had a couple of storms, a pandemic and an ice storm. One of the definite points that we saw that we could improve on was our water metering and billing system,” said Kevin Heise, City of Lake Charles Utilities Manager. “Going to a modernized water meter will really help our customers for accurate billing and delivery of our water.”

The smart meters do not have any rotary dials, and city officials say they are more reliable. They also detect leaks and loss of pressure in real time.

“We call them a smart water meter because they transmit the daily usage of the home or the business directly to the City of Lake Charles,” said Heise. “This also allows us from a control room standpoint to be much more proactive and see what’s going on in our system, rather than being a reactive system.”

The city contracted with Sustainability Partners, along with their subcontractor Utility Metering Solutions, to provide and install the meters.

“From start to finish, the project itself will take about 18 months to incorporate,” said Kimberly Dellafosse, Assistant City Administrator.

Homeowners do not need to be home for installations. Contractors will knock on doors and put door hangers out so residents will be aware of when installations will take place. Contractors will have identifiable trucks and will also be wearing a vest or uniform that identifies them as being a contractor for the City of Lake Charles.

“For a residential install, the process should take about an hour, and the resident should expect to be without water for a little bit less than an hour,” said Dellafosse.

Business owners will be contacted individually so the meter installer can schedule a time, allowing little interruption to their business.