New water meters will be 'phenomenal' upgrade for Truesdale residents

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 6/9/23

These new meters will store 97 days worth of water usage data.

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New water meters will be 'phenomenal' upgrade for Truesdale residents


Truesdale is preparing to install new water meters for all of its customers during the next three years.

The city is hoping the work can be done sooner.

“Everything will be installed” by 2026, Public Works Supervisor Mark Bennett said. 

“I’m hoping that with me getting another worker next year as well, we can probably knock that out within two years, two-and-a-half tops.”

Right now, there are 377 active water meters in Truesdale

The current meters need to be replaced after about a million gallons, City Clerk Elsa Smith-Fernandez said during the May 24 board of aldermen meeting.

“We’re getting up there on some for sure,” she said. 

“I have to say at least a dozen are just hitting the mill right now.”

The new meters will last up to 20 years, Bennett said during the meeting.

The first 60 meters have been ordered. The city is using ARPA money to help pay for the new equipment.

These new meters will store 97 days worth of water usage data, and help both Truesdale and residents better pinpoint when leaks occur or when there’s other unexpectedly high water usage.

“There’s a lot of good information for the public, also,” Smith-Fernandez said.

Once the new meters are installed, water customers will be able to download an app and track their own usage.

The new meters can also be read automatically from as much as a mile away rather than having to hand read them as the public works team currently has to.

“Between actually going out and manually reading the meters and then the utility clerk having to enter in and then to go send the guys back out to check out high usages or no usages or anything that looks funny on there, it’s probably at least a day-and-a-half, if not a two day process,” Smith-Fernandez said.

Bennett  told Truesdale aldermen during the May 24 meeting that “I think it’s great that they don’t have to go into somebody’s property and check the meters.”

“It’s going to save an ungodly amount of time,” he said in an interview following the board of aldermen meeting.

Bennett said that some water meters are inside peoples homes. Bennett said the work inside a water customer’s home could take as little as half an hour.

The city is planning a public hearing later this summer to discuss what exactly city workers will need to do inside a Truesdale home when replacing the meters, but Bennett did say a resident could deny workers entry.

Bennett didn’t expect trouble, but said other cities have had issues getting homeowners to let them in to do the work.

There will be a cost, though, if a resident doesn’t let workers in.

If workers are denied entry, the city would have to put a meter pit outside. With labor, that could cost a homeowner about $2,500.

But Bennett assured the new meters are a good thing for Truesdale and its residents.

“It’s a phenomenal upgrade for the city. Phenomenal,” he said.

About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at

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