DeKalb reaches settlement to replace thousands of defective water meters

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The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners has approved an $8.64 million settlement with the manufacturer that supplied 47,500 defective water meters that caused widespread billing problems in the county. 

Commissioners approved the settlement with Sensus USA at its Aug. 21 meeting.   

County officials say the iPerl water meters installed between 2011 and 2015 had a manufacturing defect. 

Sensus USA and Kendall Supply Inc. have agreed to deliver and install 30,000 radio devices that transmit real-time customer water consumption data and reprogram 17,500 previously installed radio transmitters.

The approximately $8.64 million in equipment, installation and reprogramming services breaks down as follows:

• Delivery and installation of 47,000 new Accustream meters: $4.75 million 

• Delivery and installation of 30,000 radio transmitters: $2.46 million 

• Reprogramming 17,500 previously installed radio transmitters: $1.43 million 

“I would like to acknowledge the new executive leadership team at Sensus for engaging in good faith negotiations,” said DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond. “The removal of all water meters with an increased propensity for malfunctioning will help restore public trust and significantly improve customer service.”

Between 2011 and 2015, the DeKalb Department of Watershed Management purchased and installed approximately 50,000 iPerl water meters, manufactured prior to 2014. The county believes these meters contained a manufacturing defect. 

All iPerl meters installed during that four-year span will be replaced with new Accustream water meters. The Accustream meters are engineered to eliminate premature wear and designed to be compatible with the county’s radio transmitting Advanced Metering Infrastructure.

Since January 2018, the Department of Watershed Management has installed or replaced more than 12,000 new meters. The county will replace approximately 102,000 meters which includes the 47,500 iPERL meters and 54,000 meters that have outlived product lifespan.

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