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The four districts shows in yellow are where the new radio reading water meters have been installed in Rockdale County. The new meters make reading them quicker and more efficient that the older meters. Rockdale Water Resources is looking to begin installing more of the new meters in districts 1 and 3 soon.

CONYERS — Following the completion of a new 4-million gallon ground water tank at the Gees Mill Water Treatment Plant, Rockdale County could have approximately $3.45 million left in its 2011 special purpose local option sales tax for future water projects.

The Rockdale County SPLOST Water Subcommittee received the good news about the funding surplus at its quarterly meeting Monday afternoon at the South Precinct of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.

Rockdale Water Resources acting director Dr. Terrell Gibbs advised the members that the water tank project is 97% complete and that the tank has already been in service for about two months.

“The only item we’ve been working is making sure the air modulator valve on it is regularly pumping so that more air than needed is not finding its way inside the tank,” Gibbs said. “The more air in the tank, the less water capacity we have.

“From a budget standpoint, we’re around 80% of the budget, but 97% complete on construction,” he said. “We’re doing the final walk through and punch list soon. I expect us to be about $1.7 million under budget for the project.”

Coupled with savings on other projects, that leaves about $3.45 million in the 2011 SPLOST for other water projects. RWR is in the midst of a water distribution system modeling which will give them an idea of how the system is looking and what needs to be worked on. The excess funding could then be directed toward needed projects.

In other business, Gibbs advised the subcommittee that the installation of radio read water meters is 98% complete in RWR District 2. The new meters are able to be read from a vehicle much more quickly than a meter reader having to get out of a vehicle, go to the meter and read it. Cost of the installation is covered in the 2017 SPLOST.

Currently, of the eight billing districts in the county, districts 2, 4, 5, and 6 have had the radio read meters installed. Gibbs stated that they are looking at installing the new meters in districts 1 and 3 next.

He added that since the project began, an update has been made that will allow the meters to be read even quicker. Currently a meter reader has to stop his or her vehicle to allow the water meter to be read electronically. With the new update, the meters can be read as the vehicle drives by them, rather than having to stop. Gibbs said the update will cost $160,000 and can be covered by the 2017 SPLOST funds.

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.

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