‘Final Request’ letters to go out to 121 Oswego homes still in need of a water meter replacement

Some residents may face a water shutoff if they don’t schedule an appointment with village soon.

There’s only a few hundred water meters left in the village of Oswego that need to be replaced, and some residents may be facing a shutoff if they don’t schedule an appointment soon.

Village staff updated the village board on the status of its ongoing effort to replace 12,174 water meters throughout the village during the board’s Aug. 3 committee of the whole meeting.

The village began to replace its commercial, industrial and residential meters in the fall of 2018, after the board approved a four-year contract for more than $2.7 million with Water Services Company, a memo from Assistant Public Works Director Timothy Zasada explained. To date, the village has paid $1.9 million for the replacement of 11,929 meters, leaving 245 to go.

After repeated attempts to make contact, 121 residences have not responded to the village to schedule their installation.

As as result, Zasada wrote, village staff will take necessary steps to “force all remaining accounts to comply.”

A “Final Request for Meter Change” letter drafted by staff will be delivered by mail to each of the 121 residences, explaining they will be given 14 days from receipt of the letter to schedule an appointment to have their meters replaced, or have their water service shut off - an action allowed after receiving a written request according to village code.

No fees will be charged for the shut off or for restoring water service.

When explaining the purpose of the new meters, Zasada wrote, “The purpose of this program is to ensure that we can accurately measure the water used, and bill accordingly.”

The supplier of the village’s old meters, Zasada continued, “is no longer manufacturing or supporting the equipment, and a large percentage of the equipment is more than 15 years old.

“With the new software, the Village can obtain accurate, detailed, and timely consumption data for all our accounts, including the ability to monitor for leaks, backflow, no flow, and equipment malfunctions.”

Prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Water Services department was responsible for working directly with residents to schedule a date and time to install new meters.

As the pandemic spread and shutdowns began, “some residents requested to postpone installment until the pandemic was under control,” Zasada explained, adding that 124 residences were placed onto a COVID-19 deferral list.

“All of Water Services employees have full vaccination status and the State of Illinois has moved into Phase 5, so Staff feels there is now minimal risk to the residents,” he continued.