Editor's Note: This article was written in response to a question submitted through Open Source. A Mansfield reader asked about the safety issue with workers coming into their home to replace water meters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
MANSFIELD -- Slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Mansfield's citywide water meter replacement program is progressing, according to Public Works Director Dave Remy.
Some residents have raised questions about workers coming into their homes during the process while the coronavirus is still present in the community.
Remy said Friday the companies involved in the effort are taking precautions and following established protocols.
"The contracted company for the meter replacement project is Suez, a global expert in water and wastewater services," Remy said. "It is working in conjunction with a company called Aclara Technologies, a major supplier of smart infrastructure solutions for metering, monitoring, communications and customer engagement for utility providers."
Remy said Aclara Smart Grid Solutions (SGS) is doing the installation or meter change-outs. Both Suez and Aclara/SGS have implemented rigid protocol to comply with any COVID-19 protection mandates or guidelines, he said.
"All personnel are to wear masks and protective gloves at all times when interacting with customers and during installation," Remy said. "Installation equipment is sanitized on a regular basis."
There should be no doubt who the worker is knocking on the door, either.
"All installers are driving trucks marked with Aclara/SGS markings," Remy said. "All installers have identification tags that are to be clearly visible and viewable by customers."
The public works director said city water customers should be receiving mailers or door hangers that ask them to call a number to schedule a replacement appointment.
"In preparation for a meter replacement, customers should clear a path to and surrounding the current meter; arrange for an adult 18 years or older to be present during the installation process; and, check for the Aclara/SGS installer ID badge," Remy said.
The water will be temporarily shut off during the replacement and there is no charge for the new meter, which should take 30 minutes to an hour to replace.
To set up an appointment to have a meter replaced, a customer should call 1-877-642-6633.
Questions concerning the meter replacement program should be directed to utility collections at 419-755-9787 or the public works director at 419-755-9628.