Monday, June 2, 2014

My Efficient Water Company

My efficient water company, Moulton Niguel Water, left me this notice on my door last Friday:
I was concerned because I thought I'd have zero water from 8am to 3pm.  So Sunday I began  making more ice, filling the Britta pitcher, Nalgene bottles, hiking water bottles, cat water dishes.  Since I work at home and I didn't want to be "without water" I was trying to be prepared.  I recalled how last Friday, all along my street, there were 3 or 4 MNW company trucks with flashing lights, multiple crews, they were working on my neighbor's meter across the street, and it seemed to take most of the entire day that I was working for them to get done.  I asked a supervisor what they were doing: "upgrading meters, going to digital".  Ok.

So I was very surprised when at 830am this morning, there as a knock at my door.  I found a water company employee standing there, and I asked "how long will the water be off?"
"Ten minutes" was his reply.  Wow...   just 10 minutes!   So I slipped on some shoes, and watched as he efficiently removed the old cast iron body analog turbine driven meter that was 30 years old.  He replaced with a plastic body digital meter that can be read from the street with a RF signal.  The batteries last 20 years, and the accuracy of the new meter is 2X better (.05 gallons, vs .1 gallons per minute) so slow leaks can be observed (and billed for) more accurately.   Supposedly the new meter relies "on magnets" to sense the water coming through the straight pass through the middle of the meter (I could see clear through, no obstructions).

A small army of crickets came rushing out of the meter's enclosure when the old meter was disconnected and some water trickled out.  I asked the technician if he's ever seen scorpions or snakes in the enclosures, and he admitted to seeing snakes and tarantulas, but never a scorpion, though his colleague had picked up a meter with a scorpion on it and was not aware he'd almost been stung.  New gaskets installed, fittings tightened, and the water was back on.  Very impressive, very efficient, very friendly service providers.

If only my internet provider (Cox), Direct TV, gas company (The Gas Company, literally), and power company (San Diego Gas & Electric) were that efficient!   The CR&R trash pick up is fast, friendly, and efficient...   I guess 2 out of 6 is better than zero out of six...  and I don't live in the 17th or 13th centuries, as billions of people in the world do today.

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