Port Orange Water Meter Leaks
Mr. Harden ….
During the morning hours on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 we noticed that the water to our house was off. I then found a hang tag on our front door knob indicating that a meter reader had shut off our water due to an unusually high reading on the meter.
In a followup phone call that I made to the utilities emergency phone number, I was advised that the water billing computer program had flagged an anomaly on my meter readings and a meter reader was sent to investigate. I was also told he had found a leak within the water meter box and, thus, shut the water off to the house.
Apparently a smaller leak of about 3k started last month and advanced to a 33k gallon water loss in the past few weeks. Because the leak was fully constrained within the water meter pit it had gone unnoticed.
This meter location was one of the zero read meters of the past, and the meter was replaced about 18 months ago.
You do not need to be an engineer to observe the reason for this water leak. (Attached are some images of the point of failure for this leak) In viewing the pit, it was obvious the replacement water meter assembly was installed at a slightly skewed angle. Due to the skewed angle, stresses were introduce to the cross section of the installed assembly Then, because the meter assembly is somewhat monolithic consisting of steel and brass with an ultimate tensile strength greater than 500 (MPa), it would be obvious that the PVC connectors @ 5 (MPa) at either end of the yoke were destined to be the point of any failure. Although the skew angle of the install was not great enough to cause an immediate failure, the stresses induced made the failure predestined over a period of time.
At this point in time I do not feel that the poor installation of this meter was part of any retribution due to my Blog site’s (www.port-orange.us) unfavorable publications & comments about the water meter debacle’s of the past few years. Most likely it was the result of the expedited program to replace as many meters in the ground as fast as possible.
In view of the above, would you kindly take what ever action is necessary, to have the water billing division reverse any charges on my account resulting from this water meter leak.
I do not recall our water meter reading every exceeding 3k per month in the past.
Patrick & Elizabeth Nelan
412 Oak River Drive
Port Orange, F 32127
One thought on “Port Orange Water Meter Leaks”
You write a great letter. Literate. Technical but with an explanation even I could grasp. Why the meter installation failed. I get it. Your quote below:
“In viewing the pit, it was obvious the replacement water meter assembly was installed at a slightly skewed angle. Due to the skewed angle, stresses were introduced to the cross section of the installed assembly Then, because the meter assembly is somewhat monolithic consisting of steel and brass with an ultimate tensile strength greater than 500 (MPa), it would be obvious that the PVC connectors @ 5 (MPa) at either end of the yoke were destined to be the point of any failure. Although the skew angle of the install was not great enough to cause an immediate failure, the stresses induced made the failure predestined over a period of time.”
Seems that the City of Port Orange is having particularly bad statistical luck with their various installation and construction failures lately with regard to the exact property owners/”investors” who are providing lots of that unwanted “scrutiny” so decried by a certain high level elected official in Port Orange.
What are the chances that there would be an a failed water meter installation at Pat Nelan’s home that was a replacement of a failed zero read meter and a “road failure” in front of Mike Gardner’s driveway? All with in about a week of each other. In our case, a failure that probably resulted from the flooding of September 24th, 2014, exacerbated by the failure of the $2.9 million dollar flood mitigation project combined with a construction failure by Masci Corporation on Ruth Street. Lots of “failure” here. (Must be hell on staff and vendors to keep having to “do it over”. It boggles the mind.)
However when you contemplate the decades of mismanagement, that we finally learned about in 2012 , across virtually all departments, then I guess chances are probably pretty damned good for any home owner to have these kinds of problems at some point in time.
So back to “scrutiny”……guess that seems to be a very reasonable response to me when you “notice” your water is turned off and then you are told that there is 33K gallon water loss in the past few weeks on your property. Much like Mike and me when we almost dropped a front wheel in the “road failure” right in front of our driveway. Now I have a really ugly large rectangular patch where brand new asphalt used to be. All this of course coming right after the recent flood in my neighborhood. Yes..one notices.
I know, no doubt, some on this blog, like “Onlooker” will consider this just more negativity. Sorry guys….. I’m with Andy.
Andrew Giannini, P.E. for Quentin L. Hampton, states in his memo to Masci Corporation about the road failure in front of my driveway and elsewhere on Ruth Street…. and I quote: “This is not comforting as you know as well as we do that there is possibly some other source of a leak or void that caused the road to fail.” Sadly, I get that too.
Good luck Pat with your requested “adjustment” and your new meter.
Thanks for all you do with this great blog.
Dianne Templeton Gardner
618 Ruth Street
Port Orange, Florida 32127