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City Auditor’s Office makes recommendations to improve water meter testing processes

Post Date:05/28/2019 3:44 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2019
CONTACT: Douglas Jones, City Auditor, 816-513-3300

The City Auditor’s Office released an audit evaluating whether the Water Services Department appropriately tests and replaces 5/8” water meters (primarily for residential use) to ensure meter accuracy.

The audit concluded that although Water Services tests new meters, it does not follow some recommended practices for testing new meters. Samples of new meters the department chose for testing were not randomly selected and samples sizes were not large enough to draw conclusions about the accuracy of the entire shipment. Some new meter shipments were not tested and 47 new meters failed accuracy testing, but were installed.

The audit also determined that although Water Services tested meters pulled from service timely, it could improve how it tests the accuracy of these meters. The order in which the department performed the set of three tests does not follow recommended practices; some pulled meters were tested repeatedly, which could change a meter’s performance from what it was when in the field, and two pulled meters failed accuracy tests but were reported as passed.

Additionally, Water Services does not have a water meter replacement strategy. Meters have a limited life span and will deteriorate and lose peak efficiency over time. The American Water Works Association recommends establishing a replacement strategy based ongoing testing of meters in service.

The audit includes recommendations to improve water meter testing processes and develop a meter replacement strategy. Management agreed or partially agreed with most of the recommendations.

View the complete report online at the City Auditor’s website on KCMO.gov.

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