TPWA agrees to supply water to Rural Water District 16

Apr. 19—A rural water company that supplies service to several water systems around Tenkiller Lake has asked Tahlequah Public Works Authority to allow it to tap into TPWA's line.

Board President Paul Laney, and Daniel Napiel, manager of Cherokee County Rural Water Co. No. 16, presented the request to TPWA's board April 19.

"We have 137 taps at our plant near the TPWA's Tenkiller plant and we are requesting a 2-inch tap to your main line," Napiel said.

Minutes from the last two board meetings of the rural water company stated that members have been discussing connecting to TPWA. Part of the reason is the plant will have to be shut down for major repairs, and TPWA is the closest line to tap into.

"Our lines are about 10 feet away [from TPWA's line]," Napiel said. "We used to be Lake Region Electric, and Lake Region decided to donate their water systems to the county. So there are four small water plants on Tenkiller Lake — one of which is right next to your plant — and it is in bad repair."

General Manager Mike Doublehead told the board this contract would mirror all the other contracts with rural water companies.

The total membership of the four water companies under No. 16's management is 1,200, Napiel said.

"If this works well, we'd like to look at other possibilities in the future," Napiel said.

The tower is new, but the plant is very old, Napiel said. The board approved the contract.

Grand River Dam Authority presented information on the Advanced Metering Infrastructure system.

Mike Shook, the new manager of customer relations for GRDA, told the board about the process to integrate the new system into TPWA's electric infrastructure.

The benefit — from an electric standpoint — is the AMI system will cut down on missed electric reads and alert management of any outages when they occur. GRDA will finance the system, and the cost will be spread out over a period of time, added to customers' bills.

"Real-time data is huge with a mainline system, or if you had a situation where you were concerned about voltage at the end of the line," Shook said. "You would normally have to dispatch a truck and a line person."

Personnel would simply have to look at the computer at the last house on a line and find out the voltage, Shook said.

"So if the electricity goes out in my neighborhood, this system would notify them immediately that these meters are out," said Mark Gish, board member.

Shook said it will show how many meters are out of power, and they can isolate the outage.

"For our guests [attending this meeting], we are talking about a system that is centrally located, that we can virtually read the meters, and [it] ives us feedback from one site to all the meters," said Scott Wright, board chair.

The board agreed to the proposal to purchase the system for $155,768 from Tantalus. The system would be under warranty for 10 years.

"From the four vendors that GRDA selected, Tantalus can read the signal from the [water meters if they are added to the system later]," Doublehead said.

What's next

The next meeting is May 17 at 9 a.m., at the TPWA office at 710 W. Choctaw St.