Looking Ahead in Updating Meters
Working with its own customers, and distributing water for three other utilities, the James Kimzey Regional Water District (KRWD) serves around 6,500 residential customers plus about 20 industrial users. That means pumping close to 80 million gallons each month, some of it to rural areas of Hot Spring County in Arkansas. Yet its meters were aging, and any failure could mean missing a leak, losing potential revenue, and wasting a valuable resource. The KRWD board wanted an upgrade that would help today and last into the future.

"I don't like to plan stuff or fix it for today, I want to look down the road," said Jeff Ford, KRWD's general manager. The board decided to move to new radio-read meters, which allow the meters to be efficiently read remotely and automatically. Core & Main offered them a solution with a 15-year warranty backed by excellent support.

Relationships Matter in Rural Arkansas
When KRWD was comparing meter vendors, Ford hoped his fellow board members would select Core & Main for the project. With a 30-year relationship with our company, he knew that Core & Main not only sells the right materials but also supports it after the sale. "They're just good people," he said. "You've got a whole team of people with Core & Main."

One of those team members is Josh F., a senior meter specialist at Core & Main.

"Arkansas's rural. We're spread out," he says. "So having that ability to read faster and farther, it really makes it a whole lot more efficient for these rural communities."

Manual reading of the old meters was time consuming and labor intensive and could open KRWD up to issues with misreads and human error. The new technology lets personnel be more efficient and better identify leaks in the system, which saves water, Ford said.
"It's just a benefit to Kimzey to get paid for what you produce," he said.

"Core & Main's value is having the products and the people ... there's somebody you can call every day to get help, to get an answer."

General Manager,
James Kimzey Regional Water District

KRWD has already seen a revenue increase in its first year with the new metering system.

"With the technology and equipment we have now, we're finding leaks every day," Ford said. "We have a responsibility to our customers to bill them fairly and provide them with water. We also have a responsibility to Kimzey to make sure we get the revenue of what we sell to keep this place running for the future."

Expanding With Confidence
"The No. 1 problem in the industry right now is water loss," Josh said. "Core & Main's part of our team, just as any other employee," Smith said.

"We count on them, and I've always appreciated the way they've approached that."
It's rewarding to change out a customer's meter system and see that water loss drop.

"We can drop that water loss sometimes below 20 percent when it was 30 to 40 to start off with," Josh said.

Water savings aren't the only reason Ford is happy he partnered with Core & Main. He says Josh is always available to answer any questions. Plus, he meets weekly with the KRWD team.

"If there are any issues, we get them right then, rather than six months down the road," Ford said. "Core & Main's value is having the products and the people. You've got the right product, and it's not a one-man show. There's somebody you can call every day to get help, to get an answer, which is good."
For Josh, this level of ongoing communication is just part of his work at Core & Main and having access to our CORE+ service offering.


Senior Meter Specialist,
Core & Main

"You've got to have that relationship," he said. "I'm from a small town, just like all these other people are. When we tell you we are local knowledge, local experience, local service, nationwide, we absolutely mean it."

With its service area expanding, Ford expects to continue partnering with Core & Main to avoid growing pains.

"We anticipated last year $80,000 in revenue from new services," he said. "We actually did closer to $170,000. It's a good thing but it keeps us pretty busy."

Having a high-quality metering system in place helps KRWD get the job done, without having to drive thousands of miles to check meters manually, Ford said.

"We want to keep the customers happy, provide them good water at a reasonable cost."