$2 million state grant to help Long Beach replace water meters with smart technology

John Asbury for Newsday

December 28, 2021

Originally published in Newsday on December 28, 2021.

Long Beach is planning to replace all of its water meters in the city with a smart water meter system using a $2 million state grant.

The smart meter technology, known as AMI or advanced metering infrastructure, will help reduce water loss throughout the city, state officials said.

Long Beach city officials said replacing the entire city’s meter system will cost about $6 million and the city plans to seek additional state and federal grants for water quality and conservation.

The new system will allow the city to track water usage through a central database in real time on a computer system to look for leaks in the city-run water department.

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) filed a grant application for the city in July under the green innovation grant program.

"The current water meter technology in the City of Long Beach is outdated and inefficient, which leads to unnecessary water loss and inaccurate billing," Kaminsky wrote in support of the grant. "Water conservation is critical to ensuring adequate water availability and for the sustainability of the Lloyd Aquifer, the city of Long Beach’s only source of drinking water."

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced funding for Long Beach as one of 17 projects covered by $20.9 million in state funding and is part of the $750 million announced for Round XI of the Governor's Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

"To improve water quality for communities across New York, we must take action to ensure the resiliency of our infrastructure," Hochul said in a statement. "These grants remove the financial barriers for local governments to invest in critical water infrastructure projects. New York will continue to prioritize funding for low-income communities and expand access to clean water, supporting our state's economic growth and improving public health."

Long Beach follows New York American Water’s plan to replace all of its 126,500 meters with smart meters for $40.8 million through 2025 as it transitions to the Liberty Water Company.

The city also received $2.794,688 in interest-free financing last month with Nassau County to replace the city’s wastewater and water pollution control plant by converting into a pump station.

The city’s pump station is part of countywide plan to spend $80 million, including state funding and $66 million in county bonds, to build a pipeline and transfer 5 million gallons of raw sewage per day to be treated at Bay Park and then transferred to Cedar Creek in Wantagh.