• 54°

Hecla Water to take on Lawrence customers

Rural water system to be upgraded

 

Beginning in May, Lawrence Water Corporation customers will be served by the Hecla Water Association.

For the past two months, Lawrence Water officials had talks with Hecla officials about merging the two companies, citing issues with keeping operation costs down.

Lawrence Water was organized in the 1980s to serve about 600 rural customers. Since then, it has grown to serve more than 2,000.

Hecla serves about 10,000 customers.

“Lawrence Water has reached an agreement with Hecla Water. In the agreement, Hecla Water will assume all Lawrence Water customers along with the distribution system,” according to a release from Hecla.

“Lawrence Water management took every step possible to keep the system going. However, to give their customer’s the best possible service, they brought Hecla Water in to help.”

In the next week, Lawrence Water customers will receive information about the transition in the mail. Their offices will conduct business as usual until May, after which time it will close.

Hecla Water has made plans for a system upgrade that will take about a year.

Upgrades include replacing pumps and motors in the booster stations, residential meters where needed and installing leak detection meters.

Tony Howard, general manager for Hecla, said once upgrades are implement, customers would begin to see fewer outages and quicker response time on repairs and eventually, lower bills.

According to the release, no changes in rates are expected for Hecla customers, but rates for those served by Lawrence Water are expected to be gradually reduced once the water system is upgraded and in place.