Where Have All Jackson’s Harper Meter Covers Gone?

A month or two ago, I realized that my dear old sturdy Jackson-born-and-bred Harper water meter cover had been replaced by a cheap plastic classless top. I thought this was the end-stage of a $91 million water meter replacement contract the City of Jackson has with Siemens to . . . blah, blah, blah, I have no idea how many water meters $91 million should buy me or why we’re spending $91 million on water meters when it’s the pipes in the road that keep breaking. (The Northside Sun recently ran an informative article , October 23, about this project that indicates contractors are “about a third of the way through” replacing the estimated 65,000 water meters in the city. Siemens assures us that this project will be “revenue-neutral” because they say most of us were paying too little for our water due to inaccurate meters. I totally trust them and the City.)

Cheap plastic ill-fitting meter

Cheap plastic ill-fitting meter

Anyway, after trying hard to blend in, lo and behold, a few weeks later, the plastic version disappeared and in its place was an iron water meter cover, this time with a carbuncle attached that has something to do with putting meter readers out of work in favor of electronically transmitting the reading.  I’m not sure if Siemens is actually re-using the covers they stole and cutting a hole for the carbuncle, or if they’re putting in new covers that look old and rusty, but what I do know, and the reason I’m grumpy, is that neither my meter nor my neighbor’s meter, both of which were original Harpers, are now Harpers. One is from Russell Pipe and Foundry, Alexandria, LA, and the other chooses to remain anonymous out of embarrassment for its rustiness.

Water Meter 10-9-2014

Anonymous rusty iron cover with carbuncle

Water Meter 10-9-2014a

Russell Pipe & Foundry, with carbuncle

If I were Siemens, I could see myself cooking up this project as a scheme to gather the world’s best Harper water meter cover collection, but I’m not sure Siemens is as nerdy as I am.

If you live in that other two-thirds of the City still blessed by your original Harper, it may be best if your water meter cover disappears into your garage under cover of darkness, since otherwise the City and Siemens will take it in the light of day and replace it with a Borg-like impostor.

Oh, Original Harper Water Meter Cover in My Very Own Yard! I was so confident in our relationship that I never even took a picture of you!

Categories: Demolition/Abandonment, Jackson


9 replies

  1. Excellent post! Makes me grumpy too reading it. Horrifying to remove something so beautifully made, replace it with junk, then replace the junk with more junk! Speaking of junk, probably, the idiots who make these decisions hauled the Harper Foundry covers to the “junk” yard or sold them for a trifle! YES! Harper Foundry Water Meter Pirates awaken and arise; go ye therefore in the night and save those remaining. Persevere and preserve the harp :)


  2. Sold for scrap metal. One time I was driving down the street near one of the metal recycling companies and saw a kid pick one up to take it. I stopped and told him to PUT THAT BACK. Told the metal recycling company. They said they had notified the city (Jackson) but the city was not concerned enough to do anything.


  3. I hit mine with the borrowed riding mower and broke the cover in 3 pieces not to mention tearing up the mower blades. LOL


    • After I broke the meter cover, it remained in place though broken for about 10 years until one day I noticed a NEW cover. Cast iron no-name cover made in China. I might have to trade it with a neighbor to get me a Harper’s cover. LOL


  4. Is the carbuncle glued to the iron meter cover or has the cover been drilled to install the carbuncle?


  5. I just found one in my yard not broken in one piece it has HARPER FDY & MACH CO. WATER METER. JACKSON MISS on it


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