The City is preparing next month to roll out a $3.7 million water meter replacement program that will modernize the way the City monitors and bills ratepayers.
Mayor Dan Rizzo told the City Council on Monday that bids have been received and the City is ready to roll out the program in July – a program that he said would be no small job.
“Our goal is to have the entire project done within a two-year time frame,” he said. “This is no small undertaking.”
He said the new meters will be read from a central location, meaning that no one will have to come out and physically read the meter any longer. That technology, he said, will assist the Water & Sewer Billing Department in also being able to find water leaks for customers immediately.
“This will be a state-of-the-art system,” he said. “It will be read from one location and radio signals will be sent out to the Water & Sewer Billing office. It will also be able to detect potential leaks almost instantaneously. If there is an exceptionally large water usage that could indicate a leak in the system, the customer would get a communication from the office. That phone call would come the very next day. Now, customers have to wait a month or until a new billing period to find those kinds of irregularities.”
Rizzo said they plan to have two public meetings on the matter, and also engage in a multi-lingual publicity campaign.
The stages of the program will include buying the meters, getting licensed and trained to use the computer software and, finally, installing the system in the field.
“Obviously this is a very big change,” he said.
The meter changing program is being paid for by borrowing from the state’s water and sewer revolving loan fund.