Posted: Sep 5, 2013 4:21 PM by Caroline Flores - email@example.com
Updated: Sep 5, 2013 7:00 PM
PORTLAND - New water meters are being installed in Portland and the city claims they'll save tax payers thousands of dollars.
The city says in the past, meter readers had to get out of their cars and go into people's backyards to get a meter reading, wasting about 300 hours in labor costs. Now, meter readers can get meter readings without getting out of their car. The new meters can send the readings digitally to a meter reader's computer as they drive by a meter. That process only takes about 8 to 10 hours a month, saving taxpayers $125,000 a year.
The new meters cost the city $1.1 million, but it's something the city says was much needed.
"We found that over the years our meters were starting to leak. They were becoming inefficient," said Public Works Director Brian Delatte.
So last year they began installing these new meters, and some residents say they have already noticed a difference in their water bills.
"It's a lot more accurate and I know that I'm being charged for actual usage that I'm actually using," said Portland resident Mary Newton.
For those residents whose water meter may be in their backyard, they will no longer have to worry about a city worker entering their property to look at the meter. The yellow antenna on the meter allows meter readers to get their readings digitally without even leaving their car.
The city says while the meters do use that new technology, residents can also look at their meters the old fashioned way if they want to.
"It has a set of checks and balances. And so when there's an abnormal reading we'll actually send a person back out to the field to check the manual reading to make sure it matches," said Delatte.
The city of Portland says these new meters will not only save their taxpayers thousands of dollars, but also bring Portland into the future with more advanced and accurate equipment.
One other thing those new meters can do is create a usage chart showing people how much water they use at different points during the day. The charts will not be included in utility bills but residents are more than welcome to request them from the city's Public Works Department.
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