New water meter installation start eyed during week
The “e-meters,” which can be read by computer and are touted as more accurate than the meters they will replace, are expected to usher in a new era for city customers.
Accuracy of meters was a hot topic for a recent city council session.
City Manager Kelvin Knauf said the new meters are scheduled to be installed by the end of March but the contractor wants to get an early start and may get to some before the Christmas holidays.
“It’s important for everyone in Rockdale to know that this is coming,” Knauf said. “If you’re a water customer, sometime between now and March you will see someone at your home or business to change out your meter.”
Knauf said an employee of the City of Rockdale will accompany every installer.
‘METERS 101’—Here’s a brief question and answer session, provided by Knauf, about the new e-meters:
• How will the utility insure my meter reading is the correct reading for my water meter at my address?
This is achieved by the utilization of a unique identifying number specific to each customer’s water meter.
This unique number is connected to your billing customer account number insuring that only your specific meter reading will be applied to your billed water usage.
• Is it possible to tamper with my meter reading?
No. The radio signal uses a specific protocol that only the utilities reading equipment is capable of receiving.
All information will be handled through the reading system and software with up to 256-bit encryption.
• Will water or dirt in my meter pit cause a meter reading to be inaccurate?
No. All Master Meter Radio water meters are IP68 approved for protection of the natural elements experience while in use in a meter pit environment.
• Will the radio signal from my water meter interfere with my phone or television reception?
No. All radio signals from the water meter adhere to Federal Communication Commission (FCC) requirements under Title 47, part 15 rules to prevent any interference with other radio applications.
• Will the water meter be able to detect leaks?
Yes. The water meter has technology to detect leak events taking place past the water meter.
This may enable the utility to better serve its customers through identification and handling of customer leak issues, Knauf said.
• Are there any harmful health effects from radio-read water meters?
No, according to the American Cancer Society there are no harmful health effects.
Further information is available at the American Cancer Society web site: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/ othercarcinogens/athome/ smart-meters.
“All new meters being installed will be at full accuracy consistent with applicable American Water Works Association Standards.” Knauf said.
“ The City of Rockdale welcomes you to monitor your water usage as this beneficial project is implemented for our community” he added.
For billing questions contact City Hall at 512-446-2511 and for installation questions call the Public Works Department at 512-446-7320.