LISBON – Village water customers are expected to start noticing a change in billing by the end of this year.
The change is the result of the village’s plan to replace all of its obsolete water meters with new, more technological ones, which will also end the need for home meter readings.
Lisbon Public Affairs Council President Bill Hoover said the majority of the new meters have been installed at this point.
The village threatened to cut water service last month to customers who had not agreed to the replacement of their obsolete meters.
Hoover said that of the approximately 1,428 customers, only two had not yet accepted the installation of the new meters.
The water meter system overhaul project began in May of this year and has not resulted in an increase in user fees, although a monthly maintenance fee of $ 2.50 has been added to the invoices in 2017 for the project.
The new meters eliminate the need for in-person water meter readings and can track usage in real time.
“So far everyone has been very satisfied”, Hoover spoke of customers who have had their meters replaced and are in working order. “With this system, everything goes by radio waves to the office. (The clerks) can see exactly how much water someone is using. If there is an unusual amount of water used overnight, it will flag this count. “
As a result, water clerks can immediately notify a customer of increased usage that could be the result of on-the-go operation or a water leak somewhere.
Hoover said that with the old system, it could take up to two months before a leak or other problem was noticed by a customer or the water utility.
In addition to showing how much water customers use, customers themselves can access their real-time water usage through a mobile app or on their computer, he added.
He also said that while the new meters may save customers money by more accurately detecting leaks or other issues, it is also possible that they will see their bill go up, as the new meters read more accurately than obsolete meters.
“These meters are pretty smooth, there are no moving parts on them. They are performed with radio frequencies and sound backups. They are like the latest technology ”, he said.
The new meters were manufactured by Kamstruck and supplied by Trumbull Supply, with installation carried out by a company contracted out by Trumbull Supply.
The billing software is via MuniLink.
Hoover said the project will be complete by Dec. 31, when customers will start billing monthly instead of bi-monthly, and also in gallons instead of cubic feet, which is how billing has been. carried out so far.
“It does a little more work for our office workers, but it makes it more understandable for our consumer”, he said of change.