Over time, meters become less accurate and can provide inaccurate readings. By replacing meters, our city will be able to bill more accurately and efficiently for water usage. In addition, the new system will include an automatic meter reading technology that will prevent any recording errors, minimize the need for the city to go on the private property of residents, and potentially allow water line leaks to be identified earlier by analysis of data collected.
In cases where rates remain consistent, the new meters will simply record consumption more accurately. In some cases, your bill may increase, but only if the current meter is underreporting usage. Presently, the majority of residents are paying for the water they are actually using, while a few residents are only paying for a portion of actual usage. This condition is not fair to all residents. The City does not intend to make bills retroactive where under-billing has been noted. The new system will ensure fairness and equality for all the residents and businesses from this point forward.
The work will begin in August of this year. The entire project will take approximately 4-5 months to complete. In most cases the transition will be completely transparent and will not affect the residents. The work will be performed during normal working hours of 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
A contractor will come to your residence and replace your water meter. There will be interruption of service for approximately 30 minutes during the change, but after that it will be the same great service (and even better) that you’ve come to expect.
In most cases, it’s a simple procedure that will require about 30 minutes.
We have contracted with Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) to conduct this service. They will be driving UTILITY METERING SOLUTIONS trucks, wearing bright yellow shirts identified by “UTILITY METERING SOLUTIONS Meter Replacement Team” and carrying City of West Monroe Contract Labor identification.
No. Our City Water meters are located outside.
No, if your outside meter is accessible, it will not be necessary for anyone to be home. In this case, the majority of the work will take place near the street in the water meter box.
However, if your water meter is not accessible, for example within a locked area, then please call UMS at (800) 504-2568 to schedule the installation appointment.
For outside meters which are accessible, it will not be necessary for anyone to be home as the majority of the work will take place near the street in the water meter box.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact the West Monroe Public Works Department office at (318) 325-0496.
In rare instances, the main cut-off valve to your home may be left off. This will occur when the Utility Metering Solutions installation team is not able to pressurize your home following the installation. The normal cause of this condition is when an inside spigot is opened during the installation and subsequently left open. The water is not turned back on to ensure a sink or bath tub does not overflow with the resident not home to turn the water off. In these cases, your water will be left off and a door hanger will be left on your door providing you a point of contact to call to have your water turned back on immediately.
No, your new meter does not require any maintenance by the homeowner. As before, the City will take care of all maintenance. However, please know that this new meter has transmitting technology on it that allows your meter to be read remotely.
The new meters will not negatively affect health or privacy. In fact, overall health will be improved and privacy enhanced by replacing vehicles and manual visits to your home with environmentally clean cellular communication. The wireless portions of the system will be operated according to Federal Communications Commission rules, and will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area. The transmitters use one-quarter of the power of a cellphone transmission. In fact, exposure to radio waves from smart meters is absolutely tiny compared to cellphones transmissions. The amount of exposure to radio waves decreases with the square of the distance from the radio source and the total transmission time is only 15 seconds per day.
The City is working to answer everyone’s questions as thoroughly as possible. Residents may contact the West Monroe’s Public Works Department office at 325-0496.