Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake City News

Lake City going high tech with advanced electronic radio controlled water meters

This system by Hydro One is similar to the system being installed in Lake City. Water meters are radio controlled and monitored remotely. (Hydro One graphic)

The Lake City Water Department is going high tech with advanced electronic radio controlled water meters. By this time next year meter readers will no longer have to worry about getting bit by your dog, because they will be out of a job. Lake City will be able to read your water meter 24/7 on a computer screen located in the utility department. They will be able to turn you meter on and off remotely. They will also be able to monitor how many times you flush your toilet.

Last night Lake City announced that its Water Department is going high tech and will be installing high tech advanced radio controlled water meters on all its residential taps.

Utility Director Dave Clanton told the City Council, "This is a project we've talked about for years."

Called AMR for automated or advanced meter reading, the new system will eliminate meter readers by adding these so called smart meters, which will be able to be read your meter from a centralized location in the City and will also be able to monitor water usage 24/7.

The City claims that the new system will reduce meter reading costs, improve billing accuracy, improve outage information and response times and improve the utility's cash flow.

Critics of these systems have complained about loss of privacy, a potential for monitoring by unauthorized third parties, security risks from network or remote access, and meter readers losing their jobs.

Critics have also complained about the risk of being bombarded by more radio waves.

The Lake City is slated to replace 8022 water meters at a projected cost of $2,320,513.26.

According the City Manager Wendell Johnson, the money is coming from the Utility Enterprise Fund, which are water and sewer reserves. "It is money in the bank that the City has," said Mr. Johnson.

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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