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Lisbon residents to see water billing changes

LISBON — Village water customers should begin noticing a billing change by the end of this year.

The change is the result of the village’s project to replace all of its outdated water meters with new, more technology savvy meters, that will also end the need for at-the-home meter readings.

Lisbon Board of Public Affairs President Bill Hoover said the majority of the new meters have been installed at this point.

The village threatened to shut off water service last month to customers who had not agreed to have their outdated meters replaced.

Hoover said that of the roughly 1,428 customers only two have yet to accept installation of the new meters.

The project to overhaul the water meter system began in May of this year and has not resulted in a usage fee increase, although a monthly $2.50 maintenance fee was tacked onto bills in 2017 in preparation for the project.

The new meters eliminate the need for in-person water meter readings and can track usage in real time.

“So far everybody has been really pleased,” Hoover said of customers who have already had their meters replaced and in working order. “With this system everything goes by radio wave to the office. (The clerks) can see exactly how much water someone is using. If there is an unusual amount of water being used through the night it will red flag that account.”

As a result, the water clerks can immediately notify a customer of increased usage that could be the result of something left running, 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 would be noticed by a customer or the water department.

In addition to showing how much water is being used by customers, the customers themselves can access their real time water usage via a mobile application or on their computer, he added.

He also said that while the new meters can save customers money through detecting leaks or other problems more accurately, there is also the chance they could see an increase on their bills since the new meters read more accurately than the outdated meters.

“These meters are pretty slick, there is no moving parts on them. They are done with radio frequency and sound saves. They are just like the latest technology,” he said.

The new meters were manufactured by Kamstruck and supplied by Trumbull Supply, with installation done by a company sub-contracted by Trumbull Supply.

The billing software is through MuniLink.

Hoover said the project will be completed by Dec. 31, which is when customers will begin being billed monthly instead of bi-monthy, and also by gallons instead of cubic feet, which is how billing has been done until this point.

“It makes a little more work for our office people but it makes it more understandable for our consumer,” he said of the change.

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