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Smart Water Meters

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Re: Smart Water Meters

Postby lukpac » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:51 pm

Stebben84 wrote:The came last year and switched mine out with a digital and then came back this year to swap again and test the efficiency of the newer one I got. Every time I go near it in my basement my hair falls out and I pee myself.


Is that because of the metal plate in your head? Do you also forget who you are for a half an hour?

The meter at the house I used to live in was in the garage. Moved there in 2002, and I don't think it was too long after that they came and put one in that could be remotely read.
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Re: Smart Water Meters

Postby snoqueen » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:13 pm

Someone pointed out to me the only water leaks are not in people's houses. Sometimes a pipe under the street leaks. (If you see a persistent puddle in a certain place even when it's been dry weather, it can be from a leaky water main.)

The person I was talking to said as much as 20% of the water that leaves the utility wells can't be accounted for by metered usage. I don't know where he got that number, though.

With closer attention to use patterns, if the use on a certain loop of supply pipe does not add up to the amount of water known to be going through that pipe, the utility would start looking for a system leak.

They could probably do this in a crude way already, but real-time metering makes a lot more control possible and leaks could be traced and fixed sooner.
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Re: Smart Water Meters

Postby fennel » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:21 pm

That would certainly be a good argument for wired meters at various nodes in the system. Real-time usage for groups of 15 (20? 40?) households. And it would be cheaper than foisting it upon each and every household. Beyond that, they could offer an in-house locally controlled montitoring app (for a small fee) for those who want to post daily updates to MyFace, or SpaceBook, or whatever.

Again, my stunning hunch is that this wouldn't fly because it couldn't easily be coupled with monthly billing.
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Re: Smart Water Meters

Postby snoqueen » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:14 am

You're probably right.

I don't get why monthly billing is a bad thing. Some people think spreading our real estate tax bills out more by allowing payments not only in half-years but thirds-of-years would make life easier, and I see their point. So why should more frequent but smaller water bills be any different?

People hate change, that's all.
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Re: Smart Water Meters

Postby fennel » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:52 am

Actually, if the City were straightforward and honest about it, I'd be fine with having the new meter. I wouldn't even mind the monthly billing cycle – as long as there's no penalty for paying only every 6 months.
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Re: Smart Water Meters

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:10 am

fennel wrote:I wouldn't even mind the monthly billing cycle – as long as there's no penalty for paying only every 6 months.
I really want to understand why the frequency of the bill is a sticking point for so many people. Please help me understand.
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Re: Smart Water Meters

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:57 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
fennel wrote:I wouldn't even mind the monthly billing cycle – as long as there's no penalty for paying only every 6 months.
I really want to understand why the frequency of the bill is a sticking point for so many people. Please help me understand.

For those without credit or debit cards (and they are out there), mailing in a monthly bill will cost them postage and maybe money order charges.
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Re: Smart Water Meters

Postby ilikebeans » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:11 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
fennel wrote:I wouldn't even mind the monthly billing cycle – as long as there's no penalty for paying only every 6 months.
I really want to understand why the frequency of the bill is a sticking point for so many people. Please help me understand.

Maybe because of this?

With money coming in at a faster pace, the utility hopes to increase residential water rates over the next 10 years in order to tackle some long-standing infrastructure and water quality problems.
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