Photo: Use your phone to monitor water flow.
By this time next year, many residents and commercial customers will be able to check their water consumption in real time right from their phones as the Board of Selectmen approved on Monday, Nov. 5 a $980,000 contract to physically install nearly 10,000 “smart” water meters in every household and business over 18 months beginning just after the New Years.
The installers, Bay State Winsupply of West Bridgewater, will begin on Jan. 9 contacting homeowners and businesses through the mail requesting a time to make the switch from the current battery-operated meter to the modern Honeywell manufactured meters that were purchased, along with the necessary software, for $1.7 million in August.
The funds for the program comes from three years of savings from Water Division retained earnings.
The Department of Public Works’ Water Division will begin an extensive outreach campaign with flyers and public service announcements on the installation process. Jay Marcotte, Belmont’s DPW director, told the board that owners will get back to Bay State Winsupply with times they are available for the installation. He also suggested there will be “off hours” one day a week that an installation can take place.
The exchanging the meters is quick and not complicated:
- The water to the residency is shut off.
- The old meter is wrenched/cut off the water line
- The new meter which sits on top of a separate housing unit is installed
- The water is turned back on.
“You can do an entire house in 15 minutes,” said Marcotte.
The advantage of the new technology is in monitoring the amount of water a household is consuming, the ability to check real-time flow rate and set conservation goals to encourage saving water and money. It will also alert both the consumer and the Water Division if there is a leak or a sudden break so repairs can be scheduled quickly.
“This is a conservation issue,” said Selectman Mark Paolillo.