The town of Glenville is right to replace residents’ 50-year-old mechanical water meters with more modern electronic versions that can be read remotely.
The devices will improve accuracy on residential water usage, reduce disputes, more easily identify leaks at homes and systemwide, make billing more uniform and efficient, and save residents the trouble of reading their own meters and having to mail the readings to the town.
At $1.5 million over 30 years to replace 6,000 meters, the cost to taxpayers is reasonable.
Some communities that have modernized have experienced problems with meters giving false readings and being damaged, ironically, by water entering the electronics. So in selecting a vendor to install and oversee the new metering system, the town needs to protect residents by ensuring meter readings are regularly checked for irregularities, that residents have a means to dispute bills, and that meters themselves are randomly checked for accuracy and damage.
But overall, the modernization of the meters, with protections, is necessary and overdue.