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Water meter upgrade to save $$

DECATUR -- A citywide project is getting underway and it could help keep your water bill down.
DECATUR -- A citywide project is getting underway and it could help keep your water bill down. Every home and building is getting a new water meter. Installation will start next month. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels explains the changes.

Every time a drop of water comes out of your faucet, it registers on your water meter, but the ones in town are too outdated to keep up with today's technology. So, the city is getting ready to put in more than 30,000 new meters.

"The biggest difference will be, from no one, no one will need to come over to your house and physically read your meter."

How much you use will be transmitted from this box to the city's office instead.

"It will cut down on errors from manual entry. We don't have to do estimates and we'll be able to determine if they have leaks much faster."

That means less of your money going down the drain. Here's how the process will work. Sometime in the next few months, you'll get a postcard in the mail. That's when you'll need to call and make an appointment to get a new meter.

"A technician will come to the property and, literally, spend about 30 - 45 minutes either replacing the meter or upgrading it to the new system."

They'll have to shut off the water for about a half-hour. Then, it will be good for the next 20-years, when it will need a new batter.

City officials say the new meters won't cost homeowners or taxpayers anything extra. The project will pay for itself through savings. Installation will wrap up sometime next year.
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