New Technology Can't Read Old Water Meters

Mar 3, 2015

Old water meters and new technology do not always match.
Credit Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s (PWSA) monthly bills for January and February confused many with an “estimate bill” as a result of a new system that cannot read the old meters.

About 3,500 customers’ meters are now outdated, and as a result the meter could not be read electronically as newer models are.  So instead of a regular bill, the PWSA sent out estimates based on past bills.  

“So beginning in September of 2014 PWSA upgraded to AMI’s, advanced metering infrastructure. It’s similar technology, but more advanced, and the reason for the change is simply that field equipment was 20 years old, it reached it’s useful life, and the switch was necessary in order to maintain the current level of service,” said Melissa Rubin Public Information Officer for PWSA.

The new system will allow customers to track their daily use, and make it easier for leak detection.

The PWSA will send plumbers to each customer to replace out of date meters over the next five months to be completed by July.

“We’re trying to get through the leaky season. Unfortunately due to the extreme cold weather we get a lot of frozen meters and things of that nature, but we have a plan in place to fix this and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” said Rubin.

Any customers with specific questions should call the PWSA or visit their website

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