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  • Jordan D. Smith

Water Meters Meet 21st Century


In the march of progress of technology one role is headed the way of the dodo - the water meter reader. For the past several years the city water department has been slowly upgrading water meters to smart meters to the newest technology. The new meters send the reading electronically to the city instead of having to be manually read and recorded by a staffer going door to door once every month.


The upgrade project has been ongoing with about 50% of water meters in town already upgraded. According to City Manager, Tutt Gorman, about 800 water meters are left to swap out across Portland. The initiative got a major shot in the arm with funds from the American Rescue Plan that the city received and designated to finish this project. This means that the upgraded equipment will be free of charge to water customers.


Water meters are usually located in the basement where the water line enters the house and have an external monitor hooked up which can either be removed or left in place at the owners discretion after the new meter is installed. The external monitor will no longer be needed as the device in the basement will wirelessly transmit the reading to city utility employees.


In the coming months, a contractor from SLC Meter will be contacting water customers in need of new meters via mail and by going door to door. The contractors will schedule a time to come do the work, which will take about an hour total. Gorman emphasized that the project involves only water meter upgrades and does not affect other utilities. The project is projected to wrap up by March 2023.


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