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Water Meter Replacement Program

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Why is the Town doing this and what should I know?
- Meter replacement is an example of the Town of Arlington’s commitment to responsible water system maintenance and fair/equitable billing for customer water use.

- The new meters will improve utility customer service and enhance administrators ability to monitor and control utility resources.

- Accurate meter reading data will allow for improved customer service. The data will empower the Town’s customer service staff with information needed to help customers understand their bill, provide recommendations over how to save, and identify what might be the cause of periods with abnormally high bills.

- The new system will improve utility monitoring and control by improving the ability to monitor and prosecute theft, empowering accurate system modeling for planning, and allowing for development of new use-reduction initiatives such as leak detection identification and notification.

- There is NO FEE for water meter replacements.

- Town of Arlington will also be conducting brief evaluations of each building’s basement or lowest floor to identify sources of inflow of rain water into the sewer system. This is part of Town of Arlington’s effort to reduce the flow in the sewer system and consequently, reduce the possibility of overloaded sewer pipes, sewer backups, and overflows.

Questions and Answers
Can you explain the meter installation process?
a. The entire meter replacement process will take about 20 minutes and include a water service interruption of 5 to 10 minutes.

b. Town of Arlington is committed to minimizing impacts from this project and will, therefore, prepare and work according to reliable, updated schedules and ensure that interruptions in water service are kept to no more than 10 minutes in most cases.

c. To ensure that the installation is complete, workers will briefly test the new meter by running a faucet at the premise.

d. Workers will clean up the work area and restore it to the original condition.

e. Before temporarily interrupting individual water services, crews will make every effort to ensure that doing so will not impose an undo hardship on the customer. This is why all customers are asked to schedule appointments for meter replacement. Appointment times are meant to be convenient for the customer.

f. Before leaving the site, the property owner will be provided information on the status of the visit – installation complete, unable to acquire access, or unable to perform service, with an explanation.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for the installation?
a. To help keep everyone safe, dogs and any other domestic pets will need to be secured during installation.

b. Always keep meter area unobstructed. Someone over the age of 18 must be at the property to allow the installers access to the existing meter. Generally the installer will locate your water meter, remove the old meter, install the new meter, clean up the area, and reprogram the radio transmitter on the outside of the premise.

How will I be informed when the installation is taking place at my home or business?
Since it will take up to two years to complete the project, a letter will be sent to customers approximately one week prior to installation in their area. In addition to mailed outreach soliciting appointments, installers will door-knock to seek appointment and leave a door hanger requesting an appointment if access cannot be acquired.

Will workers need to enter my home or business in order to install the new meter?

Yes, two persons will need to enter your home. Both workers will have proper identification. The workers will also perform a building inspection of the basement/lowest level of the building. The purpose of this inspection is to determine if sources of surface runoff or groundwater are improperly connected to Town of Arlington’s sewer system. These connections are not permitted under the Massachusetts Building and Plumbing Codes and Town of Arlington’s Sewer Use Ordinance.

Who is doing the work?
a. The Town of Arlington Department of Public Works is administering the project. Field services are being performed by Water & Sewer Division staff. Customer service and project administration support is being provided by Weston & Sampson Engineers.

b. Town of Arlington meter installers will carry proper identification in the form of a Police issued lanyard with photo ID. Their vehicles will also be appropriately marked with Town name and logos.

What about plumbing from the meter to the property?
a. In rare cases, the technician may find that some plumbing repairs will be required to prior to the meter installation. The customer is responsible for the water service on their property. If defective plumbing or deteriorated pipes prevent meter replacement, the customer will be required to hire a licensed plumber to make the necessary repairs.

How does water meter replacement benefit customers?
a. Meter replacement is an example of the Town of Arlington’s commitment to responsible water system maintenance and fair/equitable billing for customer water use.

b. Meter replacement will allow for improved customer service by access to accurate interval data. Accurate interval data empowers the Town’s customer service to better serve you and answer your questions regarding water usage and billing.

c. Meter replacement will allows for improved water resources monitoring and control. It will provide administrators the ability to monitor and prosecute theft, assess use for planning and system modeling, and build conservation and loss-reduction programming.

What will this cost? Does this mean my bill will be increasing?
a. There is NO FEE for meter replacement.

b. Your bill will not necessarily increase. In some cases, your bill may increase, but only if your current meter is underreporting usage.

Do I need to maintain the new meter?

a. No. Town of Arlington will handle all ongoing maintenance of the equipment. Do not tamper with the devices. Do not bang on them or attempt to make adjustments. Teach children to never touch or play near utility equipment including the meters and radio transmitters. If you think something is wrong with the equipment, please call the Water & Sewer Division at (781) 316-3301.

Isn’t my water meter on the outside of the home?
a. No, water meters are located within the homes to prevent freezing in the winter months.

Do I have to participate in the program?
a. If you receive a mailer from the Town, then you do. This is a mandatory meter replacement program. Town of Arlington requires that all utility customers participate in the program. Failure to do so may result in utilities being shut off.

What happens with the current meters and equipment?
a. The existing meters being replaced during the project will be recycled by Town of Arlington.

b. As is currently the case, water meters, and radio units will remain the property of Town of Arlington and Town of Arlington will continue to perform the required maintenance on these units.

Where can I get more information?
Call Town of Arlington Water & Sewer Division anytime at (781) 316-3301 with questions or feedback. If you have received notice that work has began in your area, you may schedule an appointment by calling (339) 368-6401, or emailing ArlingtonAppointments@wseinc.com.