Dubuque to replace all water meters in the city - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque to replace all water meters in the city

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Dubuque is using state loans and federal Recovery Act money to replace all water meters in the city. Officials say the program will save the city around $150,000 a year.

The new water meters look the same as any other, but the technology behind them is different.

"This particular style meter and the change out program will do away with the need of somebody going door to door and actually reading the meter. This meter is designed to be able to provide radio signal communication from a transmitter on the side of the house back to city hall for registering consumption for billing purposes," Dubuque Water Department Manager Bob Green said.  Green said no jobs would be lost as a result.

Jayne Banfield's home was the very first to get a new meter.

"This is a major thing for our grandchildren, for whomever. The environment is very important," Banfield said.

The water meter replacement project comes after years of research and a sustainability partnership with IBM to make Dubuque a Smart City.

"We're very interested in the green scene and we are really involved with IBM, so we just decided that this would be something that we could maybe set off in Dubuque, so that the entire community would follow through," Banfield said.

The new meters take about an hour to have installed, and there's no cost to homeowners. In fact, for that hour of your time, the city says you'll actually save money.

"We get a better and more accurate read of consumption in the home, and that also will be able to provide info to the homeowner on how much water they actually use," Green said.

For example, the system can tell if you have a leak, and the city will help pay to repair leaks identified with the new meters.

Changing every meter is expected to take around two years. Information on volunteering for the pilot program will go out starting next Monday. After that, the regular installations will happen geographically, and residents will get letters telling them to sign up for an appointment.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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