Lima water meters going wireless

By Josh Ellerbrock -

LIMA — Within the next year starting this week, the majority of Allen County residents — those buying water from the City of Lima — will be notified by Utility Metering Solutions through mail to in order to replace the meters that measure each property’s water use.

The expansive project will switch out 28,000 mechanical units nearing their estimated end of life with digital devices capable of wirelessly communicating to the water department’s central hub. For residents, that means better accuracy on their water bills, and the city will be able to be more efficient with its resources, Utilities Department Director Mike Caprella said.

Currently, the city measures water usage every few months, and bills are sent depending on estimates on that prior measurement. With the new system, Caprella said the water department will be able to check water usage systemwide with as little as a keystroke. The result will be a much more accurate system capable of monitoring water leaks with minute-by-minute updates.

While the majority of water meters are located outside, some 10,000 units sit in residents’ basements. In those cases, Utility Metering Solutions will require access to building interiors.

Caprella said the company will notify such individuals through the mail, alerting residents they will need to contact the contracting company to schedule an appointment for meter replacement. Installation of new devices should take 10-15 minutes, and appointments can also be scheduled during night time hours for convenience.

To curb concerns of fraud, technicians will be carrying identification, wearing uniforms that clearly mark themselves as Utility Metering Solutions employees and will be driving marked vehicles.

“It’s a big project. It’s going to take a while, but it’s going to be beneficial,” Caprella said.

Meter replacement will for residential, commercial and industrial properties not affect those in Allen County who draw their water from wells or who purchase water from municipalities outside of the City of Lima.

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock by 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock by 567-242-0398.

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