Camden Water customers to get new high-tech water meters

The days of the old-fashioned water meter reader are about to end. Over the next ten months, Camden Water's 54,000 customers will be receiving new, state-of-the-art automatic water meters.

CAMDEN, N.J., May 25, 2001 — The days of the old-fashioned water meter reader are about to end. Over the next ten months, Camden Water's 54,000 customers will be receiving new, state-of-the-art automatic water meters.

The new meters, which are similar to those currently in operation in The City of Philadelphia, will allow for more accurate recording of customer's water usage and do not require on-site meter readings.

The older meters currently in use are less accurate due to age and require Camden Water service representatives to enter every home and business in the City. Historically, when the company could not gain access, customers were sent estimated water bills, which may have been higher or lower than actual consumption. "With the new system, customers will only pay for water they actually use," said Rick Pfleiderer, senior project manager of Camden Water. "Meter readings will be more accurate and will not require staff to enter the resident's property." "The installation of these new meters will insure fairness in the billing process," said Camden City Mayor Gwendolyn A. Faison.

The new water meters feature an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system allowing Camden Water to read meters remotely without entering homes or businesses. The AMR systems will use low-powered radios to transmit the data to specially equipped Camden Water vehicles. Because the system works remotely, residents will no longer have to be home at the time of the meter read.

Installation of the new meters will be made as quickly as possible at each location. Plumbers from Philadelphia-based Len Parker Associates will be installing the new meters on behalf of Camden Water. Meter installers will be wearing uniforms with a "Len Parker Associates Meter Installer" insignia. All installers will carry photo identification badges and will be driving vehicles clearly marked with "Len Parker Associates-Camden Water Meter Installer." Residents questioning a Meter Installer's identification can call the Camden City police for verification.

The meters — which will be installed free-of-charge to customers — were purchased by the City of Camden Department of Utilities with funds from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust. Camden Water — the private company which operates the city-owned water system — will install the meters starting May 29,2001 as part of its contract with the City.

Residents will receive a door hanger notice prior to the installation. All residents are asked to clear a path to the existing water meter and clean a three-foot area in front of the existing water meter prior to installation of the meter.

According to City Ordinance 564-19, residents are required by law to provide Camden Water with access to the water meter.

Camden Water and Len Parker Associates will notify residents when they can expect the meters to be installed in their neighborhood. Residents are welcome to call 1-888-283-3124 to schedule appointments, or to obtain additional information. Meter replacement will be performed weekdays and weekends between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Camden Water is a subsidiary of Somerville-based U.S. Water LLC, a private operations contractor serving customers in NJ, PA, CT, MA, and NC.

SOURCE: Camden Water

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