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Bayville turns on hi-tech water meters

Bayville officials have begun replacing old water meters throughout the village with "smart meters" that transmit information via radio signals.

Maspeth-based Saks Metering expects to finish installing the meters within three months.

"The new meters will allow for improved accuracy and timely billing," Mayor Paul Rupp said at a recent village board meeting. Rupp said that in order for the new system to operate properly, all meters in the village need to be replaced.

The devices, which will be installed at no charge to the homeowner, emit radio signals that are picked up by vehicles equipped with antennas driving through the area so that meter readers do not need to see individual meters in person.

Saks Metering vice president Don Kraker said at the July 28 meeting that uniformed personnel will need access to homes in which meters are inside and will need to shut the water off for the 10 to 15 minutes it takes to install the smart meters. The company will call property owners to schedule installation, or owners can call the company to set it up themselves, Kraker said.

The village approved the contract with Westchester-based Rio Supply of New York for $699,795 for the water meter replacement program in April. Saks Plumbing and Heating, which does business as Saks Metering, is a subcontractor.

Other municipalities are also installing the radio-frequency meters. Bethpage Water District has installed 3,300 new meters since October 2012 in residences and businesses and continues to install them. The meters transmit to meter-reading vehicles or directly to the district. Once the meters are in, Bethpage residents can access their water usage online.

"With constant digital access to meter data, residents can actively adjust water consumption to ensure a smaller bill and to help conserve water," William Ellinger, Bethpage Water District board chairman said in a news release.

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