BaltiMeter Rollout Begins in September

Mayor Rawlings-Blake and DPW Director Rudy Chow demonstrate BaltiMeter smart water meters

BaltiMeter Rollout Begins in September

Water meter upgrades for Baltimore City, County customers

August 5, 2014 (Baltimore, MD)—Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., announced today the automated water meter upgrade program, known as BaltiMeter, will begin the first week of September with installations in the City’s Mount Vernon and Pimlico neighborhoods. Simultaneously, meters will also be installed in Baltimore County’s Bowleys Quarters area.

Automated meters will transmit precise information on water usage to collectors, which will then send the data to a central billing office. This will eliminate the need for crews to manually read each meter.

This first phase will see about 5,000 meters installed in the City and another 5,000 in the County. Officials expect this first phase will proceed slowly, allowing installers to take their time and gain useful information before the full deployment begins near the end of the year. Bowleys Quarters is expected to pose a challenge because a high water table in that Bayside community often floods the pits where the meters are located. Mount Vernon is a challenging mix of apartment buildings, commercial accounts, and residential. And Pimlico has the high-density, townhome and detached single-family residential development that installers can expect to see throughout the BaltiMeter installation.

Some 203,000 meters will be installed in the City by April 2016. Another 204,000 will be installed in the County by April 2017. The Baltimore City DPW provides water and sanitary sewer service to customers in both jurisdictions.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Director Chow hailed the BaltiMeter project as the kind of proactive, efficient, customer oriented project that customers are coming to expect from the DPW. "Our residents deserve infrastructure and service designed for the 21st Century," said Rawlings-Blake. "We've been making do with old equipment and old systems that do not offer the efficiency or reliability that the people and businesses of Baltimore expect. BaltiMeter, which is more efficient, reliable, and accurate, will help change that."

“Soon, there will be no such thing as an estimated water and sewer bill,” said Chow. “Our customers in the City and the County will have peace of mind knowing precisely how much water they are using, and can use that information to exercise better control over their water usage.”

All customers, including those in the first phase of the installations, will be notified in advance of work commencing on water meters in their area. The work will be done by Itron, Inc., a recognized leader in the water industry.

First, letters will be mailed to both the property address and the billing address (if they are different). These notifications will explain what the customer can expect as the water meter upgrades commence. If additional coordination is required with a customer, the correspondence from Baltimore City DPW will indicate what is needed from the customer.

As Itron mobilizes in a new area, door hangers will be placed at each property advising customers when work is expected to start. Signs will also be placed in the community. Prior to starting every meter upgrade, an Itron representative will knock on the door of the property as a courtesy to advise the customer that a brief water interruption is about to occur. Customers do not need to be present in order for the upgrade to occur.

Commercial Customers will receive letters explaining that, in order to minimize the impact on their business operations, they need to schedule an appointment to have their meter upgraded.

All project representatives (e.g., installers, quality inspectors, etc.) will have identification from their employer. If customers have any concerns regarding these representatives, please call 311 in Baltimore City or 410-396-5352 outside of Baltimore City.

When work is complete at residential properties, installers will leave a door hanger indicating as much at the property. This notification will also provide additional information on any steps the customer may need to take following the upgrade. In most cases, customers will never know that there was a disruption of service and will only see the door hangers indicating the completion of the upgrade.

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