Toledo water meter project hampered with install issues
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The City of Toledo is hitting a snag with its new water meter program.
According to the city’s Public Utilities Department, installers cannot get into many homes. As a response city officials are warning residents of a potential water shut-off if the issue continues.
Currently, there is a 28 percent “non-response” rate when the city of Toledo informs people about meter installation. So 1 in 4 are ignoring the notice or not allowing the installer in.
Around 120,000 Toledo water households are getting new smart water meters, which will track water usage electronically.
“We are absolutely meeting resistance, and we need help to try and get into these properties,” said Ed Moore with the Public Utilities department.
Issues can be anything from no one home during the scheduled time of installation to someone refusing to allow the installer in or maybe the meter is inaccessible.
“That’s going to prove to be a big problem if we’re going to meet our schedule and stay on schedule and generate the revenue we need for the program, we have to get people to respond,” said Moore.
With a 28 percent non-response rate, the city receives the meter back and then needs to figure out how to reconnect with the customer for installation.
The city is sending letters and postcards to alert people of the installation.
City officials told 13abc that some have responded and 17,000 of the expected 45,000 residential meters are in. If the meters are not installed, the city has decided that a shut-off will be the last resort.
“Our communities don’t trust the government. How do we bridge those gaps? How do we break those barriers down?” said Moore.
Door knockers and fliers are being left at properties when the installer comes but can’t get access.
The utility department said Thursday they have not started calling people, but that could happen here in the future.
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