New Toledo water meters causing concern in the community

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 3:36 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The new lithium battery-powered water meters are causing a bit of a stir in the community.

Some citizens have voiced their concerns about potential fires caused by the batteries in the meters, and questioned who will be left holding the bill.

Mike Sargeont is one of the residents who say his insurance company won’t cover a fire caused by a lithium battery.

“If my house burnt down because of a lithium battery fire, who’s going to cover it,” said Sargeont.

Pvt. Sterling Rahe, the Public Information Officer for the Toledo Fire Department says it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

“There’s always that chance. Any type of electrical device we use has the possibility of overheating,” said Pvt. Rahe. “Chances are low if you follow those guidelines. But again, there is always a chance that there may be an issue.” "

With so many products like cars, lawnmowers and leaf blowers that can powered by battery, Pvt. Rahe says there’s a simple key to minimizing the risk. It’s about following directions.

“We’re following the guidelines of the manufacturer, we’re using them the right way, the chances are extremely low we’re going to have an incident,” said Pvt. Rahe.

As far as the new city water meters are concerned, a spokesperson for city tells 13abc:

The Sensus Smart Meters have been tested for high voltage situations, which include lightning strikes and power surges up to 20, 000 amps or 660 volts. In these situations, the meter could fail and show signs of melted plastic or a dislodged meter, so the overall purpose was to make sure that if it did fail, it did in a controlled manner. The test limits were set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Sensus has even tested beyond those standards. The company has gone above and beyond the minimum required certification, so if anything, out of the ordinary happens, we are ready.

A spokesperson for the City of Toledo

Pvt. Rahe says at the end of the day, if directions and common sense are followed, there isn’t cause for great concern.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.