Meter Reading Upgrade Project

The Irvington Water Department is responsible for reading customers' meters in order to produce quarterly billings of water usage.  For decades, the Department has been reading most meters with a "remote" device that is attached to the side of the customer's house.  The remote device is wired to the meter which is located inside the customer's house.  The remote device, when read with a special "gun" is designed to duplicate the reading of the actual meter.  Water Department personnel walk to the side of each house, insert the reading "gun" and write the reading down in a meter reading book.  These readings are then manually entered into special water billing software by Clerk/Treasurer's office personnel.  The number of manual steps involved make this process susceptible to errors and it is extremely time consuming.

Last year, in an effort to automate the meter reading process, the Department undertook a radio transmitter reading project.  In most cases, the "remote" device on the side of the house is being replaced with a radio transmitter that broadcasts the reading on the customer's meter.  The transmission is picked up by a specialized receiver located in a Water Department truck as it drives past the customer's house.  Readings are then downloaded to the water billing software and bills are produced.  Depending on the age and style of the meter, it will be necessary to replace the meter's head which is located on the meter itself.

The project has been rolling out to all customers since July 2010 and is expected to last until January 2012.

Due to the exceptionally hot and dry summer of 2010, many customers experienced unusually high usage.  In fact, wholesale purchases of water by the Irvington Water Department from its supplier (New York City) totaled 440 million gallons.  By comparison, in 2009, only 280 million gallons were purchased. These circumstances have led some customers to question whether the meter reading upgrade project has, in any way, impacted the usage being reported by their meter.  Water Department personnel have manually re-read every meter in question and in all cases, the manual reading has matched the transmitted reading.  In addition, the Water Department's meter supplier, Neptune, confirmed that the radio transmitters have no effect on the operation of the actual meter (PDF).

If you have any questions about the meter reading upgrade project, please contact the Irvington Water Department at 591-7870.