NEWS FROM O’FALLON CITY HALL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Please Help Us Protect Your Water Meter
O’Fallon, Illinois- September 28, 2007- The City of O’Fallon utilizes automatic water meter reading equipment to take monthly water consumption readings in O’Fallon and Fairview Heights. Part of the meter system is a black plastic disk that sits on top of the water meter lid. The disk is called an ERT. A register sends an electronic signal through the ERT to the remote reading equipment which then tabulates the monthly water bill.
These ERTs are occasionally damaged by lawnmowers and aerators. Out of more than 15,000 ERTs in our system, there have been approximately 170 damaged by mowers and other lawn equipment in 2007. When an ERT is cut or nicked, water gets into the electronics and no signal can be sent. When the meter reader performs their reads of the system, the remote software records the meter account as a “skip”. Our meter readers then manually read the meter and determine the cause of the “skip”. If the ERT has been damaged, we install a new one. Each new ERT costs approximately $200, which includes the labor cost.
“We appreciate those residents who are careful to protect their ERT from damage when performing yard work. Over 14,800 households are damage-free this year. Residents can help protect their ERT by mowing and trimming around their meter lid instead of mowing over it. In addition, careful use of other yard tools around the meter lid, such as lawn aerators, will help. Because some water meter lids are located near driveways and the street, the cautious parking and driving of vehicles will also help”, said Mayor Gary L. Graham.
Previously, the City replaced the first damaged ERT at no cost to the property owner. However, this practice was discontinued in 2006. Replacement costs for damaged ERTs are charged to water bills for payment by the account holder.
Additional Information Contact:
Pamala L. Funk
Asst. City Administrator
624-4500, ext. 9-1112