Old Westbury installs ‘smart’ water meters to track usage

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The Village of Old Westbury is installing new smart water meters around the village as a part of a pilot program approved last November. (Photo courtesy Village of Old Westbury)

The Village of Old Westbury is kicking off a pilot program to outfit some village water connections with “smart” meters to measure household use and watch for water leaks.

The $9,676 pilot project was approved in November, and smart meters have been installed at 25 village residences, selected based on high water usage, officials said.

“By having these meters installed, homeowners can learn how to conserve water and save money on their water bills,” village Water Superintendent Tom O’Connor said in a news release.

Village Administrator Brian Ridgway said the homes with the smart meters will be able to check their water usage on a phone app or website, giving them the ability to monitor their home from a distance.

During the July 4 weekend, Ridgway said, a resident’s pool auto-fill feature malfunctioned and continued filling the pool despite it being full. Because of the app, the resident was able to notice the malfunction and alert the village.

Ridgway said the meters will also reduce the time village technicians spend checking meters since it can be done remotely.

“The smart meters are the latest in technology,” Ridgway said. “The information from the meter goes to the cloud and any time we can monitor a particular meter, download its reading and assist the productivity of our staff instead of visiting the meter twice a year.”

The system is about 98 percent accurate on water usage, Ridgway said, and could help the village with conservation over time. If the pilot program goes well, trustees could approve an expansion of the smart meters to all 1,300 water connections in Old Westbury.

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