Wireless Water Meters Being Installed Townwide: Here’s How to Get Yours

Weston’s implementation of wireless water meters is off to a Weston summer start. As in, slow. Perhaps 90 percent of the town was gone all summer. Perhaps they didn’t check their mail. Perhaps. Fortunately, the Owl has been largely grounded and so Owl Hollow got its upgrade yesterday. Unfortunately for the meter installer, he had no idea that he was walking into primary research-land.

According to the very patient Baystate installer, the current percentage of water meters installed in town is 12% (margin of error 3%)–so if all the mathy work I did in AP Calculus circa a long time ago holds water (hahaha), that is roughly 444 meters out of the 3,700 to be installed. Further questioning netted the news that some ZONES (no, not south side versus northside) are really quite flaky. I am glad I am not in Zone A because they are the worst. Zone C rules. More on how to compete in the Zone Wars later…

What’s this wireless metering all about anyway? No, it is not a government plot to infiltrate your household–that area is owned exclusively by Amazon Alexa. Rather, it is DPW’s stated goal to upgrade the Town’s water meter infrastructure with Advanced Metering Interface (AMI) equipment. Because we need another acronym in town. Beware what the Wes-TEN is going to do with this. AMI also means “friend” in French, and that is exactly what this is–removing the time-consuming process of manually checking water meters (voila, cost savings to town=cost savings to you)–and residents can monitor their own water usage from wherever they are. Which is great when you’re at your summer place and the landscape crew hits your Weston irrigation line and the flood hits your checkbook.

Note to cellular black hole northsiders (that’s around Conant up 117 to the Lincoln border): may the Force be with us. Am I allowed to be skeptical on wireless receivers working here in the great white/sometimes green north? I am. Let’s put the receiver on top of Cat Rock so we have hope.

According to the town website which is a bit more filled with verifiable fact that this blog post is “this system upgrade was approved by 2017 Annual Town Meeting but was unfortunately delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. It is now set to be online by 2022.” The installer yesterday said he believed that April 2022 will be the full on-line date, but don’t quote him on that. For all you math-y types, there are two installers working in Weston and each has a capacity to switch out 75 meters a week, IF the appointments have been booked. So 3700 meters, around 444 done, they come rain or shine or snow, what is the land speed of a European swallow?

The fine print on how to get your AMI follows.

When you get a letter that looks like this:

Photo credit: https://www.weston.org/1363/Wireless-Water-Meters

Call the 866 number on your letter to set up your appointment. Do not call the Weston Water Department. Though they are very nice, they are not in charge of installation and will re-direct you to the people in charge (Baystate Winsupply).

The installer emphasized the need to have someone 18+ at home –he once left a house where a 10-year-old answered the door unchaperoned. Note also that there seems to be an informal competition between the installers–when I said that it took less than 15 minutes rather than the stated 30 minutes, the installer checked the stats on his phone and said it was 12.73333333 minutes. So there you have it. Challenge your installer to do it faster. Especially in Zone A as y’all have some catching up to do.

Please see the town web page for more information.

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