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Baltimore begins upgrading water meters

Workers have begun replacing water meters in 12,000 households in Baltimore City and county, public works officials announced this week.

The meters can be read remotely, eliminating the need for workers to travel to the homes, and will replace outdated meters that no longer function properly, public works spokeswoman Celeste Amato said.

Officials hope to eventually replace meters for the 400,000 households on the municipal water system with the meters, which will eliminate the need to estimate water bills, Amato said. Many residents complain that the estimated bills are inaccurate, she said.

Residents will be notified before the change and will go without water service for about 15 minutes to one hour while the workers connect the meters to the new lines, Amato said.

Each meter will cost the city about $900 and is paid for through water usage fees, she said. The first 12,000 meters should be installed in about a year, and officials hope to replace all the meters within five years, Amato said.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com

twitter.com/juliemore

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