It's apparent that there are many problems in Baltimore's water system as managed by the Department of Public Works. The situation in the field is way out of date, and the entire billing system should be computerized.
At most other locations in the country, water districts have interior water meters with electronic exterior readouts and have had them for the past 15 to 20 years. This arrangement is accompanied by a shut-off valve on the water service lateral located at the property line at the street. This allows for fast, precise readings and protects meters from the elements.
In most areas, the meter reading is made digitally, the usage information, and subsequent billing process is completely computerized. Also, some metering is broadcast wirelessly to central monitoring and then processed digitally, eliminating physical meter reading. Physical reading of below-ground, pit-located meters is a mistake-prone, labor-intensive, antiquated, and excessively costly system. Most other water systems are completely digital, from the meter read to the invoice for usage. This allows for massive cost efficiencies.
It's time for Baltimore to enter the 21st century.
Gary Moyer, Baltimore