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Glitch preventing water-use reads for 200

A glitch with about 200 recently installed water meters in Fort Wayne has left the city unable to measure customers’ water usage.

Of about 5,000 meters recently installed, 209 customers on the city’s northwest side – former Aqua Indiana customers – are affected by the technical glitch preventing City Utilities employees from obtaining water readings, according to the City Utilities office and Frank Suárez, spokesman for the city’s public works department.

At issue is the part of the meter that transmits a signal to a wireless unit that allows meter readers to get usage results remotely.

“The meter was working, but it wasn’t connecting properly (to the wireless unit),” Suárez said.

The city will have to estimate customers’ usage since employees could not get readings during the time the meters were not connecting with the wireless units. It’s unclear how long the meters were malfunctioning.

Customers’ bills from last year during the same time frame will be used to estimate how much customers currently owe, a common practice when utilities need to estimate usage.

“They try to use months that are similar times of the year,” Suárez said.

To get the units replaced, customers will need to call Vanguard Utility Service Inc., the company that installed the units, to schedule an appointment, according to a letter sent to customers by the City Utilities office.

Until the meters are replaced, the city will continue to use estimated amounts for billing, according the letter.

Vanguard can be reached by phone at 260-579-6175 or online at www.vusinc.com.

cmeyers@jg.net

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