Letters to the Editor

New water meters do not measure air or vibration

Monday, April 16, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Please allow me to respond to a letter to the editor published in the Jamaica Observer of Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 'Water meter woes', which in part falsely alleges that the new water meters being installed by the National Water Commission (NWC) will record air and vibration.

To the contrary, the available scientific evidence shows that the new electronic water meters being installed by the NWC do exactly the opposite: The meters accurately capture passage of water under varying conditions without measuring air. The new meters are rated among the best in the world and are approved by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica and other regulatory authorities.

As the NWC has repeatedly stated, the new solid state meters are likely to cause some customers' billing to increase precisely because they are very accurate, especially compared to the older, under-registering, mechanical meters that customers have become used to.

In addition to not registering air, the new water meters are able to record and calculate reverse flows that may occur due to interruptions in the public supply.

Some other advantages of the new electronic water meters include:

• longer useful life of up to 15 years

• no moving parts, hence no maintenance requirement

• particles contained in the water do not stop the meters from working

• more accurate measurement of water used under different conditions over the meter's life

• easy-to-read digital display of meter readings that can be used as leak detector

• tamper-resistant mechanism that leaves evidence of attempts to interfere with the instruments

• greater potential for remote readings

Additionally, may I also point out that our article recommending that customers check their water supply connections regularly could not have possibly itemised every single potential area of leakage. So, it is possible to have a leak immediately beyond the meter.

We trust that the letter writer will indeed use his considerable influence, stature and knowledge to encourage others to be responsible in their use of water and to pay for what is independently verified by an accurate water meter.

Charles Buchanan

Corporate public relations manager

National Water Commission





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