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The meters transmit a radio signal containing a meter number and a meter reading that can be picked up by a radio receiver in the City’s vehicle. The meter reading from that transmission is used to generate the utility bill. The transmission lasts for 7 milliseconds (07 of one second) and occurs once every 14 seconds, using less than 100 milliwatts of power. This regular transmission allows the City to capture readings as it drives by and on-demand should a special reading be needed. In other words, the meters transmit about 45 seconds a day from a single "D" cell battery.
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Most water meters are located about three feet off the floor in the basement of your home. It is usually located on an exterior wall facing the street.
Your current water meter is a device with a round face attached on each side to your water pipes. The face has dials and the numbers on the bottom read like a car odometer. Your meter will have a digital face without dials, and you will not see a meter reading unless you shine a flashlight into the light sensor.
If there is a leak before or after the water meter, it is the homeowners responsibility to make an appointment with a plumber to have the leak fixed. Once an appointment is scheduled with a plumber, contact Oakdale Public Works at 651-730-2740 to have the water turned off at the street.
The meter needs to be accessible at any time. If you have done renovation work, your meter needs to be accessible either by an access panel or other such means.
No, your meter does not require any maintenance by the homeowner; however, you should be careful not to damage the meter or allow temperatures in your basement to drop to levels that would freeze the meter during the winter months. Be especially careful of your meter freezing if you have renovated and your meter is now behind a wall or panel as you will be charged for replacing the meter if it should freeze or sustain damage.
Meter readings obtained over radio frequency transmissions are 100 percent accurate.
Your meter will be read at the same intervals throughout each year. Residential meters are read quarterly and commercial meters are read monthly.
You can take a reading of the water meter yourself at any time. You must use a flashlight over the top of the meter, this will “wake up” the meter from a sleep mode. This is how the meter is able to save its battery life by going into a sleep mode. Then you are able to see the meter reading on the display.
You may contact the Utility Billing department with any questions about your water bill.
Because of the specialized equipment and alternating frequencies being used, the information would be extremely difficult for unauthorized acquisition or hacking. The transmission itself contains only the numbers associated with your current meter reading and number identifying your meter to compare with our records to ensure a match. To protect your privacy, no personal data is transmitted.
No, only ordinary electronics and batteries are inside the equipment.
No, you will not see interference with your television reception, phone or pacemaker. Of the 9 million Neptune water meters in operation for the past 13 years, no interference with any other radio frequency devices has ever been documented.
No, this equipment uses a radio transmitter to send the information to City personnel driving by with a receiver.
No, the equipment is only capable of collecting the reading from the water meter and transmitting it to the receiver.
According to the Federal Communications Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO), radio frequency signals produced by radio read meters or other such wireless networks have shown no occurrences of adverse long- or short-term health effects.
The WHO's conclusion is that: "Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak radio frequency signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects."
To find out more about the Neptune meters, please visit the Neptune Meters website or call 800-844-8334 and ask for the Meter Division.