Madison residents voice concerns over water meters

Madison Water Utility holds public hearing

Madison residents voiced their concerns about installing new smart water meters as part of Madison Water Utility’s Project H20 at a hearing Monday night.

The hearing, held by Madison’s Water Utility, gave residents an opportunity to hear how they could opt out of getting the new technology.

The city is modernizing services and cutting costs by installing a small flat box device called an Electronic Read Transmitter. The device is connected to the water meter by a wire and transmits a signal, similar to a cell phone, wirelessly to the Madison Water Utility.

After some residents complained the technology poses a health risk, the Madison Water Utility drafted an opt out to have the system installed outside one’s home or to completely opt out for a monthly fee.

“It’s not a recognition that there’s anything problematic with the system. It’s a very safe system. It’s a standard type of system now being installed in many places across the country,” said Tom Heikkinen, general manager of the Madison Water Utility.

The opt out policy still needs approval from the Madison Common Council and then the Public Service Commission.