Crews with the City of Pocatello Utility Billing Department have returned to manually reading water meters around the city.
From December through February, the Utility Billing Department estimates water consumption rather than physically reading meters for residences in the bench areas and areas that are harder to get to.
“When the meter vault is opened during the winter, it allows cold air in and there is the potential for the meter to freeze,” said Cindy Robbins, Utility Billing Director. “By not opening the vault, the meter stays warmer and when it snows, the snow acts as an insulator, protecting the meter.”
Because of the estimates, customers will notice billing adjustments on their statement. If consumption is lower than estimated, their account will be credited. If consumption is higher than estimated, their account will be adjusted to match actual water consumption.
The City is heading into year three of a five-year effort to outfit all meters in Pocatello with a radio transmitter. The transmitters allow the meters to be read remotely and in all weather conditions. Officials estimate all water meters in the city will have the devices by 2019