February 5, 2018 (Flint, Mich)— The City of Flint is working to repair a malfunction that occurred with the computer that reads the Badger/trace meters. The system went down. While it can be repaired, it will take a few weeks.
“Fixing the problem is not as simple as purchasing another computer from a local store,” said Rob Binscik, Director of Public Works for Flint. “This is a huge computer reading system connected to thousands of customers’ accounts in the city.”
Officials say the meter system currently being used in Flint was installed in the late 1990’s and had a life expectancy of 10 years. So, the equipment is nearly 20 years past the expected lifespan.
“This is in an unfortunate setback, but one that is inevitable,” said Mayor Weaver. “We know Flint’s infrastructure and metering system is old and needs to be updated. City employees have been alerting leaders of previous administrations about this issue for years, you can only put off necessary repairs for so long.”
Without the computer system in operation, meter reads have to be estimated. Flint City officials have sent residents affected by the computer malfunction letters, informing them of the situation and asking them to read their own meters and submit the information to the City to ensure they receive a more accurate water bill.
“For residents who have smart phones, the easiest thing to do is take a picture and send it to us,” said Bincsick.
An email account has been set up for residents to send in their information. The address is: [email protected]. An online form has also been created on the City of Flint website under the Online Services tab: https://www.cityofflint.com/meter-reads/ Residents can also call (810) 766-7015 to provide their meter read.
“We desperately need to replace our metering system”, said Flint’s Director of Public Works, Rob Bincsick. “Hopefully, as the city receives additional funding to make improvements this will become a priority in the near future.”