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Water Meters and Billing
Village reviewing proposed water meter replacement plan
The Village of Tinley Park is considering a plan to replace approximately 18,000 of its Severn-Trent/Elster water meters with Sensus iPERL water meters.

In addition to replacing the current aging units, the iPERL meters will allow the Village to implement an automated meter reading process that will provide better customer service, greater access to data and improved accuracy.

The Village is considering selecting the iPERL due to its record of performance and accuracy. The Village has utilized iPERL meters for approximately one year, although millions of iPERL meters have been in service since 2010 in other municipalities in the Chicago area and across the country. About 2,000 Sensus iPERL water meters have already been installed in Tinley Park homes.

“I’m pleased to report that there have been no major issues in the operation of the Sensus iPERL meters since their introduction more than a year ago,” Village Manager Dave Niemeyer said. “The iPERL meter really stands out from other manufacturers’ meters in terms of overall service, experience of the manufacturer and cost savings to the Village.”

Sensus iPERL meters also have a high level of accuracy and carry a 20-year warranty, indicative of an even longer expected life compared to the meters they would replace. The total cost to replace all 18,000 meters is estimated to be around $6.5 million, which includes the cost for the meters, radios, labor and related hardware and technology that will permit remote readings and allow the Village to eventually eliminate the cost of meter readers. 
 
The Village of Glenview has also selected the iPERL meter as part of a recently initiated program to replace all of its 16,000 water meters. Other communities that have installed iPERL meters include Orland Park, Oak Forest, Homewood, Palos Park, Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Frankfort, Spring Grove, Joliet, Aurora, Palatine, Buffalo Grove and New Lenox.

The new meters will automatically transmit readings wirelessly, ensuring the Village can be more efficient and reduce water system costs by preventing manual recording errors. Under the proposed new system, meter readings are expected to be collected on a daily basis, as opposed to the current data collection rate of quarterly. By collecting meter reading information more frequently, both the Village and its customers potentially can be alerted to abrupt or abnormal changes in water use earlier than when the quarterly bill is issued.

Installation of the new meters will be conducted at no cost to customers. While there are other matters that may impact the Village’s utility rates, such as the next Chicago rate increase in June, the new meters alone will not result in a rate increase.

While customers currently have the ability to review and monitor their water consumption online at https://services.tinleypark.org, this function is expected to be enhanced by the additional readings obtained through the automated meter interrogation system. Once the meter replacement is completed, the Village will be able to virtually eliminate manual reading altogether.

The Public Works Committee will meet early next year to refine the details of the proposed meter replacement program. The committee also will review staff proposals, including how quickly the meters should be replaced. Regardless of the specifics, the Village will focus on replacing older meters first.

For more information, including details on the Sensus iPERL and automatic metering, please visit www.tinleypark.org/water.